Old Stoney gets a second chance - KOTA Territory News

Old Stoney gets a second chance

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An 89-year old building that used to be the Crook County High School is getting a second chance, but the building could also bring a second chance to the community.

Old Stoney is one of the oldest buildings standing in Sundance, Wyoming and some believe it is one of the grandest.

"The creaky floors, the big windows, the 14 foot tall ceilings, to even try to reproduce it would be impossible," said Crook County Museum Director Rocky Courchaine.

So instead of trying to rebuilding Old Stoney, the Crook County Museum Board is fixing it up. But after five years of fundraising and applying for grants they are still about $2.5 short.

"It's been a lot of work, and there's been not that much support," said Crook County Museum Executive Secretary Martha Keith.

But the vision of what Old Stoney once was and what it could be keeps the group pushing on. "There's a different feel in this building than a new building," said Courchaine. "It's not a pole barn it's not one that's been slapped together."

The walls in Old Stoney are literally full of history. When they took them down to renovate, they found old love letters and Copenhagen cans hidden within. Courchaine who went to school in Old Stoney for a couple of years found his name still written above a coat hanger.

"This is your history," said Old Stoney Committee Chairman Pam Thompson. "I firmly believe if you lose the history you will lose your community."

The group hopes to not only put the Cook County Museum in Old Stoney, but also make it a cultural center."This building was built for the reason of bettering our community and I want to do that again," said Courchaine.

Old Stoney could house weddings. Concerts, poetry readings, art exhibits, and plays. "It's just an amazing building there is so many possibilities," said Thompson.

And for a small town with not much going on, the group hopes it will be what brings activity back to Sundance. "It still could be an economic value that could help save the community because they need it you need something to bring people in," said Thompson.

"It will be a great place to bring your family to," said Courchaine. "It's a gem this is our jewel of the county."

The next step is replacing the windows, and then start fundraising for an elevator. The museum board hopes to restore Old Stoney to its former glory in the next three to five years.

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