- Arts & Entertainment
- Photo and Video
By Shari Pierce
Special to The PREVIEW
Traditionally, the Fourth of July in Pagosa Springs is filled with an abundance of activities. This year is no different.
We hope you will include a visit to the San Juan Historical Society Museum as part of your plans for the upcoming weekend. In addition to the Star Spangled Quilts exhibit, you will enjoy many artifacts, photos and exhibits of Pagosa Springs’ history and that of the surrounding area.
When you arrive at the museum, you may want to take some time to peruse the farm equipment and fire ladder displayed around the yard; or, you many want to head right inside, where you will be greeted by Ann or Rebekah. They will share with you a little information about our special quilt exhibit, ask you to sign our guest register and off you’ll go.
The Star Spangled Quilts display starts right in the gift shop at the front of the museum and continues throughout. As you view the spectacular quilts, you can also enjoy exhibits of farming and ranching, logging, a general store and a bank. But that is just the beginning — there are many other displays of the business and commercial history of our town.
The Pagosa Lumber Company safe has thick doors, which reportedly weigh 700 pounds each. A barrel safe and safety deposit boxes are from our own Citizens Bank.
The telephone switchboards were used right here in Pagosa Springs. The post office boxes were from an early Chromo post office in southern Archuleta County.
Back in the household portion of the museum is quite a collection of washing machines. Seeing these, you will appreciate our modern machines.
The wood-fired range required much skill on the part of the cook to maintain just the perfect temperature for that special Sunday cake.
A one-of-a-kind chair/table combination was made by Walter X.Y. Zabriskie of Pagosa Junction in southern Archuleta County. It is a gorgeous piece of woodworking that also incorporates a seat out of a Maxwell car.
Guests will also enjoy many photographs of local settlers and landscapes. An overwhelming majority of the exhibits are from this area and much local history is on display to be enjoyed and learned.
Margaret Roucke pieced and hand quilted a Fan Pattern Quilt in 2002. She has generously loaned this quilt to the museum for our special show.
Margaret started quilting in 1967. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and in her professional life was a dietitian. Her current activities include quilting and doll making. Margaret moved to Pagosa Springs part time in 1983, where she loves the mountains and the snow.
In the 2002 Archuleta County Fair, this Fan Pattern Quilt was awarded first place in the large, pieced, hand quilted category, and was also awarded a Reserve Champion ribbon.
Another spectacular patriotic quilt on display is the Bicentennial Sampler constructed by Eleanor M. Vermillion in 1976.
This quilt is part of the collection of Cindy Vermillion Hamilton, who shares, “My mother and I both began to make quilts in the late 1960s, learning together. She was thrilled to participate in the celebrations regarding the USA’s 200th year birthday, and she stitched this sampler quilt to showcase some favorite blocks that recall the history of our country. It is one of the last quilts she completed before her death in 1978, and it holds many treasured memories in its stitches.”
After you have enjoyed the wonderful artifacts and quilts in the museum, take a few minutes to browse the society’s gift shop. All sales of books, homemade totes, postcards, covered wagon dolls and more are used to offset the operating expenses of the museum.
Admission to the museum is free. Donations are gratefully accepted.
Location and hours
The museum is located on the east end of downtown Pagosa Springs, just before you cross the bridge, at 96 Pagosa St. Open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the board of directors and staff encourage you to plan a visit to the museum soon.