New exhibit unveiled at NPS visitor center

Rebecca and Aidan Searfoss of Hyattville and Wayne Bauer of Michigan look at a new display featuring historical ranches at the Bighorn National Park Service Visitors Center in Lovell. Bob Rodriguez

Rebecca and Aidan Searfoss of Hyattville and Wayne Bauer of Michigan look at a new display featuring historical ranches at the Bighorn National Park Service Visitors Center in Lovell.
Bob Rodriguez

A new exhibit depicting ranch life in the area is now on display at the Bighorn National Park Service Visitors Center in Lovell. The exhibit, which includes a reproduction of a restored historic cabin, is designed to give visitors a glimpse of sights they may want to take in while visiting the park.

“The exhibit tells about ranch history in the park,” explained chief of interpretation Christy Fleming. “We hope they will see this exhibit and be inspired to see historical ranch sites within the park during their visit.”

Fleming said the cabin is based on a homestead cabin located at the Lockhart ranch. It is constructed of old logs, chinked with pinewood and has a sod roof. It includes a shadowbox with maps and information about similar sites within the park.

Installation of the new exhibit is the first phase of recommendations made in 2009 to remodel and freshen up exhibits at the visitor’s center. Fleming said the staff is responding to the recommendations that have an estimated cost of around $500,000 a little at a time.

The cabin exhibit cost around $16,000 to construct with most of the cost for materials and internal labor on the project.

The next phase will incorporate museum lighting at a cost of around $40,000. Fleming said she expects that project to begin this summer.

She said other projects are projected further into the future. No dates have been set for anything else in the immediate future.

By Patti Carpenter

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