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By Allie Willey
Special to the Herald Times
MEEKER | The old Axial school house, now located at the Wyman Museum right outside of Craig, Colo., is a rich piece of history. The school was founded by William Taylor in 1892 and continued in operation until 1963 when the school suffered a fire. Afterward the school was never rebuilt to its original conditions, and it remained closed. The school still managed to stay in one piece, but it had a lot of structural damage.
The school originally did the majority of its business in Meeker, not in Moffat County, and had about 39 teachers and 58 students during the time it was in use. The school was previously located about 26 miles south of Craig on the west side of Highway 13 just past the ColoWyo mine turn off.
When speaking to museum owner Lou Wyman about the school, he explained how they were able to get the school. He said they had previously been looking for a school to add to their museum for years without any luck. Walt Proctor of Meeker owned the property the school was on and he made a deal with Wyman promising him that he could have the school. They had held the deal for a year, but had to wait to move the school itself because of issues getting the school to the museum. They were able to move the school in one piece to the museum just a few months back and begin the process of restoring the school to its original condition. The school is currently on display in front of the Wyman Museum.
The idea for the museum began in 1949 in Elk Springs, Colo., when Wyman was filling up a water barrel for his sheep herders and noticed an abandoned 1932 Lincoln and paid $15 dollars for it. He has been collecting things ever since, and decided he wanted to share his findings with everyone else. He opened the museum in 2006. The museum is located right outside of Craig at 94350 Highway 40 and is open Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.