Post by Diane Merkel on Jan 16, 2007 10:11:36 GMT -5
The Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, which has earned the reputation of being one of the best small museums in the Rockies, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
The Buffalo, Wyo., museum has, since 1957, progressed from housing Jim Gatchell's private collection of Indian artifacts and early firearms to earning national accreditation from the American Association of Museums in Washington, D.C.
Museum director John Gavin said that by 1901, Gatchell had developed a fascination for American Indians and Indian folklore after picking up several artifacts from the Little Bighorn battlefield area near Crow Agency, Mont. Because Johnson County and the surrounding area were sites of a number of historic Indian conflicts, Gatchell had little trouble adding to his collection of artifacts. He also devoted himself to learning all he could about the area's American Indians.
Gavin said Gatchell became good friends with several members of the Northern Cheyenne tribe who contributed to his quest to document their history. A small room in the back of his downtown drugstore became a "mini museum" that drew thousands of visitors from almost every state as well as various foreign countries.
I've visited the Gatchell Museum a number of times, and it is truly a great museum, not only for its size, but contents. There's relics from Ft. Phil Kearny, the Fetterman battle and many other interesting topics, including, I think, the Johnson County War. Anytime you're anywhere near Buffalo, take the time to visit this great little museum. Also, there's an outstanding bookstore next door.
Post by harpskiddie on Jan 16, 2007 23:01:29 GMT -5
Thanks for the tip, Bubba - I'll try to add it to this year's circle tour. I first went to Phil Kearney in 1959, and was in Buffalo a number of times, but for some reason I must have missed the museum.