Carolyn Sue Hall has done the detail work of cataloging plants for decades. Her interest in plants began in third grade when she attended Mrs. Dirks' classes on plants and birds.
That was at Tallula Grade School in Illinois. As an adult, she made her own journals. Those records were shared with Colorado State University.
And now the labor of her love of preserving a record of the plants in Delta County and its adjoining watersheds has led to the soon grand opening of the Jacob Hoover Cowen Herbarium in Hotchkiss at the Hotchkiss-Crawford Historical Museum and Black Canyon VFW Post #9333. The opening will be Saturday, June 23, at 5 p.m.
Invitations have been sent out for the grand opening, but interested members of the public are welcome too. Advance reservations are required. Only those with reservations will be admitted. If you would like to attend the grand opening, call Karen Lacey at 872-2586 as soon as possible.
The herbarium is named after Jacob "Jake" Hoover Cowen, the stepson of Enos T. Hotchkiss, founder of the town. Cowen had an excellent reputation for his work. Cowen was instrumental in starting the herbarium at Colorado Agricultural College, now known as Colorado State University (CSU). He tragically died when he was just 28 years old in 1900 of peritonitis, the result of a ruptured appendix.
"The goal of the Jacob Hoover Cowen Herbarium is to make the extraordinarily diverse world of Delta County wild plants available to the widest range of people possible," writes Carolyn Sue Hall. "From scientists with PhD's to the youngest student, it is my goal that this herbarium will accommodate them all with sophisticated scientific knowledge for the PhD's to classes of simple identification for the young plant enthusiast, encouraging both to explore plants from the rare and endangered to the common and plentiful."
An inscription from Willis Linn Jepson to his friend Robert E. Burton is the inspiration of the motto for Hall and for the herbarium. She modified and added to the quote to make it hers as well. "The botanist's objective is a furtherance of knowledge of living plants. He wishes by his investigations to discover new facts and establish new principles that will aid in promoting botanical research. If wise, he will never try to produce a work which is perfect, complete and final. Any such work would be a paradox and at cross-purposes with our concepts of living things. Completion, perfection, finality represent an anomaly, a contradiction in the field of biology. The far-seeing botanist, on the contrary, will strive to do work which is inspiring, productive of thought and promoting the soundest progress, so that botanical science will ever advance into new and more fruitful fields."
The oldest herbarium was established in Germany in 1569. Those specimens from 1569 are still used for research today, as are the records of the first herbarium in the United States which was founded in 1771 in North Carolina. And now, Hotchkiss has one.
All of Hall's records and plants are verified by Jennifer Ackerfeld at CSU. Hall is particularly excited when she has found a plant which has not been formerly recorded at CSU.
The Jacob Hoover Cowen Herbarium will be open when the museum is open. Summer hours at the museum are 1-4 p.m., Friday - Sunday.
Don't forget to call Karen Lacey today at 872-2586 for reservations for the Jacob Hoover Cowen Herbarium grand opening.blog comments powered by Disqus