The San Juan Mountains Association and the La Plata County Historical Society are collaborating for a second season to conduct a heritage education project to increase community awareness of local historical resources and the importance of historic preservation.
The history of La Plata County is rich and diverse, and these project activities give residents and visitors the opportunity to learn about important resources close to home.
The education project received major funding from the State Historical Fund. One of the activities, a field trip, took place Saturday, but adults and youths still can participate in a workshop and camp.
History in Your Own Backyard visited the historic Animas City Cemetery on Saturday. The cemetery dates from 1877, before the founding of Durango. Some of the ‘residents’ of the cemetery include outlaws, many members of pioneer families and Civil War veterans. Participants also learned about ongoing research and educational projects about the cemetery.
A second event – History – Hands-On! – is a workshop in the afternoon Nov. 2 and 3. After a classroom orientation, participants will learn how to document graves and headstones at historic Durango cemeteries, including recording inscriptions, mapping, photography and condition assessment.
The third activity in the education project is the History Detectives: Youth Day Camp, which will be offered during Thanksgiving break Nov. 25. Youths ages 10 to 12 will investigate “Life in a Log Cabin.” Campers will learn about historic chores and cook on an open fire to prepare their lunch. They also will explore Animas City’s historic neighborhoods and examine the changes that have taken place.
Preregistration is required for these events, and each activity session is $25 per person. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.
For more information about the History Comes Alive events, contact Ruth Lambert at SJMA at 385-1267.
For information about other educational and volunteer opportunities with the La Plata County Historical Society’s Animas Museum, call Museum Director Carolyn Bowra at 259-2402.
Ruth Lambert is cultural program director with San Juan Mountains Association, a nonprofit dedicated to public land stewardship and education. Email her at Ruth@sjma.org.