preservationIndian Days of ’76 Rodeo

HIT: Indian high school students will be documenting Indian participation in the historic Days of ’76 Rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota, under the guidance of the Days of ’76 Museum, Rapid City School District’s Department of Indian Education and Black Hill State University’s Department of Indian Studies.

Students will be utilizing the museum’s rodeo archives as well as conducting oral histories in Rapid City and the Pine Ridge Reservation. The project is funded by the History Channel’s “Save Our History” grant.

If you have any material to contribute to this project, please contact the Days of ’76 Museum at 605-578-2872.

Old Mint Lease Approved

HIT: The 1874 Old Mint building and plaza will be restored by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society and opened as a history museum for the California city and bay area by spring of 2010.

Located on Fifth and Mission Streets, the 74,000-square foot Old Mint will become the home of a 32,000-square foot museum that will be the first of its kind dedicated to sharing how San Francisco came to be the city it is today.

Plans for the plaza include the San Francisco Visitor Center, an American Money museum and retail spaces, and it will be closed to automobile traffic.

To raise funds, the historical society issued a total of 600,000 commemorative coins—100,000 in gold and 500,000 in silver—with images of the Old Mint on the head side of the coin. Prices for silver were in the $33-40 range and gold, $220-230. They can be purchased at the U.S. Mint via or 800-872-6468, but the mint is expecting coins to be sold out by December. Other contributions can be made directly to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society at or 415-537-1105.

Closing Wilderness to Horses

MISS: The White River National Forest, located in Colorado and the nation’s largest national forest, is proposing a closure of horse and stock in parts of the forest. The closure would include keeping horses off of established trails. “Some hikers dislike encountering horses or even the evidence of horse use in wilderness areas,” states a forest service report.

Make your voices heard by writing to or sending a letter/fax to WRNF Travel Management Plan and DEIS c/o Content Analysis Group P.O. Box 2000 Bountiful, UT 84011 / Fax:  801-397-2601.

El Reno’s Main Street Wins

HIT: The rehabilitation of 109 historic buildings, 78 facades and the implementation of the Heritage Express Trolley, which shows off El Reno, Oklahoma’s rich rail heritage, has earned the city a Great American Main Street Award, presented in 2006 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The oil bust of the 1980s and the closure of the Rock Island Railroad Depot nearly doomed historic downtown, but citizens have been working hard since 1988 to bring El Reno’s heritage back to light.

El Reno is home to the 1875 Fort Reno, located four miles west on Route 66 and offers a historic post cemetery, the Canadian County Museum, which offers historic buildings such as General Sheridan’s cabin and the first Red Cross Canteen, and Heroes Plaza monument, which pays tribute to the men and women of Canadian County who gave their lives in 20th-century wars.

For more about El Reno’s historic commercial district and to find out how you can help out, visit or call 405-262-8888. For more information about the Main Street Awards program, visit or call 202-588-6129.

Fort Benton Center Opens

HIT: A grand opening was held last October for the Bureau of Land Management Interpretive Center in Montana. The center offers visitors the cultural and natural history of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument and surroundings, and it will also serve as a contact station for river floaters.

Open seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the center will offer exhibits on the Lewis and Clark and Nez Perce National Historic Trails. Exhibits will not duplicate any programs offered at other area museums.

The city of Fort Benton is assisting in the maintenance of the grounds, but the center is looking for volunteers during the summer season. To help out, call 406-622-5185.

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