The objective of the Washakie County Historic Preservation Commission (WCHPC), as designated by the County, is to pursue preservation related projects such as a survey of historic properties in our area; preparing National Register nominations and preparing and publishing historical materials for the education of the general public.
Our project is currently in two phases. Phase One, 2003-2004, focused on research. A property abstract database was created which catalogs all documented owners of any given property within Worland’s original plat. We have also research the old Worland newspaper, the Worland Grit, and have created a database of events and notable persons. Matched with historic photos and oral histories these two databases give us a huge amount of data to collate and organize when we build a comprehensive picture of Worland when it was incorporated.
Phase Two, 2004-2005, take the project to the next level. The search for historical information on the original town plat and public information meetings will continue. We will be adding a historic census and the cemetery records to our list of resources. One of the big projects for the year is the creation of an interactive computer program similar to a web page. This program will bring together the stories for each of the original town’s lots by linking pictures with stories and other historical information. We plan to display this computer program during such events as the trade fair, Culture Fest, and the County Fair. We also plan to take our program to the schools to show the students a unique view of Worland’s history. Additionally the Commission will be identifying several sites as prospective National Historic Register locations and working with community and civic leaders to begin preparations for Worland’s Centennial celebration in 2006.
Each year we compete for federal grant funds. These funds are based solely on the merits of our project and the amount is calculated entirely from the amount of cash match donations we have obtained through our own fund raising efforts.
The funding for the next grant cycle will be used to implement Phase Two. The first and foremost is the construction of the interactive computer program: scanning documents and photos, building the web pages, linking sites together and writing the narratives that tell the story of early Worland. The Commission has several computers which they plan to use during their computer demonstrations but they will need to be updated in order to run current software. The remainder of the funds will be spent on building exhibits, computers (equipped to handle tasks for graphic designers) and iPads for public display and the supplies needed to bring the exhibits and computer program to public demonstrations.
Our work is very important for the preservation of Worland’s history and cannot become a reality without the support of our community. This program will increase our community’s historical awareness in a fun, innovative way. Donations allow us to increase our request for assistance from the Federal government, allowing each dollar to stretch further.
We thank you in advance for your support of our project. This is an exciting endeavor and we are anxiously awaiting the time when we can share the story of Worland’s beginning with the public.