10:50 a.m., April 16, 2013


The ol' Lummis-mobile:
This piece of history is owned and formerly operated by the Lummis family from the days when they ran a hardware store in old Cheyenne.

Kasey M. Orr, Co-editor

Lummis family, SkillsUSA work to restore piece of frontier history

They are repainting, repairing and restoring, but this time the SkillsUSA students at Laramie County Community College are working on a vehicle that dates to Cheyenne’s Wild West heyday: wagon used by a family as connected to the history of Cheyenne as it is to the college.

The Lummis family owns a great deal of the land around Cheyenne, including the area across from the college where the Sweetgrass development project is planned. The family’s land once included the property where LCCC now stands, a donation from the Lummis family upon the college’s inception.

Now Christine Lummis even sits on the LCCC Board of Trustees. This shared history makes the wagon restoration project being undertaken by the college’s SkillsUSA club a way for students to give back to one of the college’s longtime patron families.

The wagon came from the Arp and Hammond Hardware Co. owned by Lummis’ great-grandfather in old Cheyenne, and it definitely looks its age. The project will provide a number of challenges for the auto SkillsUSA students, headed by club president Tessa Brammer and supervising instructors Robert Benning and Jared Cooper.

Lummis serves as a liaison to the LCCC Foundation staff, SkillsUSA students and Ken Willis, Cheyenne Frontier Days’ “wagon doctor” and wheelwright, to take the Lummis family wagon and restore it to its original condition.

The SkillsUSA club has finished sanding and is ready to start repainting soon after a few fixes are made to the body of the wagon.

The project required an order of special lumber for the reconstruction of the wheels from Amish communities in New England, which will must be dried to adjust to the high altitude and climate of Wyoming before it will be handed over to Willis to construct new wheels.

With the hope of having the project completed by mid- to late-June, this wagon is more than just a hobby project. The plan is for the wagon, driven by Lummis and packed with representatives of LCCC, to represent the college in this year’s Cheyenne Frontier Days’ parades.

“Dr. Joe [Schaffer] is even going to be riding a horse,” said Lummis of the college’s president.

The Lummis family has a few older wagon trained horses that have “been retired for two years,” Lummis said. The horses will be brought out of retirement and trained and conditioned for the parades.

In order to keep readers up to speed on the progress of this labor of love, Wingspan will begin “The LCCC Lummis Wagon Watch.” We will update the progress of the wagon and LCCC SkillsUSA work on Wingspan Online between issues, so readers can see this antique of the Old West be brought back to life, step by step. Follow the journey here on Wingspan Online.