Museum seeks new members and history enthusiasts
The Museum of the Mountain Man, located in Pinedale, opens for the season on May 1st. Pinedale Online photo.
Historical Society celebrates 70 years
April 24, 2006
Every April, the Sublette County Historical Society kicks off Five M Month - Membership Month at the Museum of the Mountain Man, inviting the public and interested patrons to join.
As the first and oldest historical society in the State of Wyoming, the SCHS was established in 1936 for the preservation of historic sites of the fur trade and rendezvous, marking of graves and trails, and to collect all records, documents and items pertaining to the historical background of Sublette County. With nearly 5,000 square miles of country to cover and so few people, the society had a daunting task to undertake.
"This coming June, the Sublette County Historical Society will be celebrating its 70th year in existence," says Laurie Hartwig, Director of the Historical Society, "quite an accomplishment!"
The Sublette County Historical Society (SCHS), which oversees the Museum of the Mountain Man, continues the work of those early pioneers to promote and support the rich, cultural heritage of Sublette County.
The Museum of the Mountain Man is located in the center of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade and is on the road to becoming a museum of national significance. They have extensive exhibits about the fur trade and each year do living history displays and sponsor many programs to help bring this important era of early American history to life for visitors. They recently published their first book, "The Fur Trade & Rendezvous of the Green River Valley", which is for sale at the Museum gift shop and online on their website.
"Our major asset is being IN the Green River Valley, which was the start and center of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade during its 16 year existence," said Clint Gilchrist, Sublette County Historical Society Board Member. "The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade System established the ĎMountain Maní which, along with Indians, were the first uniquely American iconic figures that helped defined the United States of America," he said.
The Museum is proud to feature one of Jim Bridgerís rifles, a rare and unique Shoshone Indian sheep horn bow, the "T.F. Rock" believed to possibly have been inscribed by mountain man Thomas Fitzpatrick, a wall-sized reproduction painting of Alfred Jacob Millerís scene of the Green River Rendezvous, an impressive arrowhead collection, original artwork depicting scenes from the fur trade and Native Americans, an extensive collection of commemorative Winchester collector rifles on long-term loan from Vernon Delgado, an impressive research library with many rare and hard-to-find books about the fur trade era, and much more. The recently acquired buffalo hide tipi from Native American Historian Michael Terry, made possible by a generous grant from the Gayle McMurry Kinnison Donor Advised Fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation, is the newest treasure to be added to the Museumís impressive displays.
"We want everyone to feel welcome to join the Historical Society," says Hartwig, "it is such an exciting time, with lots of projects and programs for both children and adults."
Membership levels range from $35/year for individuals, couples and families to a $1000/year for Jim Bridger League benefactors who commit to a 5-year annual gift. Members get free admission to the museum, guest passes, discounts for purchases at the gift shop and other benefits, depending on the level. The SCHS is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 foundation and memberships are tax deductible. Checks can be made to the Sublette County Historical Society, PO Box 909, Pinedale, WY 82941.
The Museum also welcomes anyone who wishes to volunteer their time to help out with activities and museum functions. Anyone interested can call Museum Director Laurie Hartwig at 307-367-4101. The Museum opens for the summer season on May 1st.
Museum of the Mountain Man www.museumofthemountainman.com