Hot Sulphur Springs: Archaeological exhibit offers another layer of Grand County history
May 23, 2008
As the doors open to the Pioneer Village Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs May 24, guests will have their first opportunity to see two new exhibits a Veterans Exhibit and the Barger Gulch Archaeological Exhibit.To celebrate, the museum will host a presentation party to round out the museums first day of the summer season. Patrons will be treated to wine, cheeses, hors doeuvres, and Jim Chase will be the featured guest speaker.Chase, of Granby, and George Frison (of the Frison Institute at the University of Wyoming) were key in bringing together the arrowheads and artifacts for the archeological exhibit. Chase is well known for his work in Native American artifacts. His and Frisons unique collection makes a nice addition to the museums Native American room, From Nomads to Settlers.GCHA volunteers Larry Gross, Ida and John Sheriff, and Barbara and George Mitchell put the final touches on the military exhibit this week, just in time for Memorial Day. Highlights include uniforms, memorabilia and information from several war eras. It was time to thank them, Ida said.Im excited to have something new. It turned out very well, Barbara said. The whole exhibit is a representation of veterans throughout the various American wars, not kudos to any specific people.Other exhibits include information on Indian trails, stagecoach and wagon routes, the Moffat Tunnel, local railroading history, Berthoud Pass, surveying and early explorers and homesteading. In another room, and along the walls and hallways to the new military exhibit are educational displays about the German POWs kept in Fraser, area ski history and local Ski Hall of Famer Horace Button, and The Many Faces of Women exhibit, which includes Horaces wife Lois and the famous Doc Susie Anderson.GCHA founders Dr. and Mrs. Robert Black III (author of Island in the Rockies) started the organization on a path toward the creation of a historical community within the museum property boundaries, starting with a $10,000 matching grant the GCHA obtained from the Colorado Centennial Bicentennial Commission after it founded in 1974.With the funds, the group renovated the 1924 Hot Sulphur Schoolhouse and added it to the grounds, which now serves as the main building. Then, came the old courthouse in 1976 along with the countys first jailhouse from 1887-1937, the blacksmith shop (with logs from the Mayhoffer and Sheriff ranches), the 1906 Horseshoe Ranger Station from Williams Fork in 1984, and the 1920 Eight-Mile Schoolhouse from Cottonwood Pass in 1986 (donated by the Eddie Linkes).There is also a sheep herder wagon, travel wagon, and buck and wire fence exhibits on the property. In 1998, the group added a Ski Train caboose and a Rio Grande snowplow outside (the only remaining homemade Rio Grande rail car in existence which was in the movie Switchback filmed in Grand County).In 1988, the group obtained Cozens Ranch and Stage Stop in Fraser from Regis College, which they opened as a museum in 1990. In Kremmling, the GCHA invites the public to visit the 1903 McElroy livery and 1890s homestead at the Log Cabin Heritage Museum in Kremmling. Doors are expected to open during Kremmling Days, June 21 and 22.The GCHA is a non-profit organization whose volunteers and members support the areas heritage through three museums in the county and a wealth of other services. At least three historical treks are planned each summer and the museum can make a print from more than 8,000 photographs on file. It also facilitates historic site identification, with seven to date. The stage route on Cottonwood Pass was the latest designation, with a sign erected in 1993.Wine for Saturdays presentation party was donated by R&J Liquors, hors doeuvres from the new owners at the historical Riverside Hotel, and Cold Creek Nursery donated a floral gift basket to be awarded by drawing at the end of the evening.Other support, which helped bring the military exhibit to the community, was received by Duane Dailey, Fraser Valley Lumber, Russ Jennings, American Legion Post #86, Sherwin Williams Paint Co., Kim Adams, Streamside Art Co., Town & Country Cleaners, Lunsford Signs, Inc., and City Market. A $525 grant was also received by the Wells Fargo Community Assistance fund. Everyone has been very generous, Ida said.General admission during normal hours at the Pioneer Village Museum is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for students ages 6 to 18. Children 6 and under are admitted free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday through Memorial Day, then 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. A dual pass, with entry to the HSS and Cozens Ranch (in Fraser) museums, is $6 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $3 for students.Museum director Karen Wischnack said, Its exciting to continually update part of Grand Countys history for cultural and educational purpose.To join the GCHA, show your support or for more information, visit http://www.grandcountymuseum.com.