New foundation set as restoration of historic Moffat County School continues

Lou Wyman, left, and son David share a passion for restoring historical buildings for the Museum Lou Wyman founded in 2006.
Sasha Nelson/staff

If you go The Wyman Living History Museum founded by Lou Wyman, opened in August of 2006 features collections from throughout the west to showcase 100 years of American life, ingenuity, and advancement.

Where: Main entrance is four miles from Craig and about fifteen minutes drive from Hayden at 94350 Highway 40.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Closed on all major holidays.

Admission: Free, donations are welcome.

Info: Contact them by phone at 970-824-6346 or by e-mail:

CRAIG — A new foundation now supports the old Axial Basin School, which is being restored at the Wyman Living History Museum about three miles east of Craig.

“The school was the center of the community for years,” said Museum Founder Lou Wyman.

The school is a log building that was set on a native sandstone foundation and had a dirt roof.

Local Paul Little helped lay the concrete, and Accord Construction used a crane to set the old building on the new foundation early Wednesday morning.

Project manager David Wyman expects the school to be opened to the public in the spring of 2018 after they install sandstone cladding on the foundation to mimic the original, replace the dirt roof with a membrane and new dirt, replace the old dirt chinking and add historic fixtures to the interior.

They are seeking help to locate an old-fashioned chalkboard and old front door.

Lou Wyman thinks the school was built in 1893 by homesteader William “Bill” Taylor to provide a house of education for children around the settlement of Axial, Colorado, and the surrounding area, known as Axial Basin.

In July, the school was moved from its original location — on land now owned by Tri-State Generation & Transmission — to the museum as part of an agreement struck in 2015, which prevented the school from being destroyed, said Walt Proctor, a member of the Shaver family and one of the last people to attend the school before it closed in 1962.

During the past five months, the Wymans, museum staff and volunteers have spent countless hours on the meticulous preservation work.

“The stuff you do for money doesn’t last, as the money always goes, but working on a project like this creates memories that last,” David Wyman said.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or

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