History comes alive with a local education project

$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Orvil Lavender was 7 years old when he died and his was the earliest burial with a headstone at Animas City Cemetery. The cemetery will be the site of an upcoming History  Hands-On! field opportunity to learn about and document history in local cemeteries.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$ Enlargephoto

Courtesy of San Juan Mountains Association

$PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Orvil Lavender was 7 years old when he died and his was the earliest burial with a headstone at Animas City Cemetery. The cemetery will be the site of an upcoming History Hands-On! field opportunity to learn about and document history in local cemeteries.$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$

The San Juan Mountains Association and the La Plata County Historical Society are collaborating to implement a heritage education project to increase community awareness of local historical resources and the importance of historic preservation. The history of La Plata County is rich and diverse and these project activities will give residents and visitors the opportunity to learn about important resources close to home. With major funding the State Historical Fund, the education project is offering classes and camps.

History in Your Own Backyard includes fieldtrips to the southeastern part of the County with visits to the towns of Tiffany and Allison. The guided tours will visit historic churches, schools, and businesses in these early towns. The fieldtrips will be offered on Saturday, April 28 and a repeat again on May 19. History- Hands-On! is a field opportunity to learn to document historic cemeteries at the Animas City Cemetery and the Hermosa Cemetery.After a classroom orientation, participants will spend three days learning how to document graves and headstones including recording inscriptions, mapping, photography, and condition assessment.

The third activity in the education project is the History Detectives: Youth Day Camps. Youth aged 10-12 will spend a day at either the ‘Animas City Detective Agency’ camp or the ‘If Headstones Could Talk’ camp to learn about the clues we can use to discover our history. The ‘Animas City Detective Agency’ will focus on the history of Animas City and its importance to the development of La Plata County and mining in the San Juan Mountains. The ‘If Headstones Could Talk’ camp will learn about the concepts of historical archaeology in a cemetery setting. The camps are offered July 19 and July 26.

Pre-registration is required for all of these events and each activity session is $25/person. Early registration is encouraged as space is limited. For additional information about the History Comes Alive events, please contact Ruth Lambert at SJMA at 385-1267. For information about other educational and volunteer opportunities with the La Plata County Historical Society’s Animas Museum, please contact the Executive Director, Carolyn Bowra at 259-2402.

Ruth Lambert is cultural program director with San Juan Mountains Association. SJMA RRis a nonprofit dedicated to public land stewardship and education. Contact Ruth at ruth@sjma.org.