Soup supper puts focus on Pioneer Town

By Hank Lohmeyer


Soup supper puts focus on Pioneer Town | event, Cedaredge, Pioneer Town,

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer The signature Bar-I Ranch silos and the historic pioneer Peterson homestead cabin are just two of the numerous structures and hundreds of authentic artifacts from Surface Creek Valley's pioneer days that are maintained by the dedica

The Pioneer Town soup supper fundraiser is coming to the Stolte Shed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 13, an annual event that boosts the local community in many ways.

This is one of the important fundraisers during the year that helps support Pioneer Town -- a grass roots enterprise that makes its way by the dedication of a local volunteer corps; by programs and services it offers the community; and especially by the support from its community friends without whom Pioneer Town would not exist, because it does not rely on government support.

Organizers of the soup supper promise there will be many different kinds of homemade soups available along with breads, corn bread, rolls, cakes and desserts and beverages.

The many volunteers who help to prepare this tasty treat are being assisted in providing fare for their guests by members of the Wednesday exercise class that meets in the Stolte Shed.

Pioneer Town is a remarkable historical complex that defines Surface Creek Valley and Cedaredge like no other. Starting out as little more than a grass roots idea on the part of local families who felt the need to record and preserve the area's heritage of pioneer settlement and development, Pioneer Town has grown into a major tourism resource for the valley and for the county. It is also a valuable educational resource for the county schools.

Events at the Stolte Shed are always a special treat. Just taking the short stroll along the Stolte's covered front porch is like taking a few steps back in time to when it was people -- family, friends and neighbors -- who mattered most in community life.

There must have been a real sense of community building in those days, and the pioneer settlers of the area seemed to realize they were a part of something that history would one day acknowledge. Evidence of that is seen in all of the historic photos hanging on the walls of the Stolte Shed -- photos which have been professional-grade curated by the SCVHS volunteer staff. They help tell the complete and accurate picture of the early days and of the people who created success from them.

The soup supper gives the entire valley community a chance to participate in supporting and enjoying the heritage that Pioneer Town preserves.

Journalist and publisher Paul Ash in "The Valley Heartbeat" described Pioneer Town in an article that is now posted on the Pioneer Town website.

"One of the many prime attractions of Cedaredge is Pioneer Town, located just two blocks south of downtown Cedaredge. Visitors can travel back 100 or more years in time at the special attraction, operated by the Surface Creek Valley Historical Society.

"Pioneer Town, a continuing project of the Surface Creek Valley Historical Society, allows guests to take a look back at the early years of Delta County. It includes an actual old town main street and many other buildings filled with historical treasures of the past.

"A monument to the early settlers, Pioneer Town is complete with many original restored structures, furnished and outfitted with the artifacts of that period."

The Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway Visitor Center and Chapel of the Cross are also important parts of the Pioneer Town complex.

The soup supper will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 2 p.m. Admission is by donation -- a type of goodwill that the SCVHS embraces in various events and programs. There is a suggested donation of $10 for the soup supper.

The annual soup supper is one of several events held throughout the year that keeps Pioneer Town in the forefront of the community's social life and that defines its unique expression of the Surface Creek Valley.

Other events hosted by Pioneer Town include:

• The Clean Up Days are during the first full week of May. They get the complex spruced up and ready for the traditional Memorial Day weekend season opening..

* The big celebration that marks Pioneer Town's opening each spring, Heritage Day, will take place is during Memorial Day weekend and everyone is invited to attend.

• A really fun social event, Night on the Town, is for strolling Main Street in Western style and socializing with friends. It takes place on the fourth Saturday of June, which will be June 25 this year.

• The midsummer ice cream social is a warm weather complement to the soup supper, It will be held on the fourth Saturday in July - the 23rd.

• On the first Saturday of October as part of the AppleFest celebration, Pioneer Town hosts is popular AppleFest Car Show in conjunction with other community groups.

• The dozens of dedicated volunteers that happily make Pioneer Town and the Surface Creek Historical Society the fun community resource it is are honored on the 2nd Tuesday of October, the 11th this year.

• The annual Christmas concert at the Chapel of the Cross takes place the first Saturday of December and is normally part of the community's Parade of Lights Celebration.

And there is the popular Chapel of the Cross Concert Series that takes place twice per week all summer long. And many other community events held at the Stolte Shed throughout the year making Pioneer Town a an important focus of community interest and that is really unique.

Anyone wanting to keep close tabs on the many activities and events going on all season long at Pioneer Town may sign up for the newsletter by contacting the newsletter editor at: PioneerTownEditor@gmail.com.