Community Building - Cowley, WY
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 44° 52.934 W 108° 28.080
12T E 699969 N 4972987
Quick Description: A 1936 Works Progress Administration project, this large log structure, once a school gymnasium and community hall, is today a gymnasium and community hall, no longer directly associated with a school.
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 4/8/2019 10:35:31 PM
Waymark Code: WM10BPM
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 0

Long Description:
When passing through the little town of Cowley, Wyoming the writers of the American Guide Series book, Wyoming, a Guide to its History, Highways, and People, made particular note of the Cowley Academy and this, the Community Building, now used exclusively as a gymnasium.
The COMMUNITY BUILDING (1936), a large, squat peeled-log structure in the center of the block, provides recreational facilities for young people, whose Mutual Improvement Association sponsors regional contests in debating, story-telling, athletics, dramatics, and other activities. The outstanding event each year is the Gold and Green Ball (open to the public), usually held in January or February. The dance is different each year, and instructors are dispatched from church headquarters to the various wards to teach the music and intricate steps.
From Wyoming, a Guide to its History, Highways, and People, Page 340
While the Big Horn Academy was established in 1907 with the construction in Cowley of a stone schoolhouse, the present stone building wasn't constructed until 1916, at a cost of $40,000, replacing that original building. The academy was essentially dissolved in 1924 when the school was transferred to School District No. 28, thereafter to be known as the Cowley High School. The large log building beside the stone schoolhouse was a WPA project built for $10,000 in 1936 as a gymnasium for the school. Since its construction, however, the building has served the community as a community hall as well as a gymnasium.

When the school was closed in 1985 the gymnasium became solely a community hall. As the major meeting space for Cowley and surrounding towns, it has witnessed public meetings and events, political rallies, family gatherings, weddings and funerals, class reunions, dramatic productions, dances, and even prize fights. Although the log gym had been used for storage for many years, the Town of Cowley completed renovations in 2015 to make it available once again for community use. Baskets at each end of the large room, a painted court on the floor, fixed bleachers, and pendant light fixtures indicate its principal use as a basketball court, though the facility continues to host much more than athletic events.

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Book: Wyoming

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 340

Year Originally Published: 1941

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