“History is who we are and why we are the way we are.” – David McCullough, American historian
The Riverton Museum has been through many changes in 2023…from the hiring of new staff to the opening of a 70s time capsule, several events such as Jupiter the Owl, Castle Gardens Petroglyph Tour, a History of Oil & Gas, galleries by Wes Uncapher and Dan Weeks, a successful DIscover Speaker series that included a History of Heart Mountain, the popular, annual Pumpkin Trail and more. The museum has also currently undergone some remodeling and reconstruction projects, the most significant being the replacement of the stained glass windows with new signage. On the inside, the Main Hall is being prepped and painted for new displays and exhibits. All in all, Riverton Museum has had an eventful year and looks forward to another exciting one of growth and improvements.
About the Riverton Museum
The Riverton Museum is located at 700 East Park Avenue. The original building was built and dedicated on April 29, 1917 as St. Paul’s Methodist Church, and is one of the oldest buildings in Riverton.
In 1956 the idea of creating a museum was developed during Riverton’s 50th Anniversary celebration. Citizens donated objects to create an exhibit, but after the celebration ended, there was no place for the collection. The event inspired people to donate money to create a permanent museum in Riverton, creating the Riverton Museum Association.
The Riverton Museum is a part of the Fremont County Museum System along with the museums in Dubois and in Lander…collecting, preserving, and interpreting artifacts that have a direct association with Riverton history, eastern Fremont County communities such as Shoshoni and Lysite, and the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribal and regional history as it relates to Fremont County. The museum also may collect items that represent specific aspects of history and culture that help educate through the exhibits and programs.
The staff is made up of Nathaniel Griffee as the Site Manager, April Peregoy as the Collections Manager, and Kevin Scannell as the Programs and Events Coordinator. Assistants and volunteers help support the staff with various projects and museum events.
Yes, Riverton does have a museum!
Griffee said that the biggest successes this year have been the new exhibits and the increase in attendance to the museum’s programs. “It’s been really gratifying to see people show up to have fun and learn at the events that we work hard to put together at the museum,” he said.
At the same time, the typical challenges revolve around the funding for the events, plus supplies and materials for exhibits. “Perhaps the biggest challenge, however, is the problem with a lack of recognition that the museum has,” Griffee added. “Many people in the community don’t know we have a museum. We want the public to know we’re here and, besides providing an interesting look into the past, we offer fun and educational activities for the community to take part in year-round.”
The Riverton Museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Addmission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, children ages 5 and under are free. For information and updates on events and activities, visit their Facebook page at Riverton.Wyoming.Museum and/or Instagram page at rivertonwymuseum.
The Riverton Museum ‘Wish List‘
The musuem houses many items, artifacts, books, maps, and documents that need to be preserved properly, requiring acid-free, archival-quality storage boxes and materials. If you would like to donate to the Riverton Museum, their ‘wish list’ is below.
“We could always use more supplies for maintaining the objects in our collections. We typically purchase these materials from Gaylord Archival.”
Cleaning & Labeling Supplies
Paraloid B-72 Barrier Coat in Acetone (labeling material)
Pigma Micron Graphic Pens
Sekura Pigma Brush Pens
Artifact ID Tags – all sizes
PEC Photo & Slide Cleaner
Archival Negative & Photo Index Cards
Archival Tabbed Index Providers
Rare Book ID Strips
Storage & Preservation Supplies
UV Filter Film (for windows, especially upstairs)
Acid-Free Tissue Paper
Polyethylene Zip Top Bags of any and all sizes
Archival File Folders: letter, legal, and oversized
Archival Map & Print Folders
Archival Panoramic Print Folders
Standard Archival Record Storage Boxes
Archival Artifact Trays and/or Divider Boxes with Lids
Archival Internal Artifact Trays for boxes
Archival Polyester Ephemera Envelopes (for small pamphlets, event tickets, etc.)
Archival Polyester Sheets
Archival Document Cases
Archival Print & Photo Boxes
Archival Sheet Music Boxes
Rare Book Boxes
Archival Newspaper Boxes
Archival 12”x12” storage boxes for scrapbooks
Archival storage boxes for oversized scrapbooks
Archival 10” LP Record Inner Sleeves
Archival 10” LP Record Boxes
Archival Videocassette Boxes
Single Audiocassette Cases
Shelving & Miscellaneous
72-inch industrial shelving kits with heavy-duty storage racks (Uline/Global Industrial)
Standard Museum Cabinets
Wardrobe Cabinets and/or High-Capacity Textile Racks