Two years of research and flying artifacts from all over Weld County have come together to create our newest exhibit at the Greeley History Museum, Colorado Takes Off! The foundation landed with a traveling exhibit designed by the Colorado Aerospace History Project, relating images, artifacts and stories of the past 100 years of flight in Colorado; from barnstormers and biplanes to space rockets and jet planes.
Our exhibits team merged the traveling exhibit with Weld County components to bring local tales of our daring aeronauts to life with video interviews and sound FX. We are featuring some outstanding WWI and WWII pilot uniforms, pilot spurs, plane models, stunning images of planes and the people who manned them and a WWI replica biplane! No kidding! We moved a plane into the museum and set it up in the East Gallery. If you are very good (and able to delicately climb in and out), we might even let you sit in the aeroplane on display at the Greeley History Museum.
In case anybody is curious, yes, I do have a terrific job! We get to work with antique artifacts, research their owners’ stories and switch between being educators, writers, artists, set designers, construction and destruction crews… plus we work with the most amazing people. For example, during March we have been interviewing local residents for our 1940s exhibit opening in 2013; anybody who remembers the 1940s is eligible. We learn incredible stories we can hardly wait to share.
Open to the public in May at Centennial Village Museum, the exhibits team and interpretive staff are donning their Stetsons and wading through herds of cattle as we lasso our cowboy heritage for Cattle Trails and Tales. The exhibit is located in the Monfort House and the authentic living history programs will be at various sites throughout the village. Every day will be different. We have been developing 1890s ranch images of branding, bronc riding and buckaroos. This week we are uncovering an Iliff horse bit, Brush spurs, Wahl full leather chaps and W. D. Farr’s own saddle. I am getting a kick out of our continuing interview and ranch tour with Stow Witwer Jr. of the S.L.W. Ranch – initiated for breeding draft horses in the 1880s by Witwer’s Studebaker ancestors (famed for wagons and later - automobiles).
The 2012 season will astound you—new people, new activities, and new authentically historic stories to learn and share! Don’t forget to experience the biplane at Greeley History Museum and Centennial Village’s opening weekend, May 12.