Rio Grande County Museum opens new exhibit

Courtesy photo The Rio Grande County Museum recently opened the What’s This exhibit in the main gallery.

DEL NORTE — The Rio Grande County Museum recently announced that a new exhibit opened Tuesday, Sept. 6 in the main gallery. This interactive display is set to test knowledge of days gone by.

Throughout history, humankind has challenged the outer world and set out to make life easier. From the invention of the wheel to the discovery of fire and its uses, contraptions have filled the waking world since time began and the museum has set up a display, featuring some of the most ingenious and in some cases, bizarre contraptions from days long past.

Some of the artifacts on display date back to ancient China and all the way through the early 20th century. These inventions helped shape the world and offer a peek into the past. Everything from kitchen utensils to tools and hygiene equipment is on display.

In addition to the new exhibit, the museum is preparing for more events this fall which include a large fundraiser dinner in partnership with the Windsor Hotel. It’s going to be a holiday affair.

On Nov. 12, the museum would like to invite the public to a plated dinner with a menu that will be reflective of 1874 when the Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach first appeared in the San Luis Valley.

The funds raised during this event will go toward the preservation and relocation of the Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach office building which is currently located by Del Norte Town Hall. Local resident Susanne Colville has been working to preserve the building since she was a child working with her mother, local historian Ruth Marie Colville.

An account has been set up through the Del Norte Public Library for anyone wishing to donate to the cause.

The Barlow and Sanderson Stagecoach was the only mode of transportation and mail services in the Valley from 1874 until the railroad came in 1881. The San Juan Prospector boasts about the arrival of the railroad on July 4, 1881, when the train whistle sounded for the first time in the small mountain community and signaled the changing of an age.

Several of the interviews recorded at the museum are from patrons who remembered the stagecoach coming to the Valley and how beautiful the coach and accompanying horses were. The stage line was well known for their sleek black horses and well-trained men who drove through rain or shine to deliver people and mail to the San Luis Valley.

More details about the holiday dinner will be announced in coming weeks but mark the calendar for Nov. 12. The museum is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. until Oct. 1. For more information, visit the Facebook page under Rio Grande County Museum or call 719-657-2847.