Celebrating 125 years

Cultural Center honoring Cortez’s anniversary

Keywords: Poll question,
Courtesy Photo This rug, donated by Notah Dineh, will be raffled Saturday to raise money for the Cortez Cultural Center. The rug is entitled Storm by Charlene Begay, 52 x 78, and has a retail value $3,900. Tickets are 1 for $10.00, 3 for $25.00. Enlargephoto

Courtesy Photo This rug, donated by Notah Dineh, will be raffled Saturday to raise money for the Cortez Cultural Center. The rug is entitled "Storm" by Charlene Begay, 52 x 78", and has a retail value $3,900. Tickets are 1 for $10.00, 3 for $25.00.

In December of 1886, work began on the town of Cortez. According to the city’s website, in 1889 a sandstone building was completed at the intersection of Market and Main Street to house mercantile and businesses.

And in the spirit of commerce, the Cortez Cultural Center, located at 25 N. Market St. will be celebrating Cortez’s 125th birthday a few months early to help raise money for the center.

“What we’ve done is shifted the focus away from Trader’s Rendezvous,” said Shawn Collins, executive director of the Cortez Cultural Center, referring to the annual event. “Shifting the focus on the traders themselves to a broader perspective where we get to look at the consumeristic, or the business perspective of Cortez as a hub of commerce for 125 years.”

Events kick off Saturday with a flag-raising by the American Legion and musical performances by the Montezuma Cortez High School Band.

A rare tour will be offered of Mitchell Springs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Located just south of town, the springs were one of the original water sources that gave birth to a fledgling Cortez before the Great Cut Dike was built and a mile-long tunnel was bored through the sandstone to bring water from the Dolores River.

“Water was very important,” Collins said. “As water was developed, so were other businesses.”

Now located on private property, the springs also have prehistoric significance as the water source for the ancient Hawkins Pueblo ruins, which will also be toured from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Pueblo has recently undergone roofing, archaeology and site stabilization, Collins said.

“The other day we had a preschool group coming through and a little girl who had to be five or six years old actually pointed at the ruin and said ‘look, that was one of their bedrooms.’” Collins said. “That was wonderful because what that meant for me, is it’s something more than just a mound of rubble, which it has been in the past.”

Also from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, an Antique Market Road Show will offer a chance for locals to have their antique items appraised in exchange for a $10 donation to the cultural center.

“I’m looking forward to some of the stories that will come out of those items,” Collins said. “I think that actually has a lot of potential to be a lot of fun.”

A Cowboy Cookout and homemade pie sale will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. for $10 per plate. Alcoholic beverages will be available for additional cost.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Authors of the recently published “Images of America: Cortez,” Vila Schwindt, Janet Weeth and Dale Davidson will be on hand for a book signing. Copies of the book will be available and proceeds will go to the cultural center.

Following the book signing, at 6:30 p.m. a panel discussion will be held on the topic, Cortez as a center of commerce for 125 years. Panel members include Kelly Wilson, Gary Tanner, William Winkler, Doty Wayt and William Fraser.

A rug valued at $3,900 will be raffled off at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for one or $25 for three.

Also Saturday, KSJD Dryland Community Radio will be holding a moving sale from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the intersection of Market Street and Main Street.

Not to be overlooked, the Trader’s Rendezvous rug preview and rug auction will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Montezuma County Annex, 107 N. Chestnut Street with the auction beginning at 1 p.m.

Collins said area weavers will be bringing traditional and non-traditional rugs for auction.

“It should be a buyer’s market this year,” she said.

Rugs up for auction can be viewed online at: http://rbburnhamtrading.com

For more information, contact the cultural center at 565-1151.

Reach Reid Wright at reidw@cortezjournal.com