Friday, March 18, 2011

Video Trailer for "Turn It Up: Golden's Musical Memories"

Here's the first view of our video trailer for one of the multimedia portions of "Turn It Up: Golden's Musical Memories," which will open June 3, 2011. Let us know what you think!

Read more on our website, and stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Museum Advisory Board Seeks Community Input

In April, it will be one year since the Golden City Council adopted Resolution #2052 bringing Golden History Museums under city administration. The resolution also recognized a new relationship between the City and the non-profit organization that had been managing the three museums. Now known as “Friends of Golden History Museums,” the organization exists to help coordinate events, raise funds, and host events that help support the museums.
In addition, City Council passed Ordinance #1872 establishing a Cultural Services and Museum Advisory Board.  The board was charged “to promote cultural preservation, to advise the City Council concerning museum programming, and to recommend and plan events for the Golden community that promote an interest in and appreciation for the preservation of Golden’s history and culture.”
The ordinance also states, “the initial purpose of the board, at least through the end of 2011, and longer if necessary, is to assist the City with the transition of the management of the City’s museums to the City, advising the City with respect to strategic planning, transition issues, and museum best practices, and to act as “ambassadors to the community” for the City’s museums.”
Now that the transition is complete, the board is at a crossroads. They must prepare a recommendation for Council stating that, as of the end of 2011, the board with either: 1) continue on in perpetuity as stated; 2) be absorbed into another advisory board (i.e. the Parks Board); or 3) disband. 
In order to make an informed recommendation to City Council, the members of the Cultural Services and Museum Advisory Board is seeking community input on the board’s future. They are inviting interested citizens to attend the board’s next public meeting on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:00pm in City Council Chambers to give their feedback to the board members.
If you are unable to attend the meeting but would still like to provide your thoughts to the board members, please email the board chair, Liz Cook at or contact Nathan Richie at

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Real One of a Kind

Nancy Mason and Chuck Howes discuss
 the piano’s unique qualities.
 Upright pianos became popular in America during the late 1800s. We, however, have a real one-of-a-kind, and not just because it's covered in orange velvet.

Last December Michael and Nancy Mason, of Golden donated this beauty to the museum. Like all of our artifacts, this one has a story behind it too. Long before it came to the museum it was exhibited at the World Columbian Exposition of 1893.

Coincidentally, Adolf Coors was showing his beers at the same Exposition alongside the products of over two dozen other breweries. Coors won an award for “brilliancy, flavor, chemical analysis and commercial flavor.” He was also the only winner west of the Mississippi.

Anyhow, after seeing the piano at the Columbia Exhibition, a man named Clinton O. Heath purchased the piano as a gift for the woman he loved and intended to marry, a Miss Mattie Williamson. It was shipped to Ft. Morgan, CO, where Clint and Mattie lived on spacious property they called “the farm.” They later moved to Denver and lived in the Congress Park district until Clint’s death.

The Masons are aware of only one other similar piano, but it was a rose color. Oddly, it was found in a bar in Woodland Park, Colorado. Its condition was very poor because someone tried to wash it.

Specifically, our piano is a Regal #1908 with a patent date of August 20, 1889 made by the New England Piano Company of Boston. The donation also includes a piano stool of dark wood claw feet grasping glass balls.

The piano was regularly played in the Heath home until Mattie's death in 1964 when it was moved to the home of her daughter, Camille Heath Conine. She lived only a few blocks away from her mother on Garfield Street in Congress Park. The house at 720 Garfield was one of the first houses to be built in the block. Upon Camille's death in 1994, the piano was moved to her grandson Michael's home in Golden. And now, it’s the newest item in the Golden History Museums’s growing collection.

See our newest addition with your very own eyes in Turn it Up: Golden’s Musical Memories, opening June 3rd at the Golden History Center.