Basque sheepherders wagon, built around 1902 for the Campbell Ranch in White Pine County, was moved into the Nevada State Museum's new concourse on Thursday.
It is the first large artifact to be moved into the glass-enclosed structure that will serve as the museum's new entrance when it opens on May 14.
"It's a great step forward for the museum," said museum director Jim Barmore. "Finally, we're getting close to the end of construction and getting ready to do what we do best, setting up exhibits."
The project, built to look like the structure used to lower people and equipment into Nevada mines a century ago, will provide disabled patrons access to the Nevada State Museum and its underground mine exhibit.
It will also connect the three museum buildings on North Carson Street.
"It offers many advantages," Barmore said. "It will unify our complex with a single point of entry and offer a safe, comfortable walkway."
He said it also provides a space big enough to display large items that have not had enough room. Those displays will rotate and be visible from both inside and outside the museum.
The first exhibit will be the wagon designed after the first sheepherders wagon built by James Candlish of Rawlins, Wyo. in 1884. He designed and built the original sheepherders wagon from an old wagon behind his shop.
This wagon was open in front, with the interior canvas flap to block the wind, and was quickly adopted by sheepmen all over the West, according to a press release from the Nevada State Museum.
The museum's wagon has been stored outside of the museum for about eight years, Barmore said, because of lack of space.
He said the museum has been anticipating the project for about 10 years and the staff is looking forward to its completion.
"We have a lot of exhibit work to do before we can open it up, so we're all working really hard," he said. "We're busy little beavers over here."
The estimated cost of the project was $3.2 million.
If you go
WHAT: Grand opening of Nevada State Museum's connecting concourse
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. May 14
WHERE: Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St.