Historical association looks to future | SkyHiNews.com

Historical association looks to future

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Grand County CO Colorado

A seasonal museum closed for the first time in 25 years. A budget to preserve history has suffered along with the economy. In spite of these realities, the newest Grand County Historical Association president, Dave Lively, says he remains optimistic.

The Association’s five-member board is poised to grow to 11 members by February, providing “new ideas, new people – fresh blood to continue to move forward,” Lively told Grand County commissioners last Tuesday.

In this vein, new board member Kristen Lodge created a Facebook page for the Historical Association, blending the past with the social networking tools of 2010. Online presence has already garnered 75 fans and two donations, Lively said.

And volunteer Dede Fay has offered her services as a volunteer coordinator for Cozens Ranch Museum, the 1874 stage stop-turned-museum that closed this winter because of budget constraints.

Plans are under way to coordinate a pool of volunteers who would work three-hour shifts to keep the Fraser Valley museum open six hours per day, at least four days a week, the new president said.

Since private and public donations are at the core of the Association’s budget, Lively said he is “already looking at other ways of increasing funding sources,” such as a brand new membership drive during which those who renew at a higher level could receive a rare 1934 map of Grand County.

“We hope to make drastic changes in membership and in local donations,” Lively told commissioners.

Decreases in memberships combined with usual donations from the Grand County community “substantially less than in the past, we haven’t been able to fund everything like we have,” Lively said.

Two bodies of government supported the Association this year in their budgets. The Town of Winter Park granted $1,600 and Grand County gave a block grant of $30,000, which in past years the Association has been using to fund operations. But commissioners hope to curb the Association’s dependence on its block grant.

“We need to get away from the perceived belief that the county is obligated,” said County Commissioner Gary Bumgarner, to which Lively said the Association should be reviewed “as tightly as every other granting opportunity the county has.”

Lively, who also is volunteering as executive director of the Association until budget numbers improve, served five years on the Grand Lake Area Historical Society board, including longer than three years as president.

“Honestly it’s a pleasure to be in this position,” Lively said. “I feel the Historical Association is at a turning point.”

Lively came into the position on Jan. 1 upon the resignation of past president Yvonne Knox of Hot Sulphur Springs, who served for five years.

Reflecting his respect for the position, in February, he plans to attend three days of seminars at the Colorado Preservation Inc. “Saving Places 2010” conference in Denver, and will attend another conference in May hosted by the Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums in Laramie, Wyo.

“It’s a position I’m very honored to have,” he said.

The Grand County Historical Association, founded in 1974, is headquartered in Hot Sulphur Springs and manages three history museums: The Pioneer Village Museum Complex, Cozens Ranch and Stage Stop Museum in Fraser, and Heritage Park in Kremmling.

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

On the web: http://www.grandcountymuseum.com