About the Saratoga Museum and the Saratoga Historical and Cultural Association
The Saratoga Museum is housed in the town's original c. 1915 Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Originally placed in Saratoga for the Saratoga and Encampment (S&E) lines the goal of the rail line was to transport copper from Encampment and lumber from Saratoga. The depot is built just like many others and was built out of cedar wood to help it resist bugs and the harsh weather of Wyoming.
The museum opened in 1980 but is no longer on its original sight. When approached about opening the museum in the building Union Pacific agreed to donate the building but not the land it was on, the building had to be moved. In 1979 the depot was moved to its current home across from Shively airstrip and on the other side of the river. The museum is important in that it provides an opportunity to explore the Platte Valley and offers the ability to preserve local artifacts and history. In fact the museum is know for its exhibit on gems, minerals, and fossils from both Wyoming and the world. The displays are the most inclusive in Wyoming from Chinese jade to Diamonds found in Carbon County. The exhibit includes hundreds of specimens.
The Saratoga Historical and Cultural Association (SHCA) seeks to deepen understanding and engagement of the historic, prehistoric, geological, and cultural past up to the present of the town of Saratoga and its relevant place in Platte Valley, Carbon County, and the state of Wyoming; strengthen the bonds of the local community; and provide an educational, stimulating and positive experience for museum visitors.
Meet the Director
The Saratoga Museum Board of Directors has hired a familiar face to fill the position of Director. Kimberly Givens, who was employed by the Museum from 2012 to 2014 as the Director, has been hired again after being gone from the museum for several years.
Givens came to the Platte Valley from her home in Phoenix, Arizona eleven years ago to visit with friends in Encampment and liked the area so much she never left. She said she didn't know she had a love of history until she worked at the Encampment Museum and while there learned a lot about the people who pioneered the southern end of the valley.
That experience changed her perspective of museums and historical sites because it put a face on the history. She said she had visited (and still does visit) historical sites and museums on vacations and in the Phoenix area, but it didn't really seem personal until she worked at the Encampment Museum. Now she views history as the personal stories of the men, women and families who have pioneered the valley and looks forward to sharing that history with the visitors of the Saratoga Museum.
Director Givens' educational background is as an administrative assistant and she said she is proud of her organizational skills. She said she missed seeing the locals and working with the museum docents and young people. The new director has goals to increase docent support and to increase the membership. She said her focus will be on "doing things the right way, utilizing best practice standards" as far as curation goes and to continue to build and display the museum's exhibits in effective ways.
Director Givens plans to continue the best traditions of the Saratoga Museum, including the annual Wine tasting fund raiser and membership drive scheduled for Feb. 16; an annual meeting for members, an opening weekend celebration and lots of summer events. Another event Givens hopes will become a regular family event is the Hunt for History April 13th. She is reinstating the Golf Scramble June 1st, the Farmers market/Craft Fair will be at the museum this summer. Summer camps with Linda Fisher-Perue will continue to engage children with summer art projects.
Members of the Board
The Museum is currently seeking this someone to fill this board position. If you are interested, please inquire.
Rev. Steven R. Niccolls - President
Steve spent most of his life in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent 28 years teaching Social Studies at the secondary level. In November 2015 Steve became an ordained minister and, with his wife Emily, moved to Saratoga where he is the pastor of the Presbyterian Church (the second oldest church in town). Besides serving on the Museum Board, in his spare time Steve enjoys refereeing high school sports and trying to improve his golf game.
Linda Fisher-Perue - Secretary
Since she is a retired visual and culinary arts teacher, “people loving learning” is an ever-present idealism in her world. Through the SH&CA, she hopes to continue presenting, to all ages, the opportunities to learn about and appreciate the historical and cultural importance of the arts to add relaxation and beauty to their lives.
Connie Patterson - Vice President
Connie Everist Patterson is a new Museum Board director and is a native of Saratoga. Although her family left the valley in 1968, Connie returned in the summers to spend time with her grandparents. Connie met her husband Mike during one of those summer vacations and they were married several years later and have since made Saratoga their home.
Connie and Mike have owned and operated Hack's Tackle since 1993 and will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the business with a party later this summer. Connie loves Saratoga and its history. She is excited about serving on the SH&CA Board.
Sherry MacKay is a native of Saratoga and brings five college degrees and a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Saratoga Museum board. Sherry has degrees in history, archaeology, art, art history and computer programming all of which are of tremendous value as a Saratoga Museum board member.
Sherry worked for IBM for 20 years and then returned to school to earn her teaching certification and worked as a teacher in Carbon County District #2 schools for 24 years.
Sherry volunteers many hours at the museum, following the procedures for proper cataloging and accessioning of donated items.
She said her favorite aspect of being on the Saratoga Museum Board is that of story teller. She knows the history of many museum items and has a lifetime of fun tales with which to regale visitors.
The Saratoga Museum is currently seeking volunteer Board Members. This is a wonderful opportunity to be involved, serve our mission and make great things happen in the community! Please contact the Saratoga Museum Director at 307-326-5511 for more information.
The Saratoga Museum is able to remain open thanks to amazing volunteers and docents. Their hard work allows us to have events and daily operations. We are always looking for assistance. If you would like to volunteer (even is only for a couple of hours), please contact the Museum Director at 307-326-5511.