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
Connie Patterson - President
Mark Shipp - Vice President
Terri Winter - Secretary
Sherry McKay - Treasurer
Cindy Kessler - Asst. Secretary/Treasurer
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.