1-29 Museum-Bear1While officially closed for the winter season, the White Pine Public Museum opened its doors briefly last week. It was just as well: a family of four made their way through the exhibits.

Treasurer of the museum board and former mining geologist Bill Wilson guided his guests.

Western American history abounds in the museum. There’s a horsehair coat, dozens of authentic saddles, Shoshone baskets and arrowheads, antique rifles and a cavalry knife. Hidden gems include a ceramic insulator from the Transcontinental Telegraph that replaced the Pony Express in 1864. 1-29 Museum-Guns1

More than half of the museum is devoted to one of Nevada’s founding industries, mining, and houses a vast array of geological specimens and antique mining equipment. It also prominently displays another state strength, natural history. The cast of the skeleton of a short-faced cave bear looms large over a room of taxidermized birds and wild cats, all of which undoubtedly yearn for kids to come in and look at them.

White Pine County Tourism and Recreation recently awarded the museum a $9,000 capital improvement grant for new LED lights in the display cabinets. The museum is currently seeking to hire a manager when they reopen in early spring. It is also asking for volunteers to assist when the season brings more visitors, and to serve on the board of directors.