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Wyoming art foundry burns down, 50 years of family history gone in five hours

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 01, 2024

CODY — The Caleco Foundry caught fire and burned for five hours Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, destroying millions of dollars worth of art, equipment, and property.

“After 46 years, I always just kind of took it for granted," said Bucky Hall, the owner and operator.

He said the only thing of value remaining may be the frame of the building and the land the business once stood upon.

“Anything that could burn inside that steel building burned, and it was hot. I mean, the roof sagged and everything," said Bucky.

Even his band mate's instruments and equipment were mostly claimed by the fire.

“I don’t know how big (of) a loss it is. So, it may end up that (my drums) have the coolest look of all time when I get ‘em all cleaned up and everyone’s gonna be like, ‘wow, where’d you get that color?’" said Scott Shaffer, the drummer for his and Bucky's band, Beacon Hill.

Perhaps the greatest loss for Bucky, however, were the feelings of family that came along with the foundry.

“My father in law started the foundry here in, probably in ‘77 or so, and I moved here in ‘78 and joined him," said Bucky, "We were 28 and stupid, my wife and I were.”

He met his would be wife, Donny, in high school and they were married for nearly 50 years. She passed away three years ago.

"I’m gonna quote my wife’s parting words in the ambulance — ‘This sucks' — and this (fire) sucks," said Bucky.

He said, despite the feelings of loss and the financial impact, life will continue and he is grateful for his friends, kids, and grandchildren.

“It’s the Wyoming way, we’re gonna clean up and move on," said Shaffer.