The Vocational-Agricultural “VOAG” building was constructed as a shop project by the Encampment High School in 1935. It was used as the Vocational-Agricultural education classroom and shop until it was donated to the Museum in 1991. Today it houses various exhibits including George’s Hat Shop, The Lora Webb Nichols Photo Collection, The National Forest Service, the military exhibit, and Casto’s Rock Shop.
Did you know that the Grand Encampment Museum is the official US Forest Service repository for this region? That means we have many wonderful forest service items on display including an old Smokey the Bear costume, uniforms, tools, and maps
There is also a seismograph on display as part of the military exhibit. It dates from 1952 to 1974 when a secret Air Force detachment was in Encampment monitoring for seismic activity during the Cold War (1947-1991). The purpose was to see if they could tell if Russia was testing bombs. So cool
Our newest exhibit in this building is dedicated to Lora Webb Nichols. Lora was a photographer, poet, businesswoman, newspaperwoman, and mother who lived in Encampment. During her lifetime, she collected over 24,000 photos, which is thought to be the largest photo collection west of the Mississippi. This exhibit chronicles Lora’s life and displays some of her wonderful photos during Encampment’s early mining and ranching days.