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Make time for a trip to the museum

As you are planning your weekend — a trip to the county fair or maybe shopping at our downtown shops — be sure to include time for a visit to the San Juan Historical Society Museum.

In addition to this summer’s quilt display, the museum hosts a wide variety of exhibits.

The front of the museum houses displays related to the business and social aspects of our community including railroad memorabilia; farming and ranching tack, saddles and equipment; Dr. Ellsworth’s dental chair and oh so much more.

Tools of the trade

Many hand tools were used by settlers to Archuleta County to craft their homes and places of business.

Drills, levels and a beautiful hand planer are on display at Pagosa Springs’ own museum. You are invited down to view the display of hand tools. You’ll gain an appreciation for the physical labor that went into the building of our community. No electric drills, saws or nail guns, just elbow grease, skill, determination and hard work.

Over some very rough roads, wagons brought some of the earliest families to Pagosa Springs. No AAA services were available to repair the wagons. View the wagon hub on display along with the wrench used to loosen this hub. You will gain a new appreciation for the strength and toughness of these men and women.

Pine tree quilt

The pine tree quilt pattern is a classic among American quilters. The pine tree quilt on display as part of this summer’s special exhibit was made in the late 1800s as a gift for the wedding of Emma Welch to Dr. A.J. Nossaman. The quilt was sewn by Dr. Nossaman’s sister, Sally.

Nossaman was a doctor here in Pagosa Springs from 1903 to 1931. For a time his office was located upstairs in the 400 block of Pagosa Street.

The Nossaman home, located next to the San Juan River, was washed away in the flood of October 1911. Following that, he built a home on Pagosa Street. Recently it was the home of Victoria’s Parlor restaurant and now houses Dorothy’s Restauranté.

This pine tree quilt is an exquisite example of craftsmanship. Small triangles make up the pine tree block. Points are perfect, the colors are beautiful and visitors to the museum have enjoyed the simplicity of the design, yet the striking visual impact of this quilt.

Marty Nossaman Lincoln has generously loaned this quilt for the summer display.

Gift shop

The Round-up Time child’s quilt is a favorite of this show. The pattern for this fun, vintage quilt is offered for sale at the museum’s gift shop. A similar quilt pattern — Ride ‘em Cowboy — is also available.

The society offers a small selection of vintage quilt patterns and Aunt Martha’s transfers for embroidery to complement this summer’s exhibit.

Also, there are a few horseshoe puzzles, tote bags, covered wagon dolls and purses, all handcrafted locally. These would make a great gift for yourself, or a friend.

Of course, there is a selection of local history books, including the 13 volumes of Remembrances — local history presented by the San Juan Historical Society over the course of 13 years. There are also history books of regional interest.

Free admission

The museum is open 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. daily through mid-September and is located at the corner of U.S. 160 and First Street on the eastern edge of Pagosa Springs, next to the bridge.

There is no admission to the museum this summer — a bargain for family entertainment.

Plan a visit to the museum soon. You’ll be glad you did.

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