Lined up end to end, the Eli Anderson wagon collection would stretch one-third of a mile.

Finding a permanent home for that collection has been the focus of an 11-month study that concluded the collection should remain in Box Elder County, and could be a large tourist draw if set up correctly.The study committee, headed by Tremonton City Manager Rich Woodworth, completed volumes of research, ranging from investigation of some 80 foundations as possible sources of funding for the project, to the actual search for land.

The list of foundations was narrowed to 40 that will actually be approached. Woodworth also noted that approximately eight parcels of donated land have been offered for the project. A film and brochure was also produced.

The committee's preferred plan is for the museum housing the 100-plus wagons to be a "living museum." The cost of the 50,000 square-foot-building required could be $1.23 million to more than $3 million, depending on the type of building chosen. An attractive facade is considered essential to attract visitors.

Committee member Beth Gurrister, chairwoman of the Box Elder County Tourism Council, told commissioners that her goal is to attract tourists already entering the county. A newly compiled database indicates that 270,000 people visited Willard Bay last year, 119,000 visited the Golden Spike site and 75,000 attended the Box Elder County Fair. Gurrister sees the wagon collection as an integral part of a "trails, rails and rockets" loop tour of the county.

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The committee's recommendation is that the "baton be passed" to the nonprofit North Box Elder County Museum Board.

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