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Seeking Guidance - Historic Site Restoration & Land Preservation - Wyoming

  • 1.  Seeking Guidance - Historic Site Restoration & Land Preservation - Wyoming

    Posted 03-04-2019 12:41


    I'm working the property owners of 1,300+ acres in Carbon County, Wyoming to explore opportunities to partner with organizations and/or funders to preserve this land and restore several historic structures on the National Register. We would welcome your advice/ideas as they consider their options. More details/background here:

    Property Details
    The historic property of Arlington Wyoming is located midway between Laramie and Rawlins, WY directly off the Interstate 80 interchange. The property includes a 40 acre historic site. It was once a pioneer crossing on the Overland Trail, an Overland Stage crossing and a Native American stopover on the way to the Medicine Bow Forest. The original settler's cabin from 1860 is on the site and the rest of the buildings testify to the history of the crossing. On the National Register site is a team barn, built by the piece sur piece method, a dance hall, blacksmith shop, the site of the Wildewood Inn, and other outbuildings that supported later ranch activities.

    The historic site adjoins the remaining property: 1,300 acres which was previously part of a ranching operation and includes the Rock Creek. The site runs up to the forest boundary.

    Historic Site Restoration
    Several of the historic buildings are in need of restoration to avoid collapse. The owners feel strongly that without the buildings, the site is greatly diminished and would be a loss for the state and the region. Recently, the Office of Historic Preservation State of Wyoming provided a small grant to have architects evaluate the historic structures. Their report identified imminent problems and a proposed plan of repair. The proposed measures require heavy manual labor and materials with an estimated cost of $100-250K to complete restoration across the site. The report noted that if the recommendations are not completed in the next few years serious signs of collapse will ensue.  

    Vision & Next Steps
    The owners hope that through partnerships they can preserve this land, restore the historic buildings, and find meaningful ways to open the site to members of the public.

    The owner's family have been stewards of the property and land for 95 years and are dedicated to preserving the land for future generations. That said, they are open to partnerships where the land and historic sites can inspire and benefit the people of the Wyoming and outside visitors. They have envisioned partnerships that would allow the site to be used for creative, art, and literature retreats, a venue for performances, a center for communities of faith or even home small enterprises such as beekeeping, wine making, and arts and crafts.

    They are currently collecting insights and suggestions from a number of organizations including land trusts, foundations, government, and historic preservation organizations. They welcome ideas and remain open to exploring partnerships to preserve this land and help restore these historic sites.

    Nick & Donna

  • 2.  RE: Seeking Guidance - Historic Site Restoration & Land Preservation - Wyoming

    Posted 03-06-2019 15:15
    Sounds like an interesting project … I love the mixed use ideas you have for next steps. A few thoughts:

    • You're reaching out to a lot of the appropriate people already, your SHPO, your local preservation groups. Have you involved community/civic organizations too? Getting the people in the community behind the effort will certainly help!
    • Here at the Trust we have a grants program, the fund that would probably be appropriate for your bricks/mortar work (Johanna Favrot Fund) just had a deadline, so unfortunately that won't be available again until next year. You mentioned houses of worship, we're partnering with Partners for Sacred Places on a fund for places of faith, so there may be some funding there for you (National Fund for Sacred Places). You can find out about both funds here -- Special Grant Programs.
    • Is the area in a rural setting? There are several organizations out there that focus on support and enhancing rural communities. NeighborWorks has a rural initiative and there's Rural LISC.
    Hope this helps start the ball rolling!


    Colleen Danz
    Forum Marketing Manager
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC