WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Wyatt Earp Museum Reopened

May 26, 2015

The Monmouth birthplace of the famous lawman from the Wild West has been closed for years. But the new owner wants to revive it as a tourist destination.

Kelly Semande purchased the Wyatt Earp Museum last year for $30,000. He said he decided to buy it out of a love of old Wyatt Earp movies and cowboys.

Daily operations at the house had not been conducted for more than 8 years before Semande reopened it May 1. And even though it's now open, Semande said there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to repair and restore the house.

“I got windows to replace, I got cracks to fill, (and) I got to put a lot of TLC into this place,” Semande said.

Semande said work is also needed in the big yard next to the house, referred to as the OK Corral. He said the work will cost around $12,000, and he’s paying for it with his own money. The work is expected to take the rest of the year to complete.

Semande said volunteers and donations could ease the financial burden. And he said it was important to celebration Monmouth's native son.

“Wyatt Earp was born here. Marshall Earp was a grand law officer to me. He never pulled his weapon unless it was necessary. He would never endanger a woman or child. He never drew unless it was necessary,” Semande said.

Earp was born in Monmouth in 1848.