Like the intrepid cowboys and pioneers it honors, the Frontier Times Museum boasts a backstory rife with tall tales and valiant triumphs. It all started in the late 1920, when writer and publisher J. Marvin Hunter began selling newspapers and magazines that recounted the sagas of the storied Old West. Readers enthralled by the sagas would send in relics to exemplify these stories, filling Hunter's small office to the brim. By 1933, his publications had brought in just enough funds to build the Frontier Times Museum, which has been properly flaunting the goldmine of baubles at the site ever since. The ensuing decades have yielded thousands of visitors and multiple expansions.
Today, the nonprofit museum pays homage to the fabled pioneer period right down to its very framework, with parts of the building constructed using stones from the surrounding pastures. Iconic histories are illustrated through roughly 40,000 artifacts, which populate a menagerie of display cases, shelves, and rocky walls. A wander through the labyrinth of exhibits reveals frontier-era vestiges such as fireplaces, paintings, phonographs, and fossils, with a smattering of trinkets from Europe, Asia, and South America punctuating the collection. Even J. Marvin Hunter's legacy lives on in an old-fashioned printing press.