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Visiting the Northeastern Nevada Museum and Elko

Candy Moulton
Encampment, Wyo.
Candy MoultonThe Ruby Pony Express Station has been relocated to the museum in Elko.

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I went to the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko because I’d heard they had an extensive collection

of Will James art. Little did I know the museum had other wonderful exhibits, too.

Certainly the art by James is reason enough to stop at the museum. There are dozens of images created by the master horse artist (some would say he is the best, better even than Frederick Remington or Charles M. Russell) and the museum also has many first edition copies of James’ books.

The museum will host the Will James Society Annual Convention next October, and will have a special display of its James art and books in the Barrick and Red and Mary Ellis galleries beginning in September 2010.

But this museum has much more for you to enjoy. The geology and history galleries include bones from a 2 million-year-old American mastodon – now named Murray – that were discovered in nearby Spring Creek, Nev., plus a diverse range of historical items that include antique firearms, the original press of the local newspaper, the Elko Daily Free Press, furniture, clothing, a cultural artifacts from both Basque and American Indian heritage. One display includes G.S. Garcia saddles; another has saddles made by J.M. Capriola.

The museum hosts a cowboy gear show and sale, which is sponsored by J.M. Capriola and the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, where cowboy gear artisans from all over the world will be showing their wares. The show is exhibited in the Halleck Bar gallery from January 12 through February 9, with a lottery style sale that will be held during a reception on January 29.

Because Bing Crosby had a ranch north of Elko, he often spent time in the community as was recognized as an honorary mayor. The museum has several items that once belonged to Crosby, including his Levi tuxedo.

In the Wanamaker Wildlife Wing, you will find Nevada’s largest collection of wild animals from around the world. Jack and Francis Wanamaker donated most of the approximately 300 animals on display. One part of the exhibit includes animals all native to Nevada and the Great Basin. There are also animals from Africa such as giraffes, tigers and lions; plus polar bears and other species from the Arctic, as well as specimens from Australia, Asia, and all over North America.

A Pony Express station that once sat in Ruby Valley has been moved to the museum location and stands ready to give visitors a view of the posts used by that mail delivery system, which will begin an 18-month-long celebration of its 150 anniversary beginning in April 2010.

Of course Elko is well known for its annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering – the event that launched the entertainment genre to the world more than a quarter of a century ago. The gathering this year gets under way Jan. 23, and continues until the 30th. Among the dozens of performers who will take to the stages in Elko for the Gathering are Doris Daley, Baxter Black, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Linda Hussa, Henry Real Bird, Wallace McCrea, and of course Elko’s best known cowboy poet – Waddie Mitchell.

I went to the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko because I’d heard they had an extensive collection

of Will James art. Little did I know the museum had other wonderful exhibits, too.

Certainly the art by James is reason enough to stop at the museum. There are dozens of images created by the master horse artist (some would say he is the best, better even than Frederick Remington or Charles M. Russell) and the museum also has many first edition copies of James’ books.

The museum will host the Will James Society Annual Convention next October, and will have a special display of its James art and books in the Barrick and Red and Mary Ellis galleries beginning in September 2010.

But this museum has much more for you to enjoy. The geology and history galleries include bones from a 2 million-year-old American mastodon – now named Murray – that were discovered in nearby Spring Creek, Nev., plus a diverse range of historical items that include antique firearms, the original press of the local newspaper, the Elko Daily Free Press, furniture, clothing, a cultural artifacts from both Basque and American Indian heritage. One display includes G.S. Garcia saddles; another has saddles made by J.M. Capriola.

The museum hosts a cowboy gear show and sale, which is sponsored by J.M. Capriola and the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority, where cowboy gear artisans from all over the world will be showing their wares. The show is exhibited in the Halleck Bar gallery from January 12 through February 9, with a lottery style sale that will be held during a reception on January 29.

Because Bing Crosby had a ranch north of Elko, he often spent time in the community as was recognized as an honorary mayor. The museum has several items that once belonged to Crosby, including his Levi tuxedo.

In the Wanamaker Wildlife Wing, you will find Nevada’s largest collection of wild animals from around the world. Jack and Francis Wanamaker donated most of the approximately 300 animals on display. One part of the exhibit includes animals all native to Nevada and the Great Basin. There are also animals from Africa such as giraffes, tigers and lions; plus polar bears and other species from the Arctic, as well as specimens from Australia, Asia, and all over North America.

A Pony Express station that once sat in Ruby Valley has been moved to the museum location and stands ready to give visitors a view of the posts used by that mail delivery system, which will begin an 18-month-long celebration of its 150 anniversary beginning in April 2010.

Of course Elko is well known for its annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering – the event that launched the entertainment genre to the world more than a quarter of a century ago. The gathering this year gets under way Jan. 23, and continues until the 30th. Among the dozens of performers who will take to the stages in Elko for the Gathering are Doris Daley, Baxter Black, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Linda Hussa, Henry Real Bird, Wallace McCrea, and of course Elko’s best known cowboy poet – Waddie Mitchell.


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