Brian Bartlett President
Tom Hayden Vice President
Charles Grasse Board Member
DeEtta Johnson Programs Specialist
Dolly Gardner Historian
Frank Martinez Board Member
Julie Page Treasurer
Karen Sheek Board Member
Mike Lavey Board Member
Tulli Kerstetter Board Member
Helen West Board Member
Exhibit Design Coordinator
Barbara Stagg 970-570-7333 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Brown 970-516-1100 email@example.com
Joyce Lawrence 970-516-1100
Charles Haley 970-516-1100
The Montezuma County Historical Society (MCHS) and its predecessors have been working since the 1950s to collect and preserve the cultural and natural history of this diverse county and area. Many dedicated community volunteers, in the past and in the present, have worked thousands of hours to save our history. Throughout the decades, some of the many collected historical artifacts, photographs, letters and many other records were publicly displayed, but none of the locations were permanently available.
Today’s Montezuma County Historical Society was reorganized in 2001. Hundreds more historic objects and records have since been collected. Dozens of history programs and activities have been carried out, attended by area residents of all ages as well as tourists. A series of four county history books – Great Sage Plain to Timberline – and a vintage recipe cookbook have been published and are sold throughout the county. Several years ago, the Lake Vista Grange building between Dolores and Cortez was made available at no charge to MCHS, allowing all collections to be stored in one location until a permanent museum can be achieved.
The Montezuma County Historical Society has been planning and working to achieve the Montezuma Heritage Museum for five years . In 2018, Montezuma County donated a permanent lease of a 4,800 square foot building in downtown Cortez for the museum. After creation of architectural renderings and architect-prepared renovation plans and specs, a museum/non-profit professional with extensive fundraising experience, was retained, partially pro bono, to prepare a case statement, carry out a fundraising feasibility study with all segments of the county's and area’s residents and manage the fundraising campaign.
Hidden building conditions and other factors, including the Covid epidemic, kept escalating the projected cost of building, requiring us to raise the overall Save our History-Tell Our Stories campaign goal to $400,000.
The Montezuma Heritage Museum will:
(a) exhibit, interpret and serve all segments of the county’s and area’s populations,
including Native American and Hispanic residents, as well as serving visitors from
around the country and world;
(b) will cooperate and collaborate with other cultural institutions and with public and private schools;
(c) will preserve and care for Montezuma County's historic treasure;
(d) will contribute positively to the economy of Montezuma County and the region;
(d) and will help residents and visitors understand and appreciate Montezuma
County’s place in the story of the American southwest.
Creating the museum is the single most important step the historical society has ever taken to better achieve its mission to "educate, enrich and inspire our residents and visitors through the preservation, presentation and interpretation of the county's and region’s rich and diverse history."
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