Aviation museum to open this week

by nathan oster

The trailer is in place, the sidewalks have been poured, the handicap-accessible ramps have been built and the effort to organize the exhibits has begun. All that remains in the effort to open the new aviation museum adjacent to the Greybull Rest Area is to install and swing open the gate to the public — and that is scheduled to take place later this week.

The Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce, the driving force behind the museum, is planning an open house from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 13. Anyone who would like to check out the museum and/or the five planes that are the featured attractions is invited to stop by during the open house, when admission fees will be waived.

Selena Brown, the chamber’s volunteer director, said she believes the museum will be a hit, particularly with tourists. “Just while we’ve been working out here, we’ve seen 50…75…100 people every single day who come up to the fence and take pictures of the planes,” she said. “And once we get this open, I’m going to contact the bust tour companies and see if they’d like to stop in.”

Brown said the museum will continue to be a work in progress.

Reacting to input received during the community assessment, the chamber and its board of directors saw the need for the museum and worked to make it a reality. Brown said it will continue to be a work in progress, noting that an effort is underway to procure more complete airplanes and helicopters as well as parts from them and that she hopes to eventually build on the aerial firefighting component of the that history.

The chamber is going to handle the staffing of the museum, as well, and is looking for volunteers who are willing to pitch in and share some of the area’s rich aviation history with the public.