Lander’s Pioneer Museum and neighboring Museum of The American West cooperating again

(Lander, Wyo.) – The new director of the Fremont County Museum System, Scott Goetz of Lander, said the Pioneer Museum and the Museum of the American West’s Pioneer Village (MAW), located adjacent to each other on West Main Street, are now working cooperatively. Goetz took over administration of the county’s museums three months ago.

“We are separate museums but we are working more cooperatively with each other now. The museums are complementary to each other and benefit each other. It’s a relationship we are building on,” Goetz told the Lander Rotary Club on Wednesday.

Several buildings from MAW's Pioneer Village

Several buildings from MAW’s Pioneer Village. (eo)

The previous administration of the Pioneer Museum and the adjacent MAW were at loggerheads with each other for several years. That contentious relationship ended when the former Pioneer Museum Director was released by the county.

Several MAW Representatives at the meeting agreed with Goetz. “MAW bought the land (for the Pioneer Museum) and donated it to the county,” said Jim Corbett. “We were always interested in a seamless operation, much like what we have now. We are looking forward to an ongoing relationship.”

Goetz said the Pioneer Museum recently lent an item from its collection for an exhibit at the MAW, which both parties agreed was a breakthrough event. See that story here. 

MAW Board member Ben Weeks said his organization wants both museums to succeed. “It is mutually beneficial,” he said.

Fremont County Museums Board Member Carol Chidsey said the new organizational chart for the Fremont County Museums is allowing one administrator for the three county museums, while each stand alone museum will have its own curator. “A lot of Wyoming’s history comes through our county and it’s nice to hear updates from one director so the board is not micro-managing.”