Wyoming’s Top Ten Artifacts for 2016

Sep 29, 2016

Flag celebrating Wyoming's statehood, owned by the American Heritage Center.

Flag celebrating Wyoming’s statehood, owned by the American Heritage Center.

The votes are in, and the Top 10 Artifacts of Wyoming have been named for 2016.  Topping the list was Metzger’s Bugle, a flattened brass bugle from the Civil War era found on the Fetterman Fight battlefield in the 1880s, held by the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum.

Here’s the rest of the Top 10 list. (See the images on the UW Libraries website.) One of the state’s archives, the American Heritage Center, made the list with a Wyoming statehood flag.

  • Dubois Museum: Bowl. The Mountain Shoshone also known as the Sheep Eaters made steatite bowls from quarries located in several areas of Wyoming.
  • Brinton Museum: Artifact. Attributed to Two Leggings (ca. 1847-1923), Chief of the River Crows, this painted buffalo hide war shirt dates from c. 1870.
  • Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation: Artifact. This local granite river stone weights approximately 200 lbs. & measures roughly 19″H x 17″W x 16″D. It was hand-carved in 1942 by poet Taketaro Azeka, while he and his family were at “Heart Mountain.”
  • Fort Bridger State Historic Site: Artifact. James (Jim) Bridger’s powder horn: double curved horn Buffalo or steer horn. Shade of light brown and gold in color. Black sculptured plug/measure on front of horn, wooden plug in back.
  • University of Wyoming Archaeological Repository: Artifact. This Bison antiquus cow was found at the Agate Basin site in Niobrara County. It was considered to be an ancestor of today’s bison.
  • American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming: Artifact. This is a flag that was used in Laramie’s celebration of Wyoming’s statehood. It is an American flag with an additional star to represent Wyoming.
  • Wyoming State Museum: Painting. Hide painting created in 1931 by Charles Washakie, the youngest son of Chief Washakie of the Wind River Band of Shoshone.
  • Tate Geological Museum in Casper: Artifact. Ben’s Big Turtle- 50 million year old, fossilized soft-shelled turtle.
  • Saratoga Historical and Cultural Association: Artifact. This is a handmade keepsake box built by a prisoner of war held at the POW camp located at Ryan Park in the Medicine Bow Mountains (Snowy Range) of Carbon County, Wyoming.

Wyoming’s Most Significant Artifacts program was launched in 2015 by the Wyoming State Historical Society in partnership with the UW Libraries in celebration of 125 years of Wyoming Statehood and has become an annual effort. Its purpose is to provide recognition to the cultural institutions throughout Wyoming that preserve and provide access to collections that enhance our enjoyment and understanding of Wyoming’s heritage and provide ongoing learning and research opportunities.


If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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