Fremont County, Iowa

Rodeo Museum
by Lona Lewis

View from the Attic ~ A Weekly Series
Fremont County Historical Society
Week of 29 September 2008

Its Time!

In the fall of 2006, the Fremont County Historical Society, the Sidney Rodeo Organization and the Legion Auxiliary started the process to build a Rodeo Museum. Now, two years later, the plans are made and funding is being secured. What’s needed now is to collect the Rodeo memorabilia that will help tell the story.

Exhibits will begin with the history of Wild West Shows and how they led to Rodeos. The specific story of the Sidney Rodeo and how it evolved from Chautauqua and veteran reunions is next. There will be displays about the outfits and the equipment needed by the cowboys to rodeo. The women of the Rodeo will have their section. The animals--bulls to bucking broncos-- will be celebrated. Rodeo Queens, Champion Cowboys and Rodeo Clowns will not be forgotten. The hospital and many of its stories will have a spot. Visitors will learn about the sport of rodeo and how the national PRCA Association runs the events. All kinds of rodeo items are needed to tell these stories.

Pictures and home movies can be loaned to be copied and returned. These will play an important role in the Museum. Plans are to digitize movies to help visitors relive the thrill of Rodeo performances. Some of the snapshots and postcards will become large posters.

The collecting of items begins Saturday, October 11 from 9:00 to 11:00 at the Great Western Bank in Sidney. Members of the organizing committee will be there to accept items for the Museum. Additional collection times will be on the second Saturday of November, January, February and March at the Great Western Bank.

The process of accepting an item for the museum is called “accessioning.” Each donor who brings in items is given a number and the items they give will have accessioning numbers under the donor’s heading. The number identifies the donating owner so proper credit can be made to the giver in an exhibit. The donor will be asked to provide any information they have on each donated item.

The collected items will be stored in the acclimatized, secure basement of the Great Western Bank until the Museum is built. Paper items donated will be put in acid-free plastic envelopes to ensure they do not deteriorate. Clothing will be put in acid-free boxes.

When the Museum is ready for exhibit construction, these items will be used for displays. Any of the collection not used in the first set of exhibits will be carefully stored and saved to use in the future. Additionally, the collection will be available to researchers, historians and interested citizens who can come to the Museum’s genealogy area to learn more about the history of the Sidney Rodeo.

The quality of the Rodeo Museum exhibits will be directly related to what it receives from the public. You can help make the Museum a huge success by sharing your treasures. It all begins on October 11, 2008 at the Great Western Bank in Sidney.

Return to View From the Attic Page

Return to Fremont County Home

Page updated on November 1, 2020 by Karyn Techau