After Lesley Wischmann joined Barbara Dobos in fighting to ensure that Martin's Cove remained in public hands, they decided to ask the Wyoming statewide historic preservation nonprofit for guidance and help. Except, to their surprise, they learned Wyoming was one of only 3 states without such an organization. Their experience with Martin's Cove, additional issues they could see looming, encouragement from other preservation professionals and a stubborn optimism led Dobos and Wischmann to undertake the challenge of building a statewide historic preservation nonprofit to protect Wyoming's special resources. Thus, the Alliance for Historic Wyoming was born around Dobos's dining room table. Soon after, Mary Humstone joined the board and we were off and running!
As Wyoming’s statewide historic preservation nonprofit organization, the Alliance for Historic Wyoming (AHW) is dedicated to protecting our historic and cultural resources in both the built and natural environments.
We work with individuals, organizations and state and local governments to identify the places that represent Wyoming’s history and culture, and take steps to ensure that these important places survive – respecting the story of past generations and enriching our lives for the future.
who we are
Our organization functions through the hard work and contributions of our executive director, board members, volunteers, and members. Our board is a diverse group of varied professions, experience and ages, who share a common commitment to ensuring that Wyoming’s historic places and spaces have a role in our future. We meet four times a year in different locations around the state and work together year-round via electronic communications.
We’re actively seeking interested candidates from all regions of the state. If you’re interested in taking your passion for historic places and spaces to a statewide level and working with engaged citizens on issues such as protecting historic landscapes, preserving and re-purposing historic schools and libraries, celebrating Wyoming’s historic places and empowering people to preserve their own historic buildings, let us know! Please give us a call or send an email so we can tell you more.
Christy Smith, Executive Director
Christy Smith’s passion for history began as kid where she grew up in eastern Nebraska. Her family vacations included visits to historic sites and museums across Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado. You could say these early experiences had an impact on her life! After high school, Christy earned an Anthropology degree from University of Northern Colorado and then a Masters in History from Fort Hays State University. She has over 15 years of experience as an archaeologist and 3 years as a museum director for a renown museum in southeastern Wyoming. Her professional experience reflects her personal passion for western history, heritage, and culture. Christy has had unique opportunities to collaborate with tribal and rural communities to document, preserve and protect historic places. She believes in the power of historic places, access to them, and their role in society. Christy looks forward to helping communities, organizations, and individuals identify their preservation goals and to achieve them.
Rin Kasckow, Preservation Programs Associate, graduated from the University of Wyoming where she majored in History with minors in African American and Diaspora Studies. She moved to Laramie in 2013 from Kansas. Rine is passionate about all things history and shows this in her work through volunteering within the community. She has volunteered with the Alliance for Historic Wyoming since 2015, and developed the Alliance's Diversity Initiative during a 2016 internship. She is now the lead researcher for the initiative, which works to highlight the places and spaces linked to minority history in Wyoming. Her most recent project for the Alliance for Historic Wyoming is researching places and spaces of Cheyenne's African American Community focusing on cultural landscapes and preservation.
Julia Stuble, President, has a Master's degree in American Studies from the University of Wyoming and specializes in open space issues. Julia volunteered with AHW's Historic Lands Initiative (HLI) Task Force before joining our board in October 2013. In April 2014, she took over the chairmanship of the HLI and became board president in 2016. Julia works for the Wyoming Outdoor Council in Lander.
Thom Tisthammer, Vice-President, of Fort Collins and Laramie is a native of Torrington and the founder and president of Wattle & Daub Contractors specializing in preservation projects. Wattle & Daub received the prestigious Governor's Award for Historic Preservation in 2009 for the restoration of the Ault High School in Ault, Colorado. Thom is a founding member of the Homesteader Museum in Torrington and serves on the board of the Poudre Landmarks Foundation in Fort Collins.
Andrea Graham, Secretary, of Laramie is a Folklife Specialist in the American Studies Program at the University of Wyoming where she conducts fieldwork statewide and produces public programs. She has worked for the Nevada Arts Council, the South Dakota Arts Council, and as an independent folklorist. Her research interests focus on rural Western communities, particularly material culture and occupational traditions. Andrea joined the AHW board in 2014.
Paul Irish, Treasurer, of Laramie is Vice-President of Commercial Loans with First Interstate Bank. Paul holds a Master of Science degree in Finance from the University of Wyoming. From 1979 to 1995, he was a noncommissioned officer with the U.S. Air Force which took him all over the United States and overseas. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Laramie Rotary Club and the Albany County Library Foundation.
Mary Humstone lives in Fort Collins, Colorado. She spent many years working for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Denver. She recently retired from her work at the University of Wyoming where she taught historic preservation in the American Studies Program. As a private preservation consultant, Mary is well known throughout the region for her attention to detail and her extensive understanding of all things preservation-related.
Patricia Ullery-Whitaker is a Wyoming native who currently resides on her family's ranch north of Kaycee, Wyoming. She has an extensive background in historic preservation, helping to spearhead the listing of Laramie's University Neighborhood Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Prior to returning to Wyoming in 2000, she also led the campaign to restore the Central City Opera House, Teller House Hotel, and numerous other historic residences in Central City, Colorado.
David Cunningham is the Director of the Meeteetse Museums in Meeteetse, Wyoming, and has served on the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund Board since 2014. David, who holds a Master’s Degree in History from Missouri State University, was part of Main Street Joplin’s Historic Preservation and Design Committee for many years. He is also past director of the Metcalfe Museum in Oklahoma and Taos Historic Museums in New Mexico, the latter consisting of the Ernest Blumenshein Home and Hacienda Martinez. In 2011, David moved to Wyoming from Canadian, Texas, where he worked on art and history projects for public and private organizations.
Craig Bromley of Lander recently retired from the Bureau of Land Management after a 36-year career as an archaeologist, advocating for the protection of prehistoric, historic, and tribal properties. Over the course of his career he worked and interacted with a variety of interest groups including archaeologists, historians, tribal elders, paleontologists, oil and gas companies, miners, ranchers, landowners, political entities, environmental organizations, and churches. Craig has worked tirelessly to protect the National Historic Trails and recently succeeded in establishing the largest trails protection corridor in the entire BLM.
Advisory Board Members
The advisory board provides an alternative way to be involved in AHW for those who are unable to serve on the board due to time commitments, conflicts of interest, expiration of board terms, etc. Advisory board members provide expertise to AHW and promote AHW’s mission and activities throughout Wyoming and may be called upon to intervene and/or advocate on behalf of AHW.
Kurt Dubbe of Jackson, Wyoming is a partner in Dubbe-Moulder Architects firm of Jackson. Born in Montana and raised in Virginia, Kurt received an architectural degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Master's of Architecture with an emphasis on historic preservation from the University of Minnesota. He currently serves as one of Wyoming's two state advisors to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Tom Rea of Casper, Wyoming grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has lived in Wyoming for more than 35 years. He holds degrees from Williams College and the University of Montana and worked for many years as a reporter and editor for the Casper Star-Tribune newspaper. He has authored several books and is currently the editor of the popular WyoHistory.org.
Hilery Lindmier was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming. A third generation graduate of Natrona County High School, she earned a BA in English, BFA in art and a MA in American Studies from UW. She has lived abroad in England and Germany and worked in marketing before becoming the AHW's first executive director. She now lives Laramie with her husband and two little girls, where she puts her historic preservation knowledge to use on her 1936 Tudor Revival home.
Katherine Wonson is the Director of the Western Center for Historic Preservation, the training and project arm of the Vanishing Treasures Program, located in Grand Teton National Park. Katherine came to the Vanishing Treasures program from Grand Teton National Park where she served as the cultural resources specialist, managing the park’s archeology, historic preservation, and cultural landscapes programs. Katherine currently serves as an advisory board member for the Alliance for Historic Wyoming and the president of the Teton County Historic Preservation Board. Katherine received her master’s degree from Columbia University in Historic Preservation in 2008 and an advanced certificate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011.
Edre Maier (AHW board member, 2011-2014) has been a driving force in historic preservation in Sheridan for many years. She served as president of the Sagebrush Community Art Center in Sheridan from 2010-2015. From 1994 to 2009, as board president, executive director and development director for the Sheridan Heritage Center Inc., Edre raised $1 million for the initial stabilization of the historic Sheridan Inn – a National Historic Landmark – and another $3 million for renovation of the Inn into a historic hotel. She established the Historic Sheridan Railroad District in cooperation with the University of Wyoming and founded and administered Sheridan’s Buffalo Bill Days. Edre also served as Board President and executive director of the Downtown Sheridan Association Inc. (Main Street Program). She established the Public Arts Committee with the City of Sheridan and the original Master Plan of Downtown Sheridan, and developed the downtown walking tour. Edre received her BS in Home Economics Education from the State University of New York, Plattsburgh and her MS in Interior Design & Housing from Oklahoma State University.