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‘Lincoln’s Legacy’ and more at the museum

By Shari Pierce
Special to The PREVIEW

Thousands of people have visited the historical society museum this summer. Don’t be left out — plan a trip soon.

In addition to this summer’s quilt display, “Star Spangled Quilts,” the museum is home to a wide variety of exhibits.

The front portion of the museum houses displays related to the business and social aspects of our community, including railroad memorabilia, beloved teacher Mrs. Ruby Sisson’s Blanco Basin school desk, welded art by local artist, teacher and community leader Worthe Crouse, Henry Born’s outboard motor, and 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 building our community. No electric drills, saws or nail guns, just elbow grease, skill and hard work.

The Hatcher Mercantile Company was one of our community’s early stores. Its ornate cash register is on display as part of the general store display.

And this just scratches the surface of what you’ll find in the front of the museum. In the back portion of the museum are household displays including a kitchen, dad’s room, sewing machines and musical instruments.

A fun bonus of visiting the museum is the many, many photos of early Pagosa Springs and the people who formed our community.

Quilt display

Photo courtesy Shari Pierce Cindy Vermillion Hamilton’s “Lincoln’s Legacy” is on display this summer season at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. This exquisite piece was designed, hand-pieced, hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted by Hamilton in 2004. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No admission is charged.

Photo courtesy Shari Pierce
Cindy Vermillion Hamilton’s “Lincoln’s Legacy” is on display this summer season at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. This exquisite piece was designed, hand-pieced, hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted by Hamilton in 2004. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No admission is charged.

This summer’s special quilt display is “Star Spangled Quilts” and features patriotic quilts for our guest’s enjoyment.

Local quilt artist Cindy Vermillion Hamilton created and loaned many of the quilts currently on display. Her work is exquisite and has been displayed at many prestigious venues nationwide. Don’t miss this opportunity to see these treasures right here in Pagosa Springs.

When visitors walk into the back portion of our museum and see “Lincoln’s Legacy,” their breath is taken away. This beautiful work was hand-pieced, hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted by Hamilton in 2004.

Hamilton says about this quilt, “When a friend from Springfield, Illinois sent me the printed panel of the Emancipation Proclamation, I knew it would make a wonderful center for a medallion quilt honoring President Lincoln. I chose to incorporate several fabrics and motifs I had collected and admired over many years of thinking about a quilt with this theme. The fabrics represent the time period of the 1860s, during the presidential years and the Civil War and the motifs could have been found in quilts of that day.

“Favorite quotes are included in corner blocks as well as a rather humorous campaign image from the 2008 presidential campaign. Many compared the similarities between the first African American to run for a major political party with Mr. Lincoln, as they were both one-term senators from Illinois and both declared their candidacies from the same Capitol building in Springfield.

“I named this quilt Lincoln’s Legacy because among his greatest achievements is having the courage and foresight to compose the Emancipation Proclamation, which started the change in laws and attitudes regarding the black race, thus allowing the election of the first African American to the Presidency in 2008.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to view this, and many other patriotic quilts this season.

Gift shop

The society offers a gift shop featuring a wide variety of items of interest to visitors of the museum. Southwest history books, photos, quilting books and patterns, wall hangings, tote bags and purses, and home decor are just a few of the items to be found. Hamilton’s book about medallion quilts is also offered.

Society members 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 does not receive operating funds from the town or county, so community support is vital to the continuation of the museum.

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.

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

This story was posted on August 14, 2014.