Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Mercantile menagerie

DAYTON - A headless mannequin greets visitors to the Dayton Mercantile Museum, a silent docent ushering people into one of Wyoming's most eclectic collections.

Here, on the second floor of a building built 131 years ago, exotic mounted animals adorn the walls and scores of arrowheads line glass cases amid old stamps and bottles unearthed in the yard. A piano stands in a corner, a nod to the room's original purpose and reminder of the lively dances that once filled it.

Henry Baker built the first iteration of the mercantile in 1882, eight years before Wyoming's statehood, to serve as a general...