Located in Rock Springs Wyoming, the Rock Springs Historical Museum is housed in the town's former city hall. The building was constructed in 1894 and designed by Martin D. Kern (and two other architects) in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. The building is one of the last ones of this style remaining in southwest Wyoming. The museum preserves and educates the public about the pioneer and mining history of the state through rotating exhibits. Emphasis is placed on the coal mining industry and the diverse ethnic backgrounds of miners—Rock Springs earned the nickname "home of 56 nationalities." The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.


  • The Rock Springs Historical Museum, formerly the town's city hall.
    The Rock Springs Historical Museum, formerly the town's city hall.

Rock Springs started out as an overland staging outpost in 1861. In 1868, the Union Pacific Railroad reached the city and the coal mining industry began soon after. At its peak, the town had ten operating mines and became a leader in coal mining. The town's population grew and by 1888, town officials recognized that city hall (which would also house police and fire stations) was needed. The building served in these capacities until the early 1980s. 

The building was unoccupied until Rock Springs Centennial Celebration in 1988. The society's predecessor, the Centennial Museum, opened on June 4, 1988 after only a few months of planning and designing. Local residents loaned or donated artifacts volunteers created exhibits to show what it was like to live here in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Centennial Museum was a great success and plans were made to make it a permanent part of the city. In 1991-1992, the building was restored to its 1890s condition.

http://www.tourwyoming.com/things-to-do/arts-and-culture/rock-springs-historical-museum.html Kane, James. "City Hall," http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/80004053.pdf. 5-15-80.