Torrington Museum Hosts Smithsonian Exhibit

Tuesday, February 06, 2018


Torrington’s Homesteaders Museum is currently hosting a world-class exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution. “The Way We Worked” explores American work culture over the past 150 years and runs through March 18.

The exhibit was made possible by the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street project, in partnership with the Wyoming Humanities Council. Museum on Main Street’s mission is to provide outreach to rural towns across the country, through its exhibits, educational resources and programming.

“The Way We Worked” features photos from the National Archives, artifacts and an educational narrative. Visitors can use their cell phones to participate in a guided tour of the exhibit. There are also opportunities for hands-on learning through flipbooks and interactive panels.

As part of a requirement for hosting the exhibit, the Homesteaders Museum is creating a local exhibit called “Trades, Toils and Tumbleweed,” that chronicles the rich history of work in Goshen County, from ranching and farming to factories.

Homesteaders Museum Director Sarah Chaires says the museum plans to collect a variety of photos, artifacts and oral history to enrich the local exhibit. She encourages residents to participate by sharing their stories.

The Homesteaders Museum is the first of five museums in the state to host “The Way We Worked.” The exhibit has been touring for 8 years and will be retired after it makes its way through Wyoming.

This isn’t the first time the Homesteaders Museum hosted such an exhibit. Three years ago, it participated in a competitive application and was selected to host an exhibit about American immigration and migration, called “Journey Stories.”

This time, Chaires says Museum on Main Street was the one to reach out. “About a year ago, they contacted us to see if we’d host another exhibit. We jumped on the opportunity,” she says. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for our community to have the exhibit, especially because they chose us this time.”

A grand opening occurred on February 1. Wyoming’s Director of Economic Diversification Strategy and Initiatives Jerimiah L. Rieman was on hand to talk about the status of Wyoming’s economy.

Chaires expects the exhibit to be a big attraction, as the last Smithsonian exhibit was. “We had a phenomenal response for the last one. There were a large number of school groups that came through as well as local organizations like the Rotary,” she says.

The museum is planning some programming and events related to “The Way We Worked.” Visit the museum Facebook page for more information.

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