The Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum has been a part of the Buffalo community since 1900 when Jim Gatchell opened a drugstore. The Buffalo Pharmacy was a stopping place for cowboys, lawmen, settlers, cattle barons, and famous army scouts. As a trusted friend of the region’s Native Americans, he received many gifts representing the culture including guns, war bonnets, tools, medicine bags, bows, arrows, and clothing. Soon local residents were donating mementos of Johnson County’s historic names, places, and events.
After Jim Gatchell’s death in 1954, his family generously donated his collection to the people of Johnson County with the provision that a museum be built to house it. After three years of fundraising the museum was established, and in 2002 the museum achieved national accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums.
In the early 1990s the museum hit hard times financially as Johnson County struggled with a declining economy. A group of community-minded individuals formed the Gatchell Museum Association, Inc. as a private non-profit organization with the mission of raising money for the future support of the museum. They have been building an endowment fund and supporting many museum projects ever since. One of their projects is offering membership to the museum.
Our museum is dedicated to sustaining the late Jim Gatchell’s vision of preserving the history of Johnson County, Wyoming, through the collection and conservation of related art and artifacts. We will develop interpretive exhibits, publications, and programs to help educate our visitors on the historical events that shaped modern-day Johnson County.
Become a nationally-recognized, community-supported museum for local and regional history.