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Cowboy quilter’s work on display at museum

By Shari Pierce
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Shari Pierce One Archuleta County cowboy tried his hand at making quilts. Art King wasn’t afraid to turn his hand to whatever needed doing or made, and one of his antique quilts is on display at the San Juan Historical Society Museum this summer. The museum is located at 96 Pagosa St. on the east end of Pagosa Springs next to the bridge and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy Shari Pierce
One Archuleta County cowboy tried his hand at making quilts. Art King wasn’t afraid to turn his hand to whatever needed doing or made, and one of his antique quilts is on display at the San Juan Historical Society Museum this summer. The museum is located at 96 Pagosa St. on the east end of Pagosa Springs next to the bridge and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What do cowboys do when they aren’t tending the ranch or riding in the rodeo?

Well, one Archuleta County cowboy tried his hand at making quilts.

One of his antique quilts is on display at the historical society museum this summer.

Art King wasn’t afraid to turn his hand to whatever needed doing or made. He made exceptionally beautiful braided reins.

King likely made this quilt in the 1960s as a winter project. It is crafted from wool tweed suiting and other scrap clothing. The angled patches are repairs made to the quilt by Gloria Macht using modern flannel.

This quilt was made for warmth and was saved from the rubbish heap after not being used for some years. The backing was replaced with cotton that Macht was given by the King family.

Macht classifies this type of quilt as a work quilt. They were designed for warmth and used in bank houses and for cold nights in drafty houses. Some would have found their way into chuck wagons and barns to bed down a newborn sheep or calf. Since they were not highly regarded or protected they seem to be rare.

A picture of King accompanies this article. It was taken during the rodeo in 1939. At this time rodeos were held in South Pagosa near what is today 8th and Apache streets. The year prior to this photo, King was injured when he was trying out rodeo stock for the upcoming Fourth of July rodeo. He was thrown from a cow and broke his left cheek bone when the cow’s horn hit him in the face.

Macht loaned the quilt and photo of King for this special exhibit.

Other exhibits

King’s quilt is displayed in Dad’s Room. A wonderful piece on exhibit in this same area is a homemade table/chair by Walter X.Y. Zabriskie. Gorgeous redwood is fashioned into a chair, using a Maxwell car seat. The chair can be folded to be used as a table when needed. Zabriskie was a merchant in Pagosa Junction.

In Dad’s Room, you’ll also see wooden skis used in our county’s early days and an outboard motor which belonged to Henry Born of Born’s Lake fame. He settled into the Born’s Lake area later in his life and raised a family along with operating a fish hatchery.

With hundreds of artifacts on display from rocks and fossils to cameras and farming equipment, you are bound to find something of interest.

Gift shop

The society offers a gift shop featuring a wide variety of items of interest to visitors of the museum. This season, the gift shop has been greatly expanded and more items are yet to come. Southwest history books, photos, quilting books and patterns, wall hangings, tote bags and purses, rocks and home décor are just a few of the items to be found in the shop.

Society members also offer handmade items for sale. Choose from covered wagon dolls, postcards, tote bags and jeans purses to find the perfect gift for someone special.

Free admission

Admission to the museum is free, however donations are greatly appreciated to help with operating expenses such as utilities, insurance and payroll.

The gift shop is important to the success of the museum. Sales from the shop are utilized to offset operating expenses.

The museum is located at 96 Pagosa St. on the east end of Pagosa Springs next to the bridge and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

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

This story was posted on July 3, 2013.