Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit is Coming to Sweetwater County

Traveling Smithsonian Exhibit is Coming to Sweetwater County

“Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” a special Smithsonian exhibit, will open at the Green River Visitor Center on September 11.

GREEN RIVER — The Sweetwater County Historical Museum, in cooperation with Wyoming Humanities / thinkWy and the Smithsonian Institution, will soon present a special exhibit, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” in Green River.

The exhibit examines the evolving landscape of rural America, and will open at the Green River Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center on September 11. “Crossroads” will be on view through October 24.

The Sweetwater County Historical Museum and the communities of Sweetwater County were expressly chosen by Wyoming Humanities / thinkWY to host “Crossroads” as part of the Museum on Main Street program—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations.

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“Crossroads” explores how rural American communities changed in the 20th century. From sea to shining sea, the vast majority of the United States landscape remains rural with only 3.5 percent of the landmass considered urban. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans living in rural areas dropped from 60 percent to 17 percent. The exhibit looks at that remarkable societal change and how rural Americans responded.

The rich history of agricultural communities like Eden and Farson are an important aspect of life in the rural communities of Sweetwater County.

Advanced preparation for “Crossroads” was launched Tuesday with a virtual meeting hosted by Lucas Fralick of Wyoming Humanities / thinkWY, Dr. Bernadine Craft, Chair of Wyoming Humanities Board, and Representative Chad Banks of the Wyoming House of Representatives & Rock Springs URA Manager. It is their desire to have programs and events across the county to compliment the exhibit. In order to do so, they are inviting all organizations and communities countywide to participate.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Wyoming Humanities / ThinkWY, Rock Springs Historical Museum, Green River and Rock Springs Chambers of Commerce, Sweetwater County Library, Sweetwater County Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Green River Mayor Pete Rust, Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo, Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency, and Sweetwater County Historical Museum. These participants and others will be partnering to host speakers, musicians, exhibits and other events.

“‘Crossroads’ allows us to reflect on Sweetwater County’s history and how we got where we are today, but we are also excited to explore what the future may hold for our community,” said County Museum Director David Mead. “We want to convene conversations about what makes our community unique and develop local exhibitions and public programs to complement the Smithsonian exhibit.”

Life in rural historic Sweetwater County communities will be featured in the upcoming “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” exhibit at the Green River Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Here four kids pose with their dog in front of their family’s company housing in Superior in 1934.

In addition to Sweetwater County, “Crossroads” will tour five other communities in Wyoming through June 18, 2022; the Homesteaders Museum in Torrington, beginning October 2021, the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne, in January 2022, the Nicolaysen Museum at Casper College, February 2022, the Homesteader Museum in Powell, March 2022, and the Converse County Library in Douglas, May 2022.

The Green River Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center is located at 1155 W. Flaming Gorge Way in Green River. To learn more about “Crossroads” and other Museum on Main Street exhibitions, visit or call the Sweetwater County Historical Museum at (307) 872-6435.