A Visit to the Authentic West
Powder River Historical Museum is recognized as having such a wide variety of holdings that there is bound to be something for every interest and taste. Among the collections are the beautiful vintage clothing and interesting household items; old guns and ammunition; pre-1900 buggies, antique vehicles, tractors and farm implements; Native American artifacts; and Western heritage items.
One of the most important collections are the battlefield artifacts from the Reynolds Campaign in 1876 - a forerunner of the Battle of Little Bighorn.
We also have period log buildings, including a one-room rural log schoolhouse furnished with original school room trappings; a Bucyrus-Erie steam shovel which was brought overland to dig coal and gravel in our area; and the old county jail, a particular favorite of our younger visitors, constructed for our County when it was founded in 1919.
Mac's Museum is a one-man collection amassed by Mr. Mac McCurdy, a Power River pioneer and world traveler. The vast collection contains over a thousand arrowheads, birds' eggs, butterflies, geologic specimens, as well as one of the finest and largest (about 20,000!) sea shell collections you'll ever see. This display is staggering and truly astonishing!
Built in 1934, this pioneer cabin has been furnished and modeled on the L.A. Huffman photo "Cabin Interior on the Powder River".
Western Reading Room
If you are looking for resources on local history or family genealogy, or just a quiet place to study or read, we welcome you to visit us and make use of this charming and comfortable space. Our museum has original copies of early editions of the Powder River Examiner as well as obituary records and other local/living history records.
Serving our Country
See uniforms, flags and other wartime memorabilia in this tribute to our local men and women in the military and their service to our country.
Take a walk through time with our vintage clothing section that boasts garments and fashion stretching back to the 1800s! The 5 generation family wedding dress display is a must see.
"Our Town" on the Prairie
"Our Town" contains vignettes from the local bygone businesses including an old-time soda fountain, barbershop and post office.
Heirloom vehicles including a 1923 Form Model T grain truck and a 1929 Ford Model A, vintage buggies and wagons, a sheepherders wagon, antique tractors and farm equipment and a Bucyrus-Erie steam shovel which was brought overland to dig coal and gravel in our area.
Butte Creek Schoolhouse
Built in 1923 by several local families, this original school house is now one of our favorite attractions!
It's like stepping back in time when you approach the counter of the Ridge store for your provisions...
Operated from 1909-1960, during the height of the homestead days many of the donated items were original to the store.
Ben Patten Bit & Spur Collection
If you're interested in cowboy culture, this private collection has over 75 different styles of spurs and 100 variations of bits. The designs range from simple and well worked to incredibly detailed and flashy.
We proudly celebrate our western heritage with a number of displays. The tack room has a variety of saddles, cowboy culture items (like the Wilson family chuckbox) and rodeo memorabilia celebrating local champions, like Jess Lockwood.