Wyman Living History Museum offers years of Americana in collection
In the 1950s, Lou Wyman was a rancher with a knack for collecting rarities. Now, the 86-year-old boasts one of the finest collections of Americana anyone might muster.
“When we started, we figured all we’d do is have some musty ol’ stuff and people would see it,” Wyman said. “It’s evolved far beyond that since then.”
Wyman has been using his eye for collectibles to fund his own museum since 2005. Items he could buy cheap or those that were donated often sit for decades, seemingly forgotten until that one buyer shows who must have it.
Wyman said that cycle started with Wyman’s 1932 Lincoln, and it has culminated in the Wyman Living History Museum, voted Best Place to Take an Out-of-Town Guest.
“I got it in 1950, I think,” Wyman said of his first flip, the 1932 Lincoln. “I didn’t buy very much for a while after that. I got that for $15.”
Many years later, Wyman says he sold the Lincoln for several thousand dollars.
In addition to a battle tank and a collection of rare chainsaws to name a few highlights, an antique airplane hovers atop endless layers of American history.
Wyman’s property has so much antique farm equipment and some 10,000 square feet of stored vehicles and other rare local history, he’s decided to sell some rare trucks from the 1920s and 1940s that litter his ranch. About a dozen are lined up ready for passersby to see.
“That represents about a forth of them that we want to sell,” Wyman said.
When he isn’t helping give tours to the throngs of wide-eyed kids who often visit the museum on the field trips with Moffat County School District and other schools, Wyman manages a small army of volunteer and part-time mechanics, historians, and museum employees.
He also has a hand in restoring a rare 1915 Stevens Duryea made by the Stevens Arms company in Massachusetts.
Wyman said he’s been collecting the parts to restore the rare vehicle since the 1950s.
“It was the last year they made ‘em, and it was their biggest and best car,” Wyman said. “There’s nothing like it. The only thing that comes close as far as class would’ve been a Rolls Royce.”