The Wyoming Pioneer Association may be rich in history, but our modern-day story is equally interesting. Over the course of the past decade the Pioneers have completed some very impressive projects that will hold a lasting place in history.
In 2012, just in time for the 100th Wyoming State Fair and Rodeo, the Wyoming Pioneer Association opened the doors to its new Ruthe James Williams Memorial Conference Center. The beautiful building stands adjacent to the Wyoming Pioneer Museum. It has become a popular rental facility for business trainings, social gatherings and events hosted by the Pioneers. Watch the Pioneer’s calendar for information on art shows, their annual meeting, rodeo queen contest and a host of other events that take place in the modern facility.
Summer 2012 also marked the dedication of Jerry Palen’s “Runnin’ With the Big Boys” bronze at the entrance to the Wyoming Pioneer Museum. Featuring a jackrabbit racing two buck antelope, the piece is a wonderful combination of fine art and good humor. Palen is well-known as the cartoonist behind the Stampede cartoon series and for his fine art. His work can be seen throughout Wyoming including a calf on the lawn of the Wyoming Capitol Building.
The Pioneers quickly went to work adorning their new building with pieces of Wyoming’s colorful history. Many Wyoming brands are associated with a tale of a Wyoming pioneer or ranch family. Summer 2013 Association members, area ranchers and projects supporters including then Wyoming Governor Matt Mead gathered at the building to brand boards. The boards hang on the building walls, each associated with a piece of Wyoming history. A book detailing the brands and their owners is available at the building.
The Pioneer’s touches can also be seen in improvements made the Pioneer Cabin. In 1927, the Pioneers built the cabin as a meeting place. Their membership, however, quickly outgrew the little building. Today the cabin is part of the Wyoming Pioneer Museum exhibits. Each year during the Wyoming State Fair the Pioneers invite artists, entertainers and more to set up displays in the cabin and greet fair attendees.
Most recently the Pioneers have been part of the group working to improve the library within the Wyoming Pioneer Museum. Outdated paneling and storage equipment are being replaced with more modern and archive friendly materials. The walls, formerly covered with outdated paneling, are also receiving an upgrade. Be sure to visit the Museum and see the improvements.
If you would like to join the Pioneers and our efforts surrounding Wyoming history, please visit our membership page. The Association welcomes new members and an opportunity to share the many interesting tales from the chapters of Wyoming history.