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401 Meeker St Delta CO 81416 970.874.4421

Paonia museum seeks volunteers to greet visitors

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Photo by Tamie Meck Paonia History Museum director Judy Livingston stands between the barbershop pole from Pete's Barbershop and the original switchboard that connected the town to the outside world in its early days. The museum is open from 1-3 Fridays a

The North Fork History Museum is looking for a little help.

Open from 1-3 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Labor Day, the museum is home to thousands of artifacts linking the past to the present. A little history about the museum itself: it consists of two buildings donated to North Fork Historical Society with the understanding they be moved -- a 1906 house owned by the family of James Parks and formerly located at Midway, and in the 1907 Bowie Schoolhouse, a two-room schoolhouse donated to the historical society by the Adolph Coors Company, desks, books, photos, maps and all, with the understanding they would move it.

But without volunteers to greet guests, keeping the museum open during the busy summer season is nothing short of difficult. Museum director Judy Livingston is seeking a few volunteers willing to immerse themselves in local history and spend a little time at the museum.

"People love to come here," said Livingston. "It's quiet, there's no phone. It's just a quiet place to spend an afternoon."

Until this year, she had one volunteer who kept regular hours. Unfortunately, she said, he is no longer able to volunteer. "If we could get someone here on a regular basis, that'd be great," said Livingston.

Among the artifacts are early coal mining record books, the medical cabinet of Paonia's first doctor, the original switchboard where operator Polly Davis learned everyone's business, musical instruments, books, photos, special exhibits, and the massive ornate cash register used to ring up sales at Paonia Mercantile.

"The great thing about this museum is that almost every single thing in here is from the North Fork Valley," said Livingston, whose grandfather arrived in Paonia in a covered wagon in 1910.

While the museum has set hours, Livingston said volunteers can choose their hours. She's also looking for volunteers to greet visitors the afternoon of July 4 when the museum hosts its annual ice cream social during Cherry Days. Livingston can be reached at 527-3970.

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North Fork
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