Best of Moffat County: Wyman’s Museum wins best tourist attraction
June 28, 2013
In 1949, Lou Wyman bought a 1932 Lincoln town car, which would become the first of thousands of collectables he has bought or had donated throughout the years.
Nearly 56 years later, Wyman decided he wanted to protect his vast collection from being sold at auction after he passes away, so he created a nonprofit business and started a museum. Eight years later, that museum has become one of the treasures of Northwest Colorado.
The Wyman Museum was voted the best tourist attraction in Moffat County this year. With its wide variety of everything from old-time cars to trinkets from yesteryear, it has grown in popularity in Craig, Moffat County and for those driving through the area to see it's M47 Korean War-era tank out front from afar on U.S. Highway 40.
"It's wonderful that people feel that way," Wyman said. "I started collecting old cars in 1950 and didn't envision it ever being like this. We don't charge admission here, so the only pay we get is if somebody comes in and says they liked it. We really appreciate this."
Since the museum opened to the public in August 2006, it has grown significantly. It started as just the main building, but through donations and more collection throughout the years, has gained a blacksmith shop, pagoda store, icehouse and, of course, the tank. It also is home to the elk JR, who replaced Clyde as the museum's mascot this year.
"It started out with things just sitting here," Wyman said referring to the main building. "Now the purpose has changed over the years, but the community has been real good to us."
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The museum is part-collection, part-donation. The blacksmith's shop and pagoda store were both donations from other parts of Colorado. Many hunters have donated the results of their hunts for the trophy room upstairs, giving the museum a community feel, Wyman said.
But making it the community's place was the design since the beginning, said Nicky Boulger, who has been heavily involved with all the museum's activities since 2005.
Lou “said he wanted to build it for the community," Boulger said. "He said, 'I don't own it, it's for the community,' so that's what we've tried to do since we've been here."
Wyman's also has fostered its place in the community by hosting community events. With Wyman's Winter Festival being the flagship event, the museum utilizes its space for more than just visitors hoping to see some old-time artifacts. It's another reason the museum now is known as the best in Moffat County.
"We like having people being able to use it," Wyman said. "The purpose has changed a bit over the years, but the community has always been really good to us."
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org