The town of Laramie, WY, started out as a tent city where a stage coach passed through, and then later the first transcontinental railroad. It was organized in mid-1860, and grew to today's population of about 27,000. Much of this tremendous history of the city and the Western life around it are preserved in the Laramie Plains Museum.
The Museum itself is located in the Historic Ivinson Mansion. This home was built in 1892 and has been restored to house the museum artifacts. Tours through the museum are all guided and they take about an hour. The guides provide interesting information about the artifacts, as well as give historical information about the area.
The house itself has 23 different rooms and it is entirely decorated in Victorian Queen Anne style. The furniture, artwork, and all decorations are amazingly beautiful and reflect the magnificent past. Special displays deal with cowboys and Indians, sheep ranching, and more. The mansion was the theme for a special article in Victorian Homes magazine.
After living in their home for many years, the Ivinson family later donated the mansion to the Episcopalian Church. The Church turned it into a girl's home for a number of years, and then sold it in 1972 to the Laramie Plains Museum Association. The Mansion then became the home for the Museum in 1973.
The original carriage house now serves as the Business office of the museum and the gift shop, too. The gift shop sells items of Victorian style and also books that are of local interest. A number of historic items are also on display there.
Another building that was built on the property is called the Alice Hardie Stevens Center. When the mansion had become a home for girls, a separate building was made for the gymnasium and a dorm. Mrs. Stevens was the woman responsible to help prevent the building from becoming demolished. This building can be rented for your special event, wedding reception, or other activity. It has a commercial kitchen and some equipment. The East Lawn may also be rented, and the Museum can be rented, too, for a wedding, or similar event. Your event will need to be catered and many caterers in the area know and love the kitchen here.
After you see the Museum, you will also certainly want to take part in the many activities that are available in the area. Nearly any type of outdoor activity that you could think of can be found not far away. Outdoor activities include boating and fishing, hiking and biking, rock-climbing, scenic drives, and much more. You can also do some wildlife watching, and that means you might see black bears, coyotes, mountain lions, elk, deer and moose, and much more.
The Laramie Plains Museum in Laramie, WY is open all year around - except on Mondays. In the summer, it is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 AM until 5 PM, and on Sunday it is open from 1 to 4 PM. In the winter months it is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 4 PM. Discounts are given to students, members of the military, families, and seniors. The museum is not handicap accessible.
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