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A Hidden Wonder: Newcastle Museum draws visitors from across the country

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Tales of early Wyoming come to life in Newcastle’s Anna Miller Museum exhibits, which are part of the Weston County Museum District. The museum collection, including the building it resides in, is full of Wyoming and Western history. 

Between 1933-36, the Wyoming Army National Guard 115th Cavalry built stables for their horses in Newcastle under the Works Project Administration, and since 1966, the stable site has been utilized by the Anna Miller Museum, which is operated by the Weston County Historical Society and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The one-story tall stable building features a rock-faced exterior constructed out of native 18-inch, hand-hewn sandstone blocks quarried from nearby Salt Creek. It significantly represents the National Guard’s important role in Newcastle’s community and Wyoming history.

Museum District Director Cindy Dysart says museum curators have gone to great lengths to preserve the building’s history as a cavalry stable. 

In 1996, when the Weston County Historic District was formed, it saved much of Newcastle’s history.

Cindy explains, “Anna Cecelia McMoran Miller, for whom the museum is named, was the daughter of pioneering parents and went on to serve as Newcastle’s first librarian, a schoolteacher and school superintendent.”

Today, visitors can travel back in time and experience the stable living quarters where the caretaker once lived, featuring a historic kitchen and living area and a unique photo collection of President Teddy Roosevelt’s historic 1903 visit to Newcastle.

Cindy notes, “The museum is open daily and free of charge to visitors passing through Newcastle.”

According to visitors, the museum hosts an exhibit featuring the ghost town of Cambria, once called the “Model Camp of the World,” as it served as a camp for coal miners in the area, and no saloons were allowed in the town. 

“The museum also has five rooms refurbished with antiques from the 1930s, as well as an exhibit of fossils,” Cindy adds. “Also on site are the Green Mountain Schoolhouse and the Jenney Stockade Cabin, the oldest remaining building from the Black Hills gold rush.”

Anna Miller

Cindy points out, “Miller, a pioneering daughter, was also the widow of Sheriff Billy Miller, who was killed in what is known as the last Native American battle in this area.”

According to state records, the couple was married in Crook County in 1887 and moved to Weston County in 1894. 

The couple operated a dairy near Cambria and sold milk, cream and other products to the miners in the camp. The community respected Billy, who ran for sheriff and assumed office in 1899.

“In 1903, Sheriff Miller was shot and killed at the Battle of Lightning Creek while attempting to arrest members of a Native American Tribe wanted for violating state game laws  and slaughtering livestock belonging to local ranchers,” Cindy explains.

A few years later, in 1905, Anna was elected Weston County superintendent and later became librarian when the library was in the old courthouse.

Weston County historical records cite Anna was a long-time member of the Twentieth Century Club, the first chief of the Pythian Sister’s Lodge, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and belonged to the Philanthropic Educational Organization Sisterhood.

In 1936, Anna became ill and later passed away in 1951, where she was buried beside Sherriff Miller in the Newcastle Cemetery.

In cooperation with School District One and Upton School District Seven, the museum provides exhibits and educational services for use in Wyoming’s elementary and secondary schools. It maintains an active presence in the community as a teaching institution.

For more information on the Anna Miller Museum, visit

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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