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Heritage center hosting spring open house Saturday

Apr 18, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Residents and visitors are invited to the Wind River Heritage Center spring open house this weekend for a cookout and birthday party for the late Jake Korell.

The local farmer, rancher, horse breeder, taxidermist and trapper died last year at the age of 98, but the WRHC continues to celebrate the day he was born.

Korell's birthday is April 22, but WRHC president Lew Diehl said the party was moved to the closest Saturday for convenience. It is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the WRHC, 1075 S. Federal Blvd., with food and drink provided from noon to 2 p.m.

Diehl said several of Korell's family members are expected to attend.

"He's got about 50 relatives within 500 miles or so of here," Diehl said. "(He has) nieces and nephews all over the place."

Korell was born in Nebraska, but his family moved to Wyoming when he was 2. He grew up on his family homestead in the Lingle-Torrington area before moving to Fremont County in 1936 with his wife, Martha. He had a passion for trapping, which he shared with the public during demonstrations at the annual 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous in Riverton.

Attendees at Saturday's event also can explore the WRHC and the "Shining Times" wax museum that opened last year. The displays portray the history of the area, including depictions of people who traveled with handcarts along the Mormon Trail through Fremont County.

Even the name of the museum is related to local history, Diehl said.

"That was the big deal for the mountain men, coming to have a 'shining time,'" he explained. "This was a terrific experience for them to come out here where they could live free."

For more information about the event, call the WRHC at 856-0706.

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