Grand opening Buckhorn Info. Center
A project six years in the making was recently completed and honored with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Buckhorn Information Center which sits at the junction of the road which heads to the Wedge and the site of the Buckhorn well is complete.
The Emery County Business Chamber hosted the ribbon cutting. Mike McCandless is the chairman for the Emery County Travel Bureau. This was their project along with help from partners. McCandless said, "The restroom facility went in first. The Utah State Parks funding paid for the restroom. We worked with the BLM on the right of way for the project and the archaeological clearance which took a year. The BLM paid for the picnic tables under the pavilions."
McCandless gave special thanks to the Emery County Road Department. They did all of the grading on the location to smooth things out and make it level for parking and camping. A layer of gravel helps the area from getting too muddy.
McCandless said the money for the project came from the travel bureau and the transient room tax money which is collected from lodging establishments in the county. So basically dollars from tourists paid for the facility. McCandless said, "This facility will add value and tell visitors our story. The facility was staffed for the first time over Easter. It will be staffed on all the holiday weekends with brochures and maps.
Not part of the original plan but added to the facility is a fire pit, flag pole and seating for lectures or other activities.
McCandless stressed the fact that the facility is a joint project involving the Bureau of Land Management, the Emery County Travel Bureau and the county. Jones and Demille purchased the material for the benches and the contractor installed them.
Emery County owns the Buckhorn Information Center. The information center will be manned by volunteers on major holiday weekends to pass out maps and travel information and to answer any questions visitors may have. The county would welcome volunteers that would like to host at the location at other times as well. The building has been designed to be an unattended source of information because it has a large amount of information available to visitors. When a host is present they can sit at the roll down window and answer questions and hand out materials to visitors.
Gale Anderson has the contract for cleaning the Buckhorn Information Center restrooms and it's reported he does an outstanding job keeping the restrooms stocked and clean.
The information kiosks at the Buckhorn Information center were designed by Interpretive Graphics. The kiosks contain information about Emery County and surrounding areas. They contain colorful panels with narratives about various attractions and things to do in the county.
Security cameras are in place at the new information center.
Another historical aspect of the location is the Buckhorn pumphouse. The pumphouse has been used by cattlemen in the area for many years and it's been located at the intersection on the Buckhorn road.
Val Payne was concerned that with the new improvements to the site, the historical pumphouse would be torn down and discarded. He views the pumphouse as an important part of the history of the Swell and a cultural and historic piece of history. His idea was to incorporate the pumphouse into the visitor's center. He wanted a kiosk explaining how the pump worked and the history of grazing on the Swell. This aspect will help educate visitors to the importance of grazing on the Swell.
The pump is now on display and the pumphouse will be on display with three quarters of the original cinder block building in place so it will show the pump jack. The historic door will also be on display. Old time cowboys signed and dated the door and those historic signatures are still visible. When the pump was run by gasoline, the cowboys would take turns maintaining the pump and keeping it filled with gasoline so it would keep pumping water. They would visit the pump before and after their shifts in the coal mine so the pump would keep pumping the water for the cows in the area. This intersection has been a popular gathering place for cattle.
The rock barrier around the restroom was installed by the BLM.
Modern Construction is the company which constructed the information building at the Buckhorn Information Center.
Another project at this location is the large cut-outs depicting travelers on the historic Spanish Trail. Artist Eldon Holmes is constructing these silhouettes. This project is sponsored by the Emery County Historic preservation committee.
Another location for the silhouettes will be at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River. Other locations may be added in the future.