The Museum is charged with the immense responsibility to tell the story of the Western legacy of Cheyenne Frontier Days and preserve the legends of Cheyenne – the city where it was born.
We must have the tools to preserve our Western heritage to share with generations to come.
To achieve national accreditation, sustain our holdings, present world-class histories and maintain a facility that protects these treasures right here in Cheyenne, the Museum will raise $9.5M to expand our facility.
Become a legend by adding your name to the legacy of pioneers, volunteers, cowboys and cowgirls who have made us what we are today.
Founded in 1978, the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum’s mission is to cultivate and preserve the Western legacy of Cheyenne Frontier Days. Privately funded, we strive to be an accredited, sustainable, culturally dynamic asset to the city of Cheyenne. We have grown to the point that currently, we d not have space to properly store, catalog, preserve, or grow our collection. To build on our success and provide additional educational opportunities for the community and its many visitors, we are expanding our building in order to provide increased space for exhibits, artifact storage and events.
Housed under the Cheyenne Frontier Days brand, the Museum is its own private nonprofit foundation – raising funds separately from Frontier Days.
Integrated into the Frontier Days Master Land Use Plan and located on the hallowed ground of the Daddy of ‘Em All, the Museum provides the year-round Western experience visitors crave.
The Museum is custodian of over 80,000 artifacts, a rich photographic archive, the largest and most diverse collection of Western carriages in the world and a permanent collection of Western art. Our exhibits capture the drama and romance from the first Frontier Day in 1897 to its present celebration.
What do vintage parade costumes, commemorative firearms, letters from our forefathers, frontier military history, wild buckin’ broncs, Native American heritage and the Union Pacific Railroad have in common? Cheyenne Frontier Days – where history is made and the Museum memorializes.
Stroll through the Museum’s interactive galleries and immerse yourself in the dust and glory of the first rodeo, the roar of the Thunderbirds, the color of the Indian Village dance, the pounding excitement of top Western performers and renowned Cheyenne hospitality.
123 years of Frontier Days celebration and 151 years of Cheyenne history are busting the seams of our current facility. Without space for exhibits, storage, dynamic arts and culture programs, we will not meet accreditation, preservation or exhibition goals.
Built in 1948 as a Cheyenne community pavilion, our building features no climate or humidity control and no professional collections storage area. The artifacts are suffering. We have reached capacity, which negatively affects long-term sustainability.
To increase year-round destination tourism in Cheyenne, we aim to unite a prized collection of 163 carriages to cultivate and present fine Western art, to tell the story of the largest outdoor Western celebration and to expand authentic interactive family experiences.
Digital art, music and film, layered technologies, altered reality and full immersion storytelling will entice visitors of all ages form around the world to experience the West as it is re-imagined year after year during the last 10 days of July.
Our goal to raise $9.5 million includes $6.5 million for new construction, $2 million for renovations and $1 million for a future operations endowment.
163 regional examples of horse drawn vehicles comprise the largest and most diverse Western carriage collection in the world.
Half of this collection is professionally restored and used annually to celebrate the history of Western transportation. Passengers dressed in vintage costumes parade down the streets of Old Cheyenne each Frontier Days.
The other half of the collection comprises rare and historically significant vehicles preserved to provide a record of life in Cheyenne’s early frontier.
Carriages are currently stored and dispersed across five different non-climate and non-humidity controlled locations including a local ranch barn, various Frontier Park locations, and in the Museum’s galleries. In the past, vehicles were stored in open air under the grandstands and in barn, garages and warehouses throughout Cheyenne, including an airport hangar. Generations of Frontier Days volunteers have taken great care of these horse-drawn vehicles.
A collection of this magnitude – and on of such high historic significance – is worthy of protecting and displaying all together. The expansion will allow this collection to be united and shown in full for the first time in history.
We can currently display only 65 carriages at one time and they are moved from gallery to gallery to accommodate children’s summer camps, Western art shows, Museum events and traveling exhibits. At times, carriages are moved out of the building entirely leaving only a small sample of the 20 that are too rare or fragile to move.
The Museum’s Western art collection captures the drama and romance of the people, wildlife, ranches, mountains and plains of the old and modern west.
For 40 years, the Western Art Show has celebrated traditional cowboy art – kicking off Frontier Days in July – and each spring, the Western Spirit Art Show brings respite from Wyoming’s long winter with contemporary color bust.
Patrons and donors built our permanent art collection over the past 40 years. The Museum actively collects and cultivates art to tell the rich history of Frontier Days and to foster imagination of the Western way of life.
We do not have a permanent art gallery and artwork is dispersed across our exhibits and collections space.
This expansion allows CFD Old West Museum to protect, display and grow this art collection year-round.
The CFD Hall of Fame is a permanent gallery showcasing individuals, livestock and organizations whose distinctive contributions to Cheyenne Frontier Days have grown a dream into “The Daddy of ’em All.”
With only 400 square feet to tell the story of 200 inductees, we currently use an interactive kiosk. While this is serviceable, we would prefer to show visitors artifacts like the bench signed by Chris Ledoux, Lane Frost’s felt hat, Dazee Bristol’s organ, the only black fringe Miss Frontier Buckskins, Princess Bluewaters’ regalia and champion trophy saddles.
From the rodeo’s emotion, passion and spirit of volunteers’ commitment and grit, it is an unparalleled event. Pancake breakfasts, parades, American Indian presentations, air shows and big-name Western entertainment fills Cheyenne Frontier Days with diversity, presence and significance.
“It’s the Cheyenne thing to do,” said 40-year old Bill Dubois. Expanded space will allow us to continue collecting and celebrating stories of countless volunteers.
For decades, CFD has represented Western mystique. The Museum stands on hallowed Frontier Park as a constant opportunity to experience all that makes this event special.
This interactive space includes camps and classes where children learn about and engage with Western culture and Cheyenne Frontier Days activities through technology and creative play.
Families will experience the West through the wind on the Ferris wheel, the rush of a rocking bull, writing cowboy poetry and crossing the prairie to Cheyenne for the Deadwood Stagecoach.
This full immersion, interactive gallery will include dedicated classroom space to support multi-generational learning activities, camps and art workshops.
An outdoor landscape will help children experience Western life and how Cheyenne and CFD came about with a replica schoolhouse, animal pens and an auditorium.
Cheyenne humbly began in 1867 as west-bound railroad tracks were laid here. Within 15 years, this Magic City of the Plains was the richest of its size in the world – combining urban and rural lifestyles. Early pioneer families and wealthy cattle barons broke ground to build Cheyenne, the city where Frontier Days was born.
This gallery in the Museum’s rotunda will tell of early settlers who established Cheyenne as a gateway west.
Lack of space prevents us from fully showcasing our Hell on Wheels frontier town, where Western characters of all kinds created a town known today as legendary Cheyenne.
Your generosity will not only help us expand our space and help us properly care for and maintain our exhibits, but also cement your legacy as an eternal member of the Cheyenne Frontier Days family – ensuring your names highlights a gallery that inspires and education people on the beauty, majesty and community of Cheyenne Frontier Days. We truly appreciate your gift.