Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]
SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING — 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 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 27, 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.