County Museum prepares for special exhibit at Courthouse
Photo No. 1 - Formulating strategy for getting the Reynolds boat through the front doors at the Sweetwater County Courthouse. From left to right, Aidan Brady, Sweetwater County Historical Museum Public Engagement Coordinator; Alycia Luke, Uintah County Heritage Museum Assistant Curator; Randy Walker and Budd Allen, Sweetwater County Museum Board members; Dave Mead, Sweetwater County Historical Museum Director; Lana Fullbright, Uintah County Heritage Museum Curator; and Tammy Twitchell of Vernal, Utah.
Photo No. 2 - ...and through the Community Room door
Photo No. 3 - A.K. Reynolds running the rapids of the Green River
Photo No. 4 - A.K. and Ellen Reynolds in the 1950s
Photo No. 5 - A.K. Reynolds partnered with his brother-in-law, Mike Hallacy, and C.C. “Lug” Larsen, to build the two boats. In preparation for a special river expedition around 1950, they painted REYNOLDS-HALLACY EXPEDITION on the sides of both. They could carry the oarsman, two passengers, and about 700 pounds of gear and supplies in covered compartments
Photo No. 6 - Flaming Gorge Dam under construction. A total of six years was required to complete it. 502 feet high and 1,285 feet long, it contains Flaming Gorge, with a capacity of over 3.7 million acre-feet of water.
Photo No. 7 - President John F. Kennedy initiating the power startup of Flaming Gorge Dam on September 27, 1963
Photo No. 8 - Flaming Gorge Dam, 1964
(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - September 8, 2023) It was literally “all hands on deck” this week when Sweetwater County Historical Museum staff and board members, along with Uintah County Heritage Museum staff, carefully moved a vintage 17-foot boat into the Sweetwater County Courthouse for a special exhibit that opens this month.
The hand-built wooden boat was one of a pair that belonged to river guide and outfitter A.K. Reynolds, son of Green River Star publisher Adrian Reynolds. A.K. and his wife Ellen owned and operated a river-running service in the years before Flaming Gorge Dam was completed. In 2021, the Reynolds family donated the boats to the Uintah County Heritage Museum in Vernal, Utah. The boat in the courthouse exhibit is on long-term loan to the Sweetwater County Historical Museum.
The new exhibit’s theme is a dual commemoration; of Reynolds’s legacy and the building of Flaming Gorge Dam. In keeping with that theme, the exhibit will open on September 27th, which is the 60th anniversary of Flaming Gorge Dam going into operation. On that date in 1963, President John F. Kennedy stopped at the Salt Lake City Airport to dedicate the recently completed Flaming Gorge Dam. When the President pushed a buzzer on the podium, the sound was heard by telephone at the dam and Jean R. Walton, Project Construction Engineer, started the first generator and brought it to full speed.
The exhibit will feature Reynolds’s boat, photos from his river trips and other life events, plus photos of the construction and dedication of Flaming Gorge Dam. The exhibit will also include a continuous showing of the film Face Your Danger - The Story of A.K. Reynolds & the Cataract Boat, with footage from 1950s expeditions and the recent recovery of the boats and footage from the Bureau of Reclamation film Flaming Gorge.