Local Museum Showcases Living History

Basque Dancers. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff
Basque Dancers. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff
Faith van Dyke tries her hand at shooting (with blanks). Photo by Hannah Stepenoff
Faith van Dyke tries her hand at shooting (with blanks). Photo by Hannah Stepenoff

A local museum held a day full of living history demonstrations. Hannah Stepenoff has the details.


Fourth-grader Angel Vigil has been going to the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum Living History Day in Buffalo for three years, and she said she can't get enough. Every year she races to do the old time stamping demonstration, where people learn how to make stamps with dampened leather.

Children like Vigil were able to play an old fashioned 19th century gambling game called Faro, where they earned and lost candy. According to Richard Lenzer or Doc Fehr, who ran the game, Faro isn't popular in today's casinos because odds were in the player's favor and not the house.

But living history day was not just for kids, according to museum educator Jennifer Romanoski, the event which offers a snapshot in to the past offered people an opportunity to see the Basque dancers, watch nails being made by a real blacksmith and even see how riding chaps are made by hand.

Bryan Pickeral, owner of Pick's saddlery said he loves coming to the event and showing off his craft.

"Dr. Dumas" made an appearance with his skills in old-time medical theories like phrenology and he had a slew of elixirs that he was "selling."

He spouted off the benefits of these magic elixirs that could fix just about everything.

With a look in to all things old fashioned, young Vigil said she would not mind if she had been born a hundred or so years ago.

Here is a video of the Basque Dancers

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Photo by Hannah Stepenoff
Karen Kimutis teaches children how to make stamps with leather and a hammer. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff
Angel Vigil tries her hand at making stamps. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Bautista Jauneceota cooks some Basque lukainka representing the Big Horn Basque Club. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff
Bryan Pickeral makes some chaps for a 2-year-old. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
"Doc Fehr" deals a hand during a game of Faro. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
"Dr. Dumas" or Bruce Berst tells attendees all about his miracle elixir. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
Local blacksmith Dave Osmundsen takes a break from firing up some nails to talk to attendees. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
The Bozeman Trail Band kicked back and played some tunes as the event. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
The Bozeman Trail Band kicked back and played some tunes as the event. Photo by Hannah Stepenoff.
SheridanWyoming.com