And so, Lusk was born. Only two weeks into its infancy, the town graduated from tents to lumber buildings. Yet, the ironclad store remained the first and oldest wooden structure in the town.
In addition to the ironclad store, the Stagecoach Museum boasts an old outhouse and a Wyoming Standard School. As one might surmise, the years and the elements had not been kind to the three buildings. Using both its own funds and the recreational grant, the Museum contracted out Distinctive Homes to refurbish the structures. According to Aamodt, restoring and protecting the buildings from the ravages of time was no simply task.
“They had to hand oil the walls of all three buildings and they had to re-chink almost everything,” Aamodt said. “That was all by hand, piece by piece. They re-roofed the old store building. It had old wood shingles because they were shot.”
Aamodt stated that the work on the buildings took roughly six weeks and cost $17,000. Given the sizable volume of visitors to the museum, one could reasonably argue that such an investment of money and sweat equity was justifiable. Last year, the Roadrunners, the Philanthropic Educational Organizations (P.E.O), Guernsey Senior Center, Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), and the third and fourth grade classes of Lusk Elementary-Middle School passed through the doors of the museum. According to museum curator Rose Kremers, the artifacts of Lusk’s past especially enchant youthful visitors.
“We encourage young children to come in,” Kremers said. “We really like to have kids come in.”
As a nonprofit organization, the museum relies upon grants, entrance fees, and, of course, community donations.
“We’re greatly dependent on the community,” Aamodt said. “There are some donors who give us a pretty good sum. Most of it comes through membership. We do a membership drive every fall.”
Kremers added, “We’re also a bookstore, selling books about the Wild West.”
Monetary contributions are the only sort of donations accepted by the museum. Aamodt stated that residents also bring in their relics for exhibition.
“It shows that people care enough about their heritage to bring their treasures in for us to keep and display,” Aamodt said.
And, the community will have another opportunity to help out the museum on Saturday, Oct. 20. The local repository of history will be holding Heritage Night, an informative evening of guess speakers and historical tours.
The museum is open between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. However, the museum can open its doors on Sunday by request. The entry fee is $2 for adults. According to Aamodt, such a modest expenditure is worth every penny.
“You have to learn from your past in order to face your future,” Aamodt said.
Editors Note: This is Part 2 of the “History lives on at the Stagecoach Museum.” Part 1 of this series was printed in last week’s edition on Oct. 3, 2012.
For the complete article see the 10-10-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 10-10-2012 paper.