Museum seeking spurs with a history for upcoming exhibit

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Museum of Northwest Colorado/Courtesy Photo

Torin Gray holds spurs that once belonged to his grandfather and were recently found in his family’s barn. The Museum of Northwest Colorado is seeking spurs from around the area for an upcoming exhibit.

The Museum of Northwest Colorado is on the lookout for new stories and old spurs from some of the old “unsung” ranchers and cowboys of Moffat County.

The spurs and stories would be loaned for the museum’s upcoming 2010 “Passing of the Old West” exhibit. Old spurs often can be found in dusty corners of sheds and barns throughout our area, and they frequently represent some gone-but-not-forgotten cowboy of the region.

And the stories about those cowboys and cowgirls can be found around any ranch supper table when the subject of family ranch life comes up for discussion.

While rummaging around in her barn, Janet Gerber, of the museum, recently came across a pair of old spurs that had belonged to her husband, Eldon.

The spurs brought back cherished memories of her husband’s many years working on the family ranch. The spurs originally were purchased in 1959, by Eldon’s brother, Erv, at Irick’s Saddle Shop in downtown Craig.

Erv decided that the vintage 1940s nickel-plated Crockett spurs were not to his liking, and he gave them to Eldon. At that time, Eldon was working for local rancher, Elmer Mack, whom he greatly admired.

To Eldon’s delight, the spurs were a match to a pair of spurs used by Mack. Eldon and Erv modified the spurs by drilling a slightly larger hole in the rowel, which gave the spurs a distinctive jingle. Today, that sound brings a delighted smile to Gerber’s face as she recalls the jingle of her husband’s spurs when he was working around the ranch.

There must be many more old spurs and untold stories gathering dust in barns and tack rooms around Northwest Colorado, and the museum would love to see those spurs and stories shared in its upcoming exhibit.

The museum is looking for spurs older than 50 years old, and ones that have a story of a local rancher or cowboy associated with them. If you would like to have your spurs loaned for the exhibit and have your special family story about them shared, please call 824-6360 and speak with Dan or Janet.

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