During the month of June through Independence Day Weekend, 2023, the Riverton Museum is graciously displaying the Patriot Chest of the Wyoming Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. A case in the basement of the former 1916 Methodist Church is temporarily housing the Patriot Chest and other reproduction artifacts related to the colonial era at the time of the American Revolution. It is dedicated to public display of reproduction artifacts from American colonial times. This is part of a program sponsored by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  

Since 1889, the NSSAR has served as a nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and promoting education to future generations. As one of the largest male heritage societies in the country, SAR boasts tens of thousands of active members in over 550 chapters across the United States and internationally. The SAR Patriot Chest Program is an interactive presentation, intended to compliment elementary and middle school lesson plans on the Revolutionary War and the Colonial Period of American History. The program’s purpose is to bring that history alive, while providing students with a sense of the times and appreciation of the patriot men and women who helped build the foundation of our free nation. Each state society is expected to create and maintain a Patriot Chest.  The one for Wyoming was created by the Wind River Chapter, based in Fremont County.

“We’re really happy to have this Revolutionary War display, just in time for the Fourth of July. The exhibit gives kids and adults an opportunity to see, learn about, and even touch our country’s formative history,” said Nathaniel Griffee, director, Riverton Museum.

“I have documented 12 of my ancestors who served in the patriot cause of the American Revolution,” commented Karl Falken, president of the local SAR chapter. “They braved British bombs, bullets and bayonets to give us a free nation and a constitutional government. This is the very least I can do to honor their memory and achievements.”

Overall, the exhibit is intended to coincide with the Independence Day celebration of the passage of the Declaration of Independence which formalized our nation’s independence two days after the Continental Congress voted for independence from Great Britain.

Besides the WYSSAR Patriot Chest, the exhibit also includes a museum quality reproduction of the uniform of a late war Continental Army private and an original 13-star American flag. Some items are displayed on a table outside the display case for a hands-on experience with history.

The National Society Sons of the American Revolution was founded in 1889 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 34,000 members in 50 societies and approximately 550 local chapters worldwide, SAR is one of the world’s leading male lineage organizations. SAR is dedicated to assisting our members, schools, teachers and the general public in their efforts to sustain and preserve history and constitutional principles. To learn more about the work of today’s SAR, visit www.SAR.org or contact Karl Falken at KFalken@gmail.com.