Larry & Lee Ann's Journey travel blog

Arriving in downtown Buffalo this morning we noticed this bronze, it's actually...

It's entitled 'Living On The Edge'...

While roping a calf on the open range this cowboy was surprised...

Cute church, love the bell tower...

Walking past the Johnson County Courthouse...

Museum property...

The Jenkins Family Homestead...

A look inside the cabin...

Love this painting...

The Museum Visitor's Center...

Bronze entitled 'Nate Champions Last Run'...

Back at the Deer Park Campground, it's time to hitch up &...

I think maybe they should have named it 'Turkey Campground', lol...They are...

As you can see, everyone left today while we were sightseeing! Nice...

A couple of the resident's here at Deer Park Campground...


After our tour of the Occidental Hotel we walked a short block to see the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, one large complex originally made up of two buildings. The first building, located behind the Johnson County Courthouse, is where the museum began in 1957. In 1987 the Johnson County Library moved and the county decided that the old library building would become part of the museum. So, in 1989 the two buildings were connected and today the museum houses the exhibits while the old library building houses the Visitors’ Lobby and the Museum Store. The building itself is one of the 1,679 libraries philanthropist Andrew Carnegie built across the United States between 1886 and 1919. The Johnson County Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1976. Due to the requirements of the National Register, when the building was added to the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, the Johnson County Library sign was retained.

Located in front of the museum is the Jenkins Family log cabin. The cabin was built in 1916 by Marshall D. Jenkins, just north of the town of Kaycee. When the Homestead Act of 1862 was passed many families such as the Jenkins packed their belongings and headed to Wyoming to create a new life for themselves. Homesteading in Wyoming meant facing the challenges of heat, drought, hail, lightning, blizzards, isolation, lawlessness, and backbreaking labor. In 1925 Jenkins sold his homestead patents, including the cabin, and moved his family to Midwest, Wyoming. In 1982 Polly Jenkins purchased her childhood home (how cool is that!) and moved it to Story, Wyoming. The log cabin reached its final destination at the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum in 2005 when the family donated the homestead and its contents. We loved the furnishings inside & especially the photo on the back wall.

In reality, the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum has been a part of the Buffalo community since 1900 when Gatchell opened a drugstore. The Buffalo Pharmacy was a stopping place for cowboys, lawmen, settlers, cattle barons, and famous army scouts. As a trusted friend of the region’s Native Americans, he received many gifts representing the culture including guns, war bonnets, tools, medicine bags, bows, arrows, and clothing. Soon local residents were donating mementos of Johnson County’s historic names, places, and events.

After Jim Gatchell’s death in 1954, his family generously donated his collection to the people of Johnson County with the provision that a museum be built to house it.

Today the Gatchell Memorial Museum collection contains over 18,000 artifacts including documents, photographs, firearms, clothing, and wagons. Photography is not permitted in the galleries so unfortunately I'll only be able to share pics of the grounds. But if you are ever in this part of the country, please do yourself a favor & visit both the Occidental Hotel & this wonderful museum. You won't be sorry!



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