Natrona County Public Library Home to Wyoming’s Top Historical Artifact



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The original Wyoming State Flag, held by the Natrona County Public Library, was voted as Wyoming’s number one artifact.

The original Wyoming state flag housed at the Natrona County Public Library took first place honors in Wyoming’s Top Ten Artifacts for 2015. The Wyoming State Historical Society (WSHS) and the University of Wyoming Libraries announced the Top Ten this week. More than 2,000 people took part in the online voting.

The nomination states: “The bill to adopt the flag was introduced by W. W. Daley of Rawlins and was adopted January 31, 1917. On February 16, 1919, at a joint meeting of the members of the House and Senate, with many guests in attendance, the flag was officially presented to Governor Robert D. Carey. At the time, Wyoming was among the few states in the Union that did not have a flag. It was widely distributed to school children on folders in 1920. The seal, colors, border, and bison all have significant symbolism tied to Wyoming’s history. The Wyoming flag was designed by Buffalo resident Verna Keyes in response to a 1916 contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution.”

According to Natrona County Public Library, the flag is pure silk taffeta with fringe. The bison and Great Seal of Wyoming were hand-painted. It was made by the George Lauterer Company of Chicago.

Wyoming’s Top Ten Artifacts celebrated Wyoming’s 125th year of statehood. Institutions from across the state submitted 41 of their most unique artifacts, which included documents, books, fossils, clothing, and artwork, each showcasing a unique element of Wyoming history.

The winning artifacts are:

  1. Natrona County Public Library, Casper. Original Wyoming Flag designed by Verna Keyes.
  2. Tate Geological Museum, Casper. “Dee” the Mammoth.
  3. American Heritage Center/UW. Bridger-Collins Map, 1863, depicting area destined to become Wyoming.
  4. Whitney Art Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West. “The Last of the Buffalo” by Albert Bierstadt, 1899.
  5. Campbell County Rockpile Museum. Sheepwagon made by Frank George, Gillette.
  6. UW Geological Museum. Brontosaurus Skeleton excavated by Charles W. Gilmore.
  7. UW Archaeological Repository. Four Clovis Projectile Points collected during excavation of the Colby Site.
  8. Plains Indian Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Eighteen ration tickets used in 1905 by Arapaho families on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
  9. Museum of the Mountain Man, Pinedale. Two rare glass plate stereo views circa 1859 by Albert Bierstadt.
  10. South Pass City State Historic Site. Timber Framed, 10 Stamp California Quartz Mill.

See all the winners at
www-lib.uwyo.edu/wyoming/top_ten_historical_artifacts/T10WinnerTmb.cfm.

WSHS President Tamsen Hert said, “This was such a successful campaign that plans are already in the works for 2016. Stay on the look-out and start thinking now about the ‘unique and unusual’ artifacts held by museums, libraries and archives around the state.”

More information about the society, a non-profit membership driven educational organization, can be found at www.wyshs.org.

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