OURAY - The Ouray County Historical Museum reopens Thursday, April 18, with new exhibits, events and activities for the upcoming season that range from the annual Evenings of History lecture series and guided walking tours of Ouray’s historic Main Street and Cedar Hill Cemetery to a John Fielder photography workshop and a geology tour of the San Juan Mountains.
Over the winter, the museum added several new exhibits to its 25 themed rooms. A large schematic of the original Miner’s Hospital (which now houses the museum) shows how each room was used during the Idarado Mine’s operation of the hospital.
The Otto Mears exhibit recounting the life story of the famous Colorado entrepreneur and builder of roads and railroads is back, and the photo exhibit “San Juan Memories” runs July 8-Aug. 15. Vintage quilts will adorn the museum Aug. 20-Sept. 28, during the annual Quilt Show. Photographers, geology enthusiasts, and cyclists will enjoy special events presented by the Ouray County Historical Society this summer and fall.
On Aug. 6, three local geologists lead the San Juan Mountain Geology Field Trip, an all-day odyssey through the Ouray and Silverton area’s geologic past, and it’s never too soon to start training for the popular and moderately grueling Log Hill Lungbuster Bike Challenge, scheduled for Sept. 15 (visit www.loghilllungbusterchallenge.com to register). Also in September, Colorado’s premier landscape photographer John Fielder leads a two-day workshop (Sept. 28-29), including field shoots at historic locations and interactive critique sessions. Enrollment is limited for the geology tour and Fielder photography workshop; to register, call 970/325-4576 or e-mail email@example.com.
The annual Evenings of History lecture series offers seven multi-media presentations by local and visiting historians, on Tuesdays from June 18-July 31 at the Ouray Community Center, except for the final lecture, on Wednesday, July 31 at Ridgway Town Hall.
This summer’s topics include an anthropologist’s investigations of Ouray’s infamous Vanoli site and the role played by the Ute, Navajo and Blackfoot Nations in World War I.
Guided walking tours of Ouray’s historic Main Street and Cedar Hill Cemetery offer another way to experience living history. Longtime OCHS volunteers lead the Main Street tours on July 20 and Aug. 24, and the cemetery tours on July 13 and Aug. 17. Museum Curator Don Paulson offers guided tours of the museum on July 10 and Aug. 14. Paulson, a mining and railroad history buff, also will lead the Corkscrew Railroad Bed and Turntable Hike on June 15 and Aug. 10.
The OCHS recently established a new Research and Education Center at 722 Main St., housing the museum’s historical collections, including the Ross Moore Mining History Library of the American West and Doris Gregory research files. The museum is at 420 Sixth Avenue in Ouray; starting on April 18, it is open to the public Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Summer hours resume on May 16, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and from noon-4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, call 970/325-4576 or visit www.ouraycountyhistoricalsociety.org.