Grants awarded to fix up Spear-O-Wigwam Ranch, stone construction buildings along Piney Creek

SHERIDAN — Grants from the Alliance for Historic Wyoming will benefit the Spear-O-Wigwam Ranch and stone construction buildings along Piney Creek.

According to a press release from the AHW, the Historic Architecture Assistance Fund grants will provide the Northern Wyoming Community College District with a detailed plan for rehabilitating two buildings at the mountain ranch and private property owners a plan to fix up stone structures along the creek.
The Spear-O-Wigwam Ranch near Sheridan is a former dude ranch which dates back to the early 1920s when most of its 16 log structures were built. In 1928, Ernest Hemingway completed his novel “A Farewell to Arms” on the campus and his name was lent to the cabin where he stayed.

In 2011, the Northern Wyoming Community College District purchased Spear-O-Wigwam for its Outdoor Leadership degree program and Outdoor Adventure Club, and to host outdoor learning experiences for elementary and secondary school students as well as the community at large.

Due to age and neglect, the “tipi-and-spear-shaped” main lodge and the Hemingway cabin are both in need of repair.

Spear-O-Wigwam manager Micah Olsen said the college is committed to the restoration of the buildings for use by students, educators and community members from Wyoming and across the country.
The stone barns on the Rule Ranch date from the turn of the century and are representative of stone construction found along Piney Creek near Sheridan. Lesley Gilmore of CTA Architects has been engaged to assess the barns, which have cracks in the walls and foundations, and to develop a plan for their repair.

The Rules are third generation ranchers with a love of agriculture and are excited to preserve the barns for both their usefulness and their historic significance. They currently live in a stone house on the property which they have been rehabilitating over the last few years.

Historic Architecture Assistance Fund grants connect historic preservation architects and engineers with historic building owners to address rehabilitation issues with a plan that both honors the building’s past and meets the owner’s future needs. The grants are available to all owners of historic buildings, including private property owners, nonprofit corporations and government agencies.

The grants are given for historic buildings (over 50 years of age) in need of rehabilitation, whose owners intend to maintain or restore the historic integrity of the property. Historic properties that have benefited from this program include Natrona County High School, the Sheridan County Fairgrounds, the Moulton Barn, the Old Shoshone Tribal Roads Office and the chimney at the Heart Mountain Internment Camp.
The next deadline for grant applications is April 15, 2013. Applications can be found on AHW’s website at www.historicwyoming.org.

This program is offered by AHW in partnership with Wyoming Main Street and the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office, and is made possible by a grant from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund. AHW is Wyoming’s only active statewide historic preservation nonprofit.

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