By Rine Kasckow
January 17, 2017
The Silver Star Camp located in Thayne, Wyoming was built in 1909 was built by the Ladies LDS Relief Society. The story of how the Relief Society got the building materials from Turnerville, Wyoming, varies, but one version suggests that the ladies of the group went themselves to pick up the supplies for construction. The ladies of LDS Relief Society never gave up on the idea of constructing this building, even though they were told that there was not enough money to support the project. The Society successfully raised the funds and did much of the work themselves to create the “Thayne Ward Relief Society” building.
In the 1950s, the LDS Church built a new and modern church, and the Relief Society moved to the new location. However, the building did not stay vacant. Until the 1950s, the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) had been meeting at member’s homes each month. When the Relief Society moved the land and building were signed over to the DUP group, giving them a consistent location for their meetings and allowing them to continue their community work. The DUP changed the name of the building to the Silver Star Camp.
Today the building still houses the still houses the DUP Silver Star Camp of the Lincoln County Company, an organization dedicated to honoring the names and achievements of the men, women, and children who founded Utah. They provide a broad scope of services, ranging from the preservation of historic landmarks to the education of thousands of school children and adults about their pioneer forebears.
Silver Star Camp sits at the edge of the parking lot for the LDS church in Thayne. The building is a one story, gable roof with original wood siding, exposed rafter tails, and decorative knee braces. A tin roof was put on in May 1960 by the DUP, who also painted the building white with green shutters. Two years later the inside, which is one meeting room, was wallpapered and painted. In 2017, the DUP was awarded a Historic Architecture Assistance Fund grant which matched them with Dubbe-Moulder to create a rehabilitation plan for the property. There are issues with the foundation subsiding in places and the roof and chimney need repair. Architect Kurt Dubbe said, “It is very clear to us that the building is capable of being stabilized and continued to be used. The property possesses a high degree of integrity of design, location, feeling, association, materials, and workmanship. We feel strongly that the Silver Star Camp be properly stabilized; giving it every reasonable opportunity to continue serving the community of Thayne and Wyoming.”
“As we continue to make improvements, we always preserve the original integrity of our building,” says Linda Holsan, 2nd Vice Captain in the Silver Star Camp.
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This project was funded in part by a Historic Architecture Assistance Fund and completed by Dubbe-Moulder Architects in Jackson. The program is offered by the Alliance for Historic Wyoming 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.
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