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Alpine Bank celebrates Colorado Day with grants for museums

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Photo submitted Delta County Historical Society board member Keith Lucy and curator/director Jim Wetzel are pictured with Barbara Wolfe, Alpine Bank AVP/branch manager.

Colorado became a state in 1876, exactly 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, earning it the moniker of Centennial State. Colorado Day is an annual observance that commemorates the state's birthday on Aug. 1, 1876. Alpine Bank, with 38 branches in 28 Colorado communities from Denver to Durango, is celebrating the 140th Colorado Day with awards totaling $30,000 to nonprofits with a historic preservation or cultural mission. In the San Juan region, the Delta County Museum and the Ouray County Historical Society are the selected beneficiaries of the grants, each in the amount of $1,876.

The Delta County Museum is the place to go if you are searching for treasures from Delta County and around the world. Here you can see many items of interest from Delta County's pioneer days, such as housewares, toys, clothing and early farming and ranch utensils. Some interesting highlights include the Leslie J. Savage Bell collection, the butterfly display and a unique collection of prehistoric dinosaur bones.

Also at the museum is a rare 38-star American flag commemorating Colorado as the 38th state to join the union (included in check presentation photo). The 38-star flag was the 20th version of the flag and was in use until 1890 when five additional states were added to the Union, thus creating the 43-star flag.

Jim Wetzel, museum director, shared that this donation came at a great time as the museum is in need of additional preservation supplies and additional storage shelving units for its growing collections of historical items.

Ouray County Historical Society Museum is housed in the original St. Joseph's Miners' Hospital that was built in 1886 and finished in 1887. The museum features mining, ranching and railroading, the three main means of employment in Ouray's early history. It houses many artifacts dating back to Ouray's earliest days which began in 1875.

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