The story of the Bighorn Canyon area involves diverse peoples, places, and cultures in one of the United States most stunning landscapes. This story has manifested itself in the site's extensive museum collection. This collection is crucial to the purpose stated by the park's enabling legislation for Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area "to preserve the scenic, scientific and historical resources."
The site's collection reflects the magnificent breadth of natural and cultural history in the area. Artifacts range from prehistoric times all the way up to the modern era when man and machinery transformed the canyon through the construction of the Yellowtail Dam. Today there are nearly 400,000 objects in the collection.
There are also over 133,000 archival documentary materials. These include rare books, photographs, reports, and memorabilia. One of the most amazing photos shows President Theodore Roosevelt on a ride with Doc Barry, the founder of Hillsboro and the Cedarvale Dude Ranch.
Some of the most extraordinary items in the collection include:
For inquiries regarding the park collections please contact Suika Rivett, Museum Technician at 307-548-5409 or e-mail us
Did You Know?
On August 1, 1867, a haying party of 25 soldiers and civilians held off the attacks of over 800 Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors in the hayfields 2 ½ miles northeast of Fort Smith. The outcome was a draw. The incident became known as the Hayfield Fight. More...