The Meeteetse Museums is hosting a free tour of the mining town Kirwin on Saturday.

 Participants meet at the Meeteetse Museums at 8 a.m. to leave for the town at 8:30. There is no need to pre-register. 

The tour begins on site around 10:30 a.m. and will last until early afternoon. Anyone going on the tour should bring lunch, water and chairs. Due to the moisture the Absaroka Mountains have been receiving, mosquitos are out and about so bring bug spray. A high clearance vehicle is necessary for this tour as participants are expected to provide their own transportation to the town. Carpooling will be an option at the museum, but it is not guaranteed. 

The annual tour offers an up-close and personal look at the abandoned mining town located in the high Absaroka Mountains. Kirwin was founded in 1881 by William Kirwin and Harry Adams when they found gold, copper, silver and lead in the area during a hunting trip. Roughly twenty years later, the town had a population of over 200 people. At its peak, the stage ran from Meeteetse to Kirwin three days a week. The town had a general store, post office, and hotel but it was a dry community with no saloon. 

In February 1907, an avalanche swept down to the town from the north side of the valley, killing three people. The town never recovered from the avalanche and people drifted away. Tour participants will explore the storage-shop facilities, cabins, sheds, mining offices, various collapsed structures, assay office and machinery remaining at the location. 

This tour offers more living history. Tour participants will meet Grasshopper Bill, Miss Bethel Broadbent, a gold panner (who will do demonstrations of his techniques), and learn how to play popular games of the late 1800s. After learning about the town from some of its inhabitants, guests can join ecologist Kassy Skeen of the Shoshone National Forest Service on a river ecology tour. 

Tour participants may make the 1 mile hike to the site where Carl Dunrud was constructing a cabin for Amelia Earhart before her plane went down over the Pacific Ocean. Bear spray is recommended for anyone hiking in the area.

For more information contact or call the museum at (307) 868-2423.

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