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Museum looking for family memoirs

— Tread of Pioneers Museum officials are looking for longtime Routt County families willing to donate their memoirs and writings.

When people donate items to the museum, they often think to bring photos and artifacts, but sometimes writings are kept within the family and passed to children and grandchildren.

But those writings could be incredibly valuable to authors and researchers of future generations, museum Executive Director Candice Lombardo said.



“The museum center archives is only as complete as what people submit to us,” she said.

In conjunction with a brown-bag lecture series and a six-week workshop about memoir writing, the museum has been running classified ads requesting the memoirs of ranching, mining and other multi-generational families from the valley.



“With each family history, we can create a file in our research center about that family that will be here for future generations,” Lombardo said.

For a family to be historically important to the museum, they don’t necessarily need to have arrived in the Yampa Valley as pioneers. The museum is interested in any family that has connections to area mining, agriculture, major businesses or any of the major developmental themes of the area, Lombardo said.

Memoirs or other writings can best be used by the museum if they are submitted on a disk. If that is not possible, typed manuscripts also are acceptable. Handwritten material could be difficult to interpret but will not be turned away.

“The main thing we want our archive to do is offer the future a well-rounded history of the area,” Lombardo said. “You never know what aspect authors and researchers will be interested in. The more information we can present of our area, the better.”

Today at noon, Susan de Wardt will give an introductory workshop called “Memories to Memoirs” for people who want to write their memoirs but don’t know how.

After the introductory workshop, de Wardt plans to offer a six-week, in-depth memoir course. The class will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays beginnning this week. The course costs $125 for six weeks or $85 for members of Tread of Pioneers Museum.

People can sign up at today’s workshop or call the museum at 879-2214.

— To reach Autumn Phillips, call 871-4210 or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com


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