Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dinosaur Hunters Musical Comes to Golden History Museums

History and paleontology will come together in music at the Clear Creek History Park on Wednesday, Aug. 3 from 2-3 p.m. A group of students from Yale University will be putting on an hour-long musical titled The Dinosaur Hunters at the Hay Barn at CCHP.

Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, though not the bones found in Morrison, CO.

This performance will explore the story of the disagreements between two of the most famous paleontologists of the late 19th century: O.C. Marsh and E.D. Cope. The connection for us is that Golden resident Arthur Lakes (who discovered Tyrannosaurus Rex bones near Morrison, CO) sent some of the bones that he found to both Marsh and Cope, but ultimately chose to work with Marsh over Cope. This angered the jealous Cope and only exacerbated the tension between the two paleontologists.

This musical is geared toward older children (4th grade and up) and teens. It is educational, but with a big dash of fun thrown in. We hope you are able to join us for the fun on August 3!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Foss Ski Country decanters, last chance to view at GHC

If you haven’t seen the highlights of Richard Gardner’s Foss Ski Country decanters, you’ll have your last chance this summer. This temporary exhibit at the Golden History Center will be on view until Sunday, Aug. 14 when we’ll begin making room for a new exhibit celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Golden Fortnightly Club.
In the early 1970s Foss Drug introduced a house-bourbon called Ski Country that came in a choice of three porcelain art decanters sculpted in the form of skiers.

Over the next quarter century, Foss produced 195 decanter designs, ranging from waterfowl and wildlife to Indians and rodeos. Ski Country decanters were made in limited editions of 120 to 12,000, usually in miniature and 750ml sizes.

The "barrel racer" decanter from the Foss Ski Country series.

Richard Gardner shows off a favorite.

For a while the Foss Ski Country decanters were extremely popular, with their own national
collector club, catalog, newsletter, and yearly auction. By the 1990s the decanter craze was over.

Today, the Golden History Center at 923 10th Street is one of the only places to see such an array of the various designs.

The decanters are on loan from Golden resident and historian Richard Gardner.

Finally, one of GHM’s primary goals is to collect artifacts that document Golden history. They include objects which were actually made or used in Golden and have a clear and specific association with some significant aspect of Golden history.

Do you have a Foss Ski Country decanter in your own private “collection” that you wish to donate to the museum? If so, please contact Mark Dodge at 303.278.3557 x204.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spying on the dress rehearsal for “Turn it Up: Golden’s Musical Memories”

Most musicians will tell you that every instrument has its own unique “voice.” Having watched the new exhibit “Turn it Up: Golden’s Musical Memories” come together, I can say that is absolutely true. In the process of creating the exhibit, we’ve had the privilege of restoring a handful of instruments from our remarkable collection. If you read our blog often, you might already know that we’ve restored our 1860 square grand piano (thanks to Dan Holstein of Dan’s Piano Service and a generous contribution from Mr. Gene Child). But, you might not know that Dan also tuned a recently donated 1893 Regal upright piano that was showcased at Chicago’s Columbian International Exposition. He also restored a charming 1873 melodeon. Not widely used or even recognized today, melodeons—a foot-pumped reed organ—were once commonplace in American homes. Turn it Up features two such melodeons, one of which is a WWII-era field organ carried by chaplains onto the battlefield.
On Thursday, June 2nd, musicians Peggy Lyon and Kathy Turnbull of the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra will perform a series of short concerts on the newly restored instruments. Both will play a selection of pieces that were composed during the era in which each instrument was manufactured. I got a chance to spy on their dress rehearsal today and I am excited to share this glimpse of their remarkable music. (P.S. There are still a handful of tickets available for the event, so call 303.278.3557 to make a reservation).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Press Release: Golden’s Musical Memories Exhibit Tells Stories of Local Musicians

Golden’s Musical Memories Exhibit Tells Stories of Local Musicians

GOLDEN, Colo. May 25, 2011 – An amazing experience awaits visitors to Golden History Museums, with a large collection of stories unique to Colorado’s musical history at the opening of “Turn It Up: Golden’s Musical Memories.” Come see the entertaining and informative exhibit from 6–8 p.m. on Friday, June 3 at the Golden History Center, 923 10th St. in Golden.

The personal stories of local musicians, as well as the tales behind some unusual instruments, will be told at this first-of-its-kind musical exhibit. The event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored in part by Dan’s Piano Service of Arvada, which donated much of the painstaking work to restore several instruments in the City of Golden’s collection, “Turn It Up” is an exhibit unlike any other in the museums’ history.

Combining many music types with the latest interactive video technology, the “Music-Maker Lounge” features local performers playing at various Golden venues, along with original interviews from musicians and longtime residents. 

From a pastor playing Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” on the custom-built pipe organ at the local church to the local bluegrass sensation Adam Kinghorn of Head for the Hills, the videos will cover a diverse range of subjects. Another favorite will be listening to local rancher Lena Baughman reminisce on attending monthly square dances in Golden Gate Canyon and hearing her mom, Kitty Jully, play piano while everyone danced to “Dive for the Oyster, Dive for the Clam, Dive for the Hole in the Old Tin Can.”

Additionally, four different historic pianos will be on view, including a J.M. Pelton square grand piano dating back to the 1860s which was purchased by Colorado’s Second Territorial Governor John Evans. The exhibit also includes an orange-velvet-covered Regal upright piano that was displayed at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and a second square grand that is uniquely turned on end against the wall. Each piano on view, plus a melodeon, rare field organ, fiddle, and cornet, has a unique connection to a Golden resident.

J.M. Pelton square grand piano before restoration.

An exclusive preview concert using the historic instruments, along with a special in-depth preview of the exhibit will be held on Thursday, June 2. Tickets are limited and start at $30 ($25 for GHM members), including hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Call 303-278-3557 for ticket information.  “Turn It Up” will run through 2011 and is open during regular business hours.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Missing Fence at Clear Creek History Park?

Golden History Museums' David Allison explains in a video blog why the fence is temporarily missing from Clear Creek History Park in downtown Golden.

Will you please take a minute and share your opinion on this? We love to hear comments, either on the blog or on FB. You can also send your thoughts in an email. Thanks!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So it Begins...

I’m a little late with the blog post, but I think the events at CCHP on April 16th warrant some commentary. I spent the morning alongside a number of new hops growers learning how to plant, care for, and harvest this precious plant that plays an important role in the beer brewing process. Golden History Museums and the AC Golden Brewing Company teamed up to host a couple of hops-growing workshops for the benefit of Colorado Native beer. GHM provided the ground and AC Golden took care of the rest.
(Leaning on this shovel was the most work I did all day)
During this workshop I learned a lot about growing hops from the AC Golden experts and I realized that people involved with brewing beer are as entertaining as you’d expect them to be. For those of you who don’t know, the folks over at AC Golden make a number of microbrews including the wonderful Colorado Native, a beer only sold in Colorado and currently made about 99.9% ingredients from Colorado. The lack of local hops is the only thing preventing Native from being a fully Colorado-grown and -brewed beer. So GHM is doing its part to help the brewery meet this goal. The workshop was a great success thanks to Aimee, Steve, Glenn and Steve from AC Golden, Zachary from Llama Tea, and Randy, a longtime hop grower.
Since I haven’t grown anything larger or more complicated than a zucchini, I tried to absorb as much information as I could, so we’ll see if David and I manage to keep those bines under control this year. (A bine is a climbing plant which climbs by its shoots growing in a helix around a support. It is distinct from a vine, which climbs using tendrils or suckers.) If I don’t, we might be in a little trouble at CCHP as these plants have a fairly aggressive growth rate. On a side note, if you ever see me trapped in an overgrowth of hop bines please remember to run away and save yourself. David and I were at the garden plot today and we noticed the first signs of hops, so here we go! This year production will be fairly low, but next year the hop bines could grow up to 18 feet high and weigh about 25 lbs apiece. Eep! Luckily Steve and the AC Golden gang will be building a maypole-style trellis to help us tame the plant growth.
It’s a great Colorado and Golden community project to be associated with, especially considering we’re a town built on beer. And when harvest time comes AC Golden will let us know when they use GHM hops in the Native and I’ll be sure to pass along the info to all our Facebook fans.  
Steve Rockhold discusses hops with AC Golden hops growers.

The planting begins!