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About the Sheridan County Historical Society

A message from the Sheridan County Historical Society

In looking back to the very beginnings of the Sheridan County Historical Society, it is interesting to note that a Museum Committee was established at that very first meeting. It was in January of 1960 and 23 people met at the Bank of Commerce. Robert Helvey became President; Clarence Meyer, Vice President; Dan Ingraham, Sec.-Treasurer; and one of our area's most famous artists, Hans Kleiber, was Society Historian. Among the members were such famous names in our history as Glenn Sweem, Elsa Spear Byron, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hilman, Mr. and Mrs. Don Coffeen, Vie Willets Garber and George Ostrum.
 
There were many efforts through the years to establish a Museum. Money and artifacts were collected from the beginning. The efforts never ceased, except for about three years in the mid-1960s when the Historical Society and the entire town put their efforts towards saving the Sheridan Inn. After that it was the Kendrick home,Trail End, which needed saving. Trail End was operated for 12 years as a museum by members of the Sheridan County Historical Society, from January 1970 to March of 1982, until they could no longer keep up with the repairs needed. On March 28, 1982 the Historical Society transferred by Quit claim deed our right, title and interest in Trail End Historical Center to the State of Wyoming.
 
For a number of years after, the Society established a small museum in the basement of the Sheridan Inn. This was the precursor to our present beautiful log home at 850 Sibley Circle, overlooking the Big Horn Mountains and the town of Sheridan in the valley. We think those early pioneers who established the Society and worked to establish a Museum would be very pleased.
 
Thank you for visiting our website.  Please check back often as it is updated with upcoming events, and don't forget to visit the Sheridan County Museum.  We look forward to sharing history with you!
 

Historical Society Memberships

When joining the Sheridan Chapter, your dues includes membership in the Wyoming State Historical Society. As a state member, you will receive subscriptions to the quarterly, Annals of Wyoming, and the state newsletter, History News. You will also receive the Sheridan County Chapter monthly newsletter, with news of Society programs, calendar of events, and recognition for donors. You may Click here to download an SCHS and WSHS membership form.
 
Our website is not equipped to take online orders yet, so you can just print the form, fill it out, and mail it in.
 
Museum memberships, which include museum season passes, are a separate membership and you may click here to print that form.

A Bit About Our Past…and Our Future Too

The Sheridan County Chapter of the Wyoming State Historical Society was founded in 1960 and played a large role in saving both the Sheridan Inn and John Kendrick’s Trail End from demolition. Through the years we have published books, conducted tours, held regular dinner meetings with programs, nominated worthy candidates for state historical Society awards, and supported other historical activities. From 1991 until 2004, we exhibited some of our collections in the Sheridan Inn Basement.

In 2002, the Society hired a professional museum curator to catalog, assess, and improve the preservation of our collections. In 2003, the Sheridan Chapter hosted the Wyoming State Historical Society Trek and we were recognized as the outstanding chapter that year. Gaining more community support for our efforts, one thing lead to another, and In 2004, the collections were moved to a small house on Alger Avenue, where the Sheridan County Museum presented its first season’s exhibits. We also began the Sheridan County Memory Book Project. With the collection now under professional care, more artifact donations found their way to the little museum and more of our local history was preserved. That same year, the Society became a local sponsor for the National History Day, and hosts the regional competitions for grades 6-12 every April. Within a very short time it became evident that the little museum on Alger Avenue was way too small.

In 2005, we received an offer we couldn’t refuse. A substantial discount was made to the purchase price of the former Bubba’s Barbeque Restaurant and we went to work to see if we could raise One Million Dollars! In only four months, and with much community support, the Society raised over $1 million in donations and pledges. About nine months later, the doors of the new Sheridan County Museum opened on July 1st, 2006. Needless to say, our work has just begun, there's plenty to do, and we invite you to become a Society or Museum member.

Sheridan County Historical Society

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mary Jane Bede
Katie Curtiss
Mark Demple
Joe Gingles
Linda Grosso
Helen Laumann
Judy Musgrave
Sonja Roberts
Leon Washut
Carol Watkins
 
ADVISORS

Dick Bodine

Jo Forbes

Mac Grimm

Steve Maier
Mary Ellen McWilliams
Mike Nickel

Anne Nickerson

Scott Nickerson

Bob Prill
Linda Prill

Awards Program

 

WYOMING STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY AWARDS PROGRAM

 

The Wyoming State Historical Society recognizes individuals and organizations in the field of Wyoming History by an annual awards program. The awards are presented each year at the annual meeting of the Society on the Saturday following Labor Day. Nomination forms for the awards are submitted through the local and county chapters of the Society. Individuals who are members of the WSHS may also make nominations. Nomination forms and complete details of the awards may also be obtained through the Awards Chairman of each local chapter, or you may contact WSHS Executive Secretary Linda Fabian at the WSHS Office in Wheatland at linda@dancewyoming.com or 307.322.4237 for more information.

The Awards are divided into seven main category groupings as follows:

  1. PUBLICATION AWARDS - about a Wyoming subject, person or locale and published during the award year (certificates)
    • Books – published during the award year and written by an author or group of authors age eighteen or over:
      • Fiction
      • Non-fiction
      • Biography or autobiography
      • Self-published work
      • Single chapter in a non-fiction, biographical or autobiographical book by one or several authors
      • Reference work
      • Single poem or a book of poetry
    • Pamphlet (less than 80 pages)
    • Brochure (12 pages or less)
    • Calendar
    • Magazines and Newspapers
      • Article or series of articles relating to Wyoming history published in Wyoming
      • Article or series of articles relating to Wyoming history published outside of Wyoming with nationwide circulation
      • Article or series of articles relating to Wyoming history published by author or authors under the age of 18 in a school magazine or newspaper
      • Wyoming newspaper or magazine that has contributed to the history of Wyoming
    • Internet Website – created or significantly updated with new information during the award year.

  1. AUDIO AND/OR VIDEO DOCUMENTARY AWARDS – produced during the award year (certificates)
    • Professional – to an individual or individuals, television station, film production company, radio station, or any organization that has made an outstanding contribution to Wyoming history by developing documentary material in the audio-video or computer generated field
    • Non-professional – to individuals or groups who have made an outstanding contribution to Wyoming history by developing documentary material in the audio-video or computer generated field.
  1. FINE ARTS AWARD – not restricted to the current award year (certificates) – to individuals or groups to recognize an outstanding accomplishment in the field of fine arts, commercial or non-commercial, with results in the depiction, promotion, recognition or preservation of Wyoming history. Nominations in the fields of painting, sculpture, functional pieces, drama, music, or other artwork will be considered.
  1. YOUTH AWARDS (monetary awards and certificates: A monetary amount of $100 for first place, $65 for second place and $30 for third place will be awarded in each grade category.)
    • Young Historian Awards for original projects written during the school year to encourage interest in Wyoming history among Wyoming students in three categories: grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. History Day formatted projects such as documentaries, exhibits, and performances are encouraged as well as traditional essays.
    • Junior Activities Awards to Wyoming students in three categories: grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. These awards are aimed at history classes supervised by a teacher, or organized groups under an adult leader, to encourage the interest of young people in Wyoming history during the school year through:
      • Research and exploration of a historic site in their county, which may lead to the marking of a site
      • Participation in the activities and programs of a chapter of the WSHS
      • Establishment of a junior history organization
      • Educational activities, which promote, with study and projects, the understanding and knowledge of local and/or state history.
    • Lola Homsher History Day Scholarship - $1000.00 – This award will be presented annually in April to a high school senior from a Wyoming high school who participated during his or her senior year in the State History Day Competition. Information can be found on the Wyoming History Day website: http://ahc.uwyo.edu/eduoutreach/historyday .
  1. SPECIAL AWARDS
    • Activities Award (certificates) to an individual or group making a significant contribution to Wyoming history during the award year.
      • Tour or tours to a historic site in Wyoming.
      • Educational project, which furthers the understanding and knowledge of local and state history.
      • Museum activities.
      • Restoration, or interpretation of local historic sites.
    • Chapter Awards (monetary awards) to provide financial assistance for historical projects based on merit, need, and historical value of the project in the community or county.
    • Annual Services Award (certificate) to a Society member to recognize outstanding services to the Society, either local or state, during the award year.
    • The Clara M. & Henry E. Jensen Outstanding Wyoming Teacher Award (monetary award and plaque) to a teacher in Wyoming to recognize outstanding performance in teaching Wyoming history in the classroom.
    • Mabel Brown Cumulative Contribution Award (plaque) to a living Wyoming resident who, over a long period of time, has made valuable contributions to the understanding and awareness of Wyoming and its history.
  1. MEMORIAL AWARDS
    • L. C. Bishop Award (plaque) to an organization or individual who has voluntarily contributed in a significant manner to preserving or recording the history of any part of a historical trail in Wyoming through preservation of a site, completed written research, cartography or other means. The contribution should span a number of years.
    • Henryetta Berry Memorial Award (plaque) to an individual or organization in recognition of their years of promoting Wyoming history among young people.
    • Judge & Mrs. Percy W. Metz Memorial Award (plaque) to an individual or organization in recognition of outstanding contribution to the history of Wyoming in the field of photography or oral history which may span many years.

    • Maurine Carley Memorial Award (plaque, Schwiering print and monetary award) to an individual or organization in recognition of an outstanding project in the field of historic preservation which many include residential, commercial, public, religious, industrial or institutional buildings, historic sites, trails, cemeteries, archaeological sites and other places significant to Wyoming history. Projects may be underway or shall have been completed within the last two years of nomination. (monetary award).
  1. ADDITIONAL AWARDS
    • Lola Homsher Endowment Fund – grants of up to $1500 to be provided for projects, which will research, preserve, and promote Wyoming history. Topic must be Wyoming related with emphasis on original research.
    • WSHS Outstanding Preservation Project Award (plaque, Schwiering print and monetary award) to an individual or organization in recognition of an outstanding project in the field of historic preservation that does not focus on the physical preservation of a historic building or site. Projects focus on the preservation of objects or items such as photographs, documents, films, or books that are significant to Wyoming’s history.

 You can also visit the Wyoming State Historical Society website for a listing of the state-wide winners.

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