Preserving history

Museum foundation encouraged by speaker to become more active

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Moffat County is unique in the way that its landscape remained relatively undeveloped. For Dale Heckendorn, the undisturbed landscape holds some historical treasures.

Heckendorn, from the Colorado Historical Society, made the trip to Craig Saturday to talk about preserving these significant places.

Board members and guests listened intently to Heckendorn's keynote speech at the museum.

Heckendorn offered the board some advice on its role of preserving history within the community.

He stressed the significance of place to history using the museum as an example. He spoke about the wonderful collection it has and said the collection wouldn't be as impressive if it was kept in a steel building instead of the historically-significant armory building.

"Place is about history," said Heckendorn. "It is not only your job to preserve history, but you must conduct historical research within the community. The more you are willing to do, the better off the community will be."

Heckendorn spoke about grant money and assistance available for preserving historically-significant places. He believes it is the role of the foundation to help community members get that funding and encourage people to preserve these places.

The Colorado Historical Society member was adamant about not only preserving historical objects and buildings, but preserving them in their original location.

"It is one thing to have an old school house preserved and moved to a city park, but it is another thing to have it preserved in its original location where people can see how remote it was and how it functioned," said Heckendorn.

Heckendorn also conducted a workshop for the public later Saturday called "Does Your House Have a Past?" It was to inform people on how to research the history of their homes.

After Heckendorn gave his motivational speech, the foundation's annual report was presented.

Dorcas Albaugh, executive director, went through the numbers. After making the first payment to Moffat County for the cowboy gunfighter collection, the foundation is in good shape financially, said Albaugh.

She said the foundation has been exploring the option of touring some pieces of the cowboy gunfighter collection. Getting the collection out on the road would not only bring in income, it would also bring recognition and notoriety to the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

"By touring the collection, it may give people the desire to come to Craig and see the entire collection," said Albaugh. "We are also looking for innovative ways to help raise money to help the museum. This collection is really a showcase for Moffat County and Craig."

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