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‘History at Work’ is theme of Heritage Month

By Margaret Gallegos
Special to The SUN

Historic Preservation Month is celebrated nationally during the month of May —a  Colorado tradition. The Town of Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board will host and facilitate historic preservation workshops and events in the month of May as part of an on-going effort to raise awareness about the preservation of Pagosa Springs’ unique social, economic and diverse cultural heritage.

Historic Preservation Board members Brad Ash, Peggy Bergon, Chrissy Karas and Andre Redstone would like to encourage you to take part and enjoy as many Historic Preservation activities as possible. The events will provide excellent opportunities to learn about Pagosa’s past, share in its history and celebrate Pagosa’s diverse cultural heritage, architecture and economy.

To experience civic and neighborhood pride in the beauty and accomplishments of the past, local events will take place at the Fred Harman Art Museum, Chimney Rock National Monument and the San Juan Historical Society Museum. Also, new historic designation plaques will be on display at the Metropolitan Hotel (owned by Nettie and Danny Wood) — 422 Pagosa St.; the original courthouse (Gallas Properties) — 414 Pagosa St., and Phillips House (owned by Susan Winter-Ward) 138 Pagosa St.

Three new activities to create a sense of identity based on Pagosa Springs history were added to this year’s schedule: “The Greenest Building,” an hour-long documentary on May 18 about the compelling overview of the important role building reuse plays in creating a sustainable community; a night-sky archaeoastronomy  demonstration about the Ancestral Puebloans and the solar system and universe on May 23; and an arborglyphs 3 mile hike that shows the shepherd’s story of early sheep industry in Archuleta County. Due to the elements, this outdoor event will take place on June 21.

Returning annual events include the seventh grade student poster contest with entries due on May 14, a downtown walking tour on May 18, and the Car Show at Pagosa May 16 through 18.

We hope to see you out-and-about in Pagosa Springs during Historic Preservation Month.

Following is the calendar of events for the 2014 Pagosa Springs Heritage Month, the theme of which is “History at Work.”

Monday, May 5

Fred Harman Art Museum opens for the season. It will be open weekly Monday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. through Sept. 30. Fred Harman was an established sculptor, one of the country’s foremost painters of the American West and the creator of the world famous “Red Ryder and Little Beaver” cartoon strip.

Thursday, May 8

Chimney Rock Interpretive Association pot luck dinner and speaker. At 6 p.m. at the Ross Aragon Community Center. Featured speaker will be Kevin Khung from the U.S. Forest Service. He will speak about the Forest Service management plan that is being developed for Chimney Rock National Monument. Khung has been with the Forest Service for 21 years in multiple locations — Southwest Colorado, Wyoming and New England — and has held various positions, including landscape architect, recreation and lands staff officer and district ranger. The program is open to the public. Bring your favorite dinner item to share and enjoy the evening. Free.

Friday, May 9

Eighties (‘80s) dance night. Doors open at 8 p.m. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind ‘80s dance. Get all of your friends together, dress up for the occasion and come have a blast from the past at the Ross Aragon Community Center. A cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres will be offered during this 18-and-over event. Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 at the door.

Wednesday, May 14 

Full Moon Program at Chimney Rock National Monument. Watch the full moon rise at the Great House Pueblo site, learn about the Ancestral Puebloans, archaeoastronomy theories, area geology and enjoy Native American flute melodies by Charles Martinez. This moonrise will not occur between the twin spires. Not recommended for children under the age of 12. Allow approximately three hours for the entire program. Tickets are $15. Add $5 for an early tour of the Great Kiva Trail. Ticket purchase is considered a donation and is non-refundable. Bring flashlights, water (also for sale at the Chimney Rock Visitor Cabin), cushions, and blankets or coats. Reservations are required. The Colo. 151 gate will open at 5:30 p.m. and close at 7:15. Full moon program begins at 7:30 p.m. Great Kiva tour starts at 5:50 p.m.

Thursday, May 15

Chimney Rock National Monument opens for the season. Come see one of the nation’s newest national monuments, located approximately 15 miles west of Pagosa Springs on the San Juan National Forest. The entrance is located 3 miles south of U.S. 160 on Colo. 151. The site is accessible for guided walking tours (2.5 hours) at 9:30 a.m, 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Adults, $12; children 5-16, $5; under 5, free. Ticket purchase is considered a donation and is non-refundable. Tours of the site are offered daily from May 15-Sept. 30. For a schedule of special events, check www.chimneyrockco.org.

Friday, May 16-Sunday, May 18 

Sixth annual Car Show at Pagosa. On Lewis Street in downtown Pagosa Springs. A fantastic showing of almost 200 cars will be on display.

Saturday, May 17

“The Greenest Building.” An hour-long documentary presents a compelling overview of the important role building reuse plays in creating sustainable communities. “The Greenest Building” explores the myth that a green building is a new building and demonstrates how renovation and adaptive reuse of existing structures fully achieves the sustainability movement’s “triple bottom line” — economic, social and ecological balance. The film focuses on the partnership between the built environment and natural environment, and promotes a better understanding of the symbiotic relationship between reuse of buildings and the conservation of natural systems that sustain life. Mark your calendars and join the Pagosa Springs Historic Preservation Board on Saturday, May 17. Location to be announced. Free refreshments and admission.

Historic Downtown Walking Tour at 2 p.m. Details to follow.

Sunday, May 18

Visions of Chimney Rock. This program is an educational talk that focuses on Chimney Rock National Monument. Participants will also enjoy Native American flute melodies by Charles Martinez. Come join us from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The program will be held in the upper parking area and will provide an experience for those who choose not to do the hiking tour or for anyone who wants to learn more about Chimney Rock. Because space is limited to 25, reservations are required. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for children 5-16 years of age.

Monday, May 19

Season opening of San Juan Historical Society Museum. Located at 92 1st St., the San Juan Historical Society Museum is full of Pagosa Springs history and artifacts. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. No admission is charged. The special quilt display this summer is “Star Spangled Quilts,” which will be antique, vintage and modern quilts with a patriotic theme. The museum will be open until mid-September.

Friday, May 23 – Monday, May 26

Local appreciation days at Chimney Rock. Memorial Day weekend the Chimney Rock Interpretive Association invites area residents to enjoy half-priced guided tours all weekend long. The guided walking tours of this ancient cultural site are 2.5 hours. Tour start times are at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. The discounted prices are adults, $6; children 5-16, $2.50; under 5 are always free.

Friday, May 23

Night-Sky Archaeoastronomy Program. Includes a one-hour astronomy demonstration at the Chimney Rock Visitor Cabin. Learn about naked-eye astronomy of the Ancestral Puebloans and the solar system and universe. Then participants will drive to the upper mesa for approximately 1.5 hours of night-sky viewing through telescopes. Participants are advised to bring binoculars, water (also for sale at the visitor cabin), flashlights and coats. The upper parking area is paved and wheelchair accessible, with restroom facilities. Reservations are required. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 5-16 years of age. Ticket purchase is considered a donation and is non-refundable. The Colo. 151 gate will open at 6:45 p.m. Program starts at 7:15 p.m. and ends at 8:15 p.m. Observing starts at 8:45 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 24

Fred Harman Art Museum local appreciation day. From 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Fred Harman was an established sculptor, one of the country’s foremost painters of the American West and the creator of the world famous “Red Ryder and Little Beaver” cartoon strip. Admission for the day is free, lemonade and cookies will be served and there will be free gifts from Fred Harman III.

This story was posted on April 30, 2014.