Showing in the Gallery:
West Across the Skies: Air Transportation in Wyoming
From the Wyoming State Museum
Now through July 31st
The Campbell County Rockpile Museum has opened a new exhibit in our temporary gallery: West Across the Skies: Air Transportation in Wyoming. The exhibit contains thirty-nine photographs and information panels representing the state’s aviation history, from barnstormers to commercial aviation. Part of the Wyoming State Museum’s traveling exhibit program, West Across the Skies will be on view through July 31st.
West Across the Skies explores Wyoming’s relationship with aviation in the 20th century. Wyoming served as a major transportation corridor for the transcontinental railroad which would later impact air travel as aviators utilized the “iron compass” to navigate the skies over Wyoming.
Wyoming was a preferred hub for mail transportation due to its elevation and the railroad tracks visible to pilots from the air. Later, passenger aviation moved into Wyoming, and during World War II, the Casper Army Air Base trained over 16,000 crew members for aerial combat in B-17s and B-24s.Find out more about Gillette’s role in Wyoming’s aviation history and view artifacts from a local WWII aviator in this incredible traveling exhibit. For more information, call the Museum at (307) 682-5723.
Saddle and Leatherwork Exhibit
The horse played a critical role in the development of the western plains. Horses were essential for transportation, hunting, managing livestock, military protection, and pulling wagons, stagecoaches, and plows to work the land. The Campbell County Rockpile Museum has had a saddle collection since its opening in 1974. In addition to saddles owned by local cowboys, ranchers, and homesteaders, the collection includes saddles and other artifacts made by leather workers in Campbell County. Recently, this exhibit has been renovated and expanded. A saddle maker’s workbench outfitted with the essential tools used to build and repair saddles and harnesses is now on exhibit. A McClellan saddle representative of those used in this region by the U.S. Cavalry from the 1860s to the early 1900s is another recent addition. Other features include a Wyoming Centennial Saddle built by Matt Avery, a century-old stitching horse, a series of tooled squares showing the steps involved in creating a finished piece of tooled leather, videos illustrating the use of various leatherworking tools, and a history of Campbell County saddle makers. Come see the saddles and other leather artifacts that were an integral part of life for the early residents of our county.
Permanent Exhibits Slideshow
View the slides below to see the exhibits you'll encounter while visiting the Campbell County Rockpile Museum. You can watch the slideshow or hover over the picture to use the left and right arrows to browse through the images.
Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin
July - December 2013
On July 9th, 2013, the Campbell County Rockpile Museum opened an exhibition titled Women Coal Miners of the Powder River Basin. Featuring the photographs of Colorado artist Annalise Shingler, this exhibit told the story of a handful of women miners from Gillette and Campbell County that have made a life of digging coal. Here in the Powder River Basin, women have been employed at the coal mines since the mid-1970s. The percentage of female miners was initially very low, but increased as more and more large mines opened in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Most figures today state that women make up about 20 percent of all production crews in the coal mines of northeast Wyoming.
Some of the women in the exhibit are trailblazers that have worked for 30 or more years in mining while others are just beginning their careers. Others are from families with multiple generations working in the coal mines. With this exhibit, the Rockpile Museum hoped to shed some light on the hard work and sacrifice that these miners make to support their families and provide energy for our state and our nation.
This exhibit was generously supported by Pearls of the Prairie. Find out more about this arts organization at www.pearlsoftheprairie.org.
"Swing Back to the 70s”
at the Rockpile Museum
April and May 2014
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Rockpile Museum’s opening and we are celebrating with a series of events. During the months of April and May, the Rockpile Museum hosted a community-based exhibit showcasing local citizens’ memorabilia from the 1970s. This was a decade of change and contrasts. The exhibit will featured items specific to Gillette and Campbell County people, businesses, organizations, schools, and events as well as general items symbolic of this colorful decade.
Local Sports Exhibit
February - June 2015
Is Gillette a “sports-crazy” town as is often the perception around Wyoming? Do you know the history of athletics in our school system? Now is your chance to find out a little about sports in Campbell County as the museum is excited to announce an upcoming exhibition titled Camel Tradition. Utilizing the museum archives and collections, this exhibit will describe sports in this area from the early twentieth century to the championship boom of the last few decades.
Highlights include photos of early Camel teams, pictures and memorabilia from the 1958 and 1966 boys’ basketball championship teams, and old CCHS jerseys and equipment. Several former Camel athletes and coaches will be highlighted including John Mankin, Gwen Reed, Mike Curry, Ryun Williams, Alicia Craig Shay, John Chick, and Tyler Cox.
Camel Tradition will be on display until the end of May. Join in the “March Madness” and celebrate sports in Campbell County with the Rockpile Museum!
December 7, 2016 - March 31, 2017:
INFAMY: DECEMBER 7, 1941
Infamy: December 7, 1941, a traveling exhibit from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, features over 30 powerful images and commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Visit the museum in March to learn about this tragic and historic day in our nation's history. The images are supplemented with a few local artifacts as well as a stirring video history from Wyoming resident and Pearl Harbor survivor, Melvin Heckman.