LSR Museum Celebrates July with Mountain Men and a Trip to the Rodeo
Jaymie Sheehan, Snake River Press July 19, 2013
Independence Day at the Little Snake River Museum was a day Jim Baker would have been proud of as the museum welcomed nearly two dozen American Mountain Men (AMM) to the grounds. The mountain men dressed in authentic period clothing and kept in character throughout the day, only stepping into the modern world to enjoy the free ice cream and watermelon the museum handed out to celebrate the day. After classic tales over ice cream, the mountain men showed guests a variety of traditional supplies and replicas, including guns ranging from the Revolutionary War Era up until the late 19th Century. One of the biggest hits of the day, quite literally, was the tomahawk throw. Mountain men, kids, parents, and even grandparents, along with museum board members and employees, took turns grabbing an axe and throwing it into a large wooden stump, trying their hand at a classic mountain man skill. While many people proved to be accurate and strong throwers, none of them, including the mountain men, showed more skill than LSR Museum curator Lela Emmons who hit a bullseye on her very first throw. The mountain man demonstrations aligned perfectly with the arrival of the newest interactive dwelling at the museum - the mountain man tent. Just like mountain men tents of the past, this tent can withstand anything Wyoming weather has to offer and is staked using branches from nearby trees. However, the best parts of the dwelling are the amazing donations from the American Mountain Men. These donations, including an exceptional tanned buffalo hide from Bill Bailey, help make the tent authentic while still allowing guests to touch and play. The LSR Museum would like to say “thank you” to all of the Mountain Men who took time away from the rendezvous to honor Jim Baker and teach us all a little more about the traditional mountain man way of life.
The fun of the Fourth spilled over onto Rodeo Weekend as part of the museum temporarily moved down to the Russell Community Park. On Saturday and Sunday, the museum took saddles, chaps, bridles, classic photos, and other cowboy swag to create an exhibit displaying the rich cowboy history of the Little Snake River Valley. Situated under a large tent, the display gave rodeo-goers the opportunity to see history in motion as guests saw Mae Galloway Leahy Cutler’s traditional side saddle below a photo of Helen Morgan riding a bucking bronc. Just to the side of photos showing local cowboys Ray and Boone Weber taking on their own broncs was the Photo Booth. Many people enjoyed dressing up and posing with the traditional items. In fact, dressing up was so much fun that some of the younger participants even did a parade through the grandstands to show off their old time fashions. The rodeo exhibit was a great success, but was only a small sampling of the museum’s cowboy collection. To see all the items, visit the museum, open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm