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Denver, PA, United States
DoneSun, Nov 2, 2014 2:00 PM GMT

Hardesty Western Collection Day 3

Dan Hardesty was destined to own a museum, one way or another. His recognition of antiques as important historical objects began at the tender age of six. A mere three years later, at age nine, Dan precociously purchased his first collectible - a cowboy holster. It was a milestone moment for the youngster - one that, unwittingly, would set him on the path to becoming the indomitable force he is today in the field of Old West material. Dan is no one-trick pony when it comes to antiques in general. There are few categories that he doesn't know something about. His early interests, Dan recalled, included 'good lamps and music boxes - the type Morphy's sells.' In time, he added antique guns and Western and Civil War memorabilia to the list of objects that filled his house, wall to wall and floor to ceiling. When his collections outgrew the available space in which to display them at his home, Dan took decisive action and purchased a three-story brick building in Franklin, Pa., which formerly had been used as an armory. Investing substantial amounts of time and money, Dan set about achieving his vision of creating a museum where he could showcase and share his collections. In 1984, he opened the doors to a wonderland of Americana, his now-legendary Wild West Museum. The warren-like rooms in Dan's one of a kind historical attraction took the visitor on a visual journey through the wild and woolly landscape of how the West was won. Nowhere else could you see such a comprehensive array of relics - including saddles, firearms, military uniforms and Native-American artifacts - or sub-collections focused on Buffalo Bill and other 19th-century personalities; 101 Ranch and similar 19th-century frontier entertainment troupes...