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Can You Pick Just Ten? Historical Society Hosts Artifact Contest

Wyoming State Historical Society

Pioneers, dinosaurs, outlaws: Wyoming’s history includes them all. But the state’s museums are chock full of artifacts that sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve. With the 125 year celebration of statehood coming up, the Wyoming State Historical Society wants to do something about that.

Society President Tamsen Hert says they invited the state’s museums and libraries to nominate the most significant artifacts in their collections and now the public is invited to vote for their top ten favorites. Hert says there are 25 nominations on the list and some of the highlights are the Dee mammoth, 1905 Wind River Reservation ration tickets and an original Wyoming flag. Others are four clovis projectile points, an 1863 Wyoming map and an Albert Bierstadt oil painting.

“I think we have a lot of wonderful museums, archives and libraries that hold this content,” Hert says. “But I also think that the public doesn’t necessarily realize that these treasures are within those walls and that it’s accessible to them.”

Hert says Wyoming is lucky to have many of its best treasures still in state. But many of its dinosaur bones were removed.

“A lot of those things are not in Wyoming’s borders now. We have a few of those dinosaur bones but that piece of our past is elsewhere in the country,” she says. “It’s important for individuals to know that they can come and see these pieces, read about them, learn their significance.”

Hert says the deadline to complete the ballot is September and the winners will be announced later this fall. To see a complete list of the nominees and vote on your favorites, click here.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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