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!
AHW Major Accomplishments and timeline
Build our staff: Christy Smith, a professional archaeologist who most recently managed the Grand Encampment Museum, joined AHW as executive director in May. Working with Christy is preservation programs assistant Rin Kasckow. Thanks to the Spaugh Hilsmann Fund and the UW American Studies Program, AHW also hired UW undergrad Cameron Weishoff as a summer intern to help with technical assistance and programming.
Advocacy: Defended the National Historic Preservation Act to a state legislative committee. We also advocated for the protection of Oregon-California-Mormon National Historic Trails when threatened by oil and gas leases.
Peabody Ridge Interpretive Site: Worked with the BLM on interpretation of a historic site overlooking the Oregon-California-Mormon National Historic Trails.
Cowboy Carnegies: Promoted preservation of historic libraries with an exhibit and presentation at the University of Wyoming and in Casper, Thermopolis, Wheatland, Torrington, Ten Sleep, and Worland.
“Preserving the Character of Your Community” workshop: Presented a preservation workshop for architects, contractors, building and business owners, city and county officials and staff and the general public in downtown Sheridan.
Bar BC: Partnered with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation to support preservation work at the historic Bar BC Dude Ranch. Extensive stabilization work on two of the most important buildings on the site was completed this summer.
Historic Architecture Assistance Fund: Supported Casper Housing Authority’s project to repurpose the historic Roosevelt School in Casper as a hub of services for veterans.
Completed traveling exhibit on Wyoming Carnegie libraries with funding from Wyoming Humanities Council. Exhibit has so far toured to Laramie, Rock Springs, Evanston, Lusk, Newcastle, Lander, and Cody with public presentations at each site. It was also displayed at the Preserve Wyoming Conference in Rock Springs and the Wyoming Business Alliance Conference in Cheyenne.
Provided comments on Grand Teton National Park Historic Resources Management Plan, including gathering 180 signatures on a petition to save Sky Ranch, a National Register-eligible vacation property built in 1952.
In partnership with Sheridan College, held a hands-on workshop on repair and maintenance of historic log buildings for 40 participants at Spear-O-Wigwam Mountain Campus in the Bighorn Mountains west of Sheridan. Log expert Harrison Goodall was the workshop leader. We also held a ceremony to mark the listing of the property on the National Register of Historic Places.
Intern Rine Kasckow establishes Diversity Initiative
Organized primarily by intern Rine Kasckow, AHW held an Unbarred tour of F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, specifically celebrating the history of Buffalo Soldiers and African Americans in the military.
Successfully nominated Dean Morgan Junior High School in Casper to the National Register of Historic Places, and held a “This Place Matters” event at the school to celebrate the listing.
AHW staff presents to city planners from around the state at the Wyoming Planning Association conference about the importance of balancing preservation with development.
AHW staff presents to local school children in Laramie about the importance of place and encouraged kids to think about why they love their school building.
Hosted two UNBARRED events (Piney Creek & Sweetwater County). These tours provide participants with the opportunity to visit historic sites statewide, with expert tours and discussions of current preservation issues.
With funding from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, awarded $77,840 in architectural services to 20 local preservation projects in cities, towns and rural areas through the Historic Architecture Assistance Program (multi-year).
Hosted two fundraising events.
Luke Anderson hired as Preservation Programs Assistant
Held two hands-on building conservation workshops for owners of historic buildings.
Expanded More than Mortar campaign to include more than just historic schools.
AHW joins Conservation Lands Foundation as part of Friends Grassroots Network.
Partnered with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office to present annual Preserve Wyoming conferences in different locations around the state.
Promoted historic preservation projects from throughout Wyoming, through AHW’s website, Facebook page, email news and printed newsletter.
Carly-Ann Anderson hired to replace Hilery Lindmier as Executive Director.
Entered into Cooperative Service Agreement with Grand Teton National Park.
UNBARRED event at Castle Gardens.
Launched partnership program for organizations.
Successfully campaigned to halt demolition of the Wyoming School for the Deaf, a 1960s-era school building in Casper with significance in education of the state’s hearing-impaired students, as well as mid-century modern architecture.
Created and distributed 100 More than Mortar Teacher’s Resource Kits, funded by a grant from the Flying V Fund through the Wyoming Community Foundation. Designed especially for Wyoming elementary school teachers, this kit provides lesson plans, interactive exercises and resource materials for teaching students about architecture, historic preservation and sustainability while giving them an opportunity to practice reading, writing and math skills.
AHW launched Historic Landscapes Initiative to promote creative and innovative mitigation ideas to address impacts of mega-energy projects on historic landscapes.
Launched More Than Mortar: Wyoming’s Historic School Buildings to honor the legacy of Wyoming’s historic schools and encourage their preservation and continued use. Worked with the School Facilities Commission; provided targeted assistance to about a dozen threatened historic schools in the state; collected case studies of successful school preservation and re-purposing; and developed a toolkit to help community members preserve their school buildings.
Historic Architecture Assistance Fund program, funded by a Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund grant, allows AHW to provide architectural services for local preservation projects in cities, towns and rural areas.
UNBARRED events held at POW Officer’s Club, Douglas, and Carbon.
AHW presents new concepts for landscape preservation at Preserve Wyoming conference in Pinedale.
New website design launched.
Carly-Ann Anderson hired on as Preservation Specialist.
Executive Director attends Fundraising School at Indiana University.
Board member Mary Humstone presents on historic schools at the annual Preserve Wyoming conference.
First UNBARRED event is hosted by AHW at Gothberg Ranch.
New website design is unveiled.
AHW hosts house party at Snowy Range Lodge.
Alliance for Historic Wyoming pioneers new approach to mitigation (NEPA-level off-site compensatory mitigation) with their Historic Landscapes Initiative.
Hilery Lindmier hired as first Executive Director.
Funded by a Peter H. Brink Leadership Foundation grant, board receives mentorship training from Chere Jiusto from the Montana Preservation Alliance.
AHW arranged mass display of support for Natrona County High School with a “This Place Matters” event.
AHW, partner in Pinedale Anticline mitigation working group, celebrates innovative mitigation of acquiring New Fork River Historic Park along Lander Road for public use.
Founding members recognized in American Cowboy article entitled “15 Westerners to Watch.”
Drafted first strategic plan.
Began branding the organization with professional logo and brochure.
Campaigned to ensure that Natrona County High School in Casper was retained as a high school, and that the historic building be preserved as part of future renovation and expansion. Coordinated mass display of support for Natrona County High with a “This Place Matters” event.
Board grows from five to nine members.
Greater South Pass Historic Landscape campaign is launched.
First historic schools campaign is launched.
Statewide needs assessment is conducted by the Alliance for Historic Wyoming.
Position paper is drafted encouraging renovation and continued use of Natrona County High School.
AHW reaches out to candidates for Natrona County school board, hoping to sway them to pro-preservation policies.
AHW organizes event at Independence Rock to honor Gaynell and Norm Park for their contributions.
Educational materials distributed by the Alliance to Wyoming legislators.
501(c)(3) status is granted from IRS.
AHW receives grant from Wyoming Conservation Voters, enabling it to join Public News Service.
Grant is received from National Trust for Historic Preservation to revamp website.
AHW works with OCTA to circulate petition to protect Greater South Pass Historic Landscape.
First board meeting is held in Casper.
AHW participates in week-long survey of South Pass region.
Dobos and Wischmann lay groundwork for organization, compiling initial list of supporters.
Certificate of Incorporation for the Alliance for Historic Wyoming granted by the State of Wyoming.
First Board of Directors for the Alliance for Historic Wyoming is seated, consisting of Barbara Dobos (Casper), Lesley Wischmann (Laramie), Jason Marsden (Casper), Mary Humstone (Ft. Collins, CO) and Tom Bell (Lander).