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San Juan Historical Society Museum
A glimpse back into history
The San Juan Historical Society Museum has exciting plans for its summer 2010 season.

A new exhibit debuts with the museum’s opening and will run for the entire season. “Quilting: Past meets the present” will include antique quilts, displayed alongside modern versions of those quilts.

Local quilters have worked to honor the craft and talent of past quilters by remaking their quilts using today’s techniques and materials. This will allow the viewer to appreciate the quilts from both time periods and see the value of incorporating design elements from the antique quilt to the modern reworking.

In 2009, the museum eliminated its admission fee for the season. That proved to be successful and the board of directors has elected to make the summer of 2010 a free admission summer as well. The museum will have a donation box available and any donations to offset the operating expenses are greatly appreciated.

For more than three decades, the San Juan Historical Society Museum has offered visitors and locals alike a glimpse back into the history of Pagosa Country, while preserving and displaying precious artifacts from the past. A few of the special exhibits available to viewers at the museum include a general store, bank, country schoolroom, logging, railroad and ranching.

The museum is located a short walk from downtown Pagosa Springs at the corner of U.S. 160 and 1st Street. It is partially housed in the old waterworks building constructed by the WPA in 1938. In the 1970s, the historical society added a metal building from the old Job Corps site to the front of the waterworks to provide additional display area.

While visiting the museum, visitors are encouraged to browse the gift shop, where historical society members provide carefully selected items, which may be of particular interest to visitors of Pagosa Country. Also available are hand-made items from local crafters, making the perfect memento from your visit to Pagosa Springs.

The book series “Remembrances,” celebrating the people, places and history of Pagosa Springs and the surrounding area, continues. The most recent addition to the series is Volume 13, titled “Unlucky Days.” This volume features unlucky stories drawn from area history, including tales of deep snow, influenza, government problems and the year the river ran dry. Volume 14, titled “In Hot Water,” is scheduled to be published in 2010. The series is compiled and published by the San Juan Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that also manages the museum.

The museum is staffed by volunteers and opens for the season on May 15. Exhibits will run through mid-September. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.