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Season at San Juan Historical Museum drawing to a close

Cooler morning temperatures signal summer is coming to an end. With that the San Juan Historical Museum begins to wrap up its season. The final day for the museum to be open this year is Saturday, Sept. 17.

Only days remain to view treasures of Pagosa Springs history on display at the museum this summer as part of “Pagosa Springs’ Quilting Heritage” — this summer’s special quilt exhibit at the San Juan Historical Society Museum. Most of the quilts that are in this display are in the Society’s permanent collection, but are not always on display due to their fragility.

Pine Trees of Pagosa Springs

The donated quilt is a friendship quilt. This type of quilt is traditionally a simple, pieced block with a signature block incorporated into it or under it. The signatures may be written in ink, or embroidered.

This quilt is done in a traditional pine-tree block. At the base of each tree is a signature block with the names embroidered on it. There are 82 names of early families to settle in this area and include Fern Hott, Charles Day, E.M. Taylor, Phil Burns, Lenna Catchpole and Ida Born.

Hazel Macht made the pine tree block friendship quilt in 1935 and she gave it the name “Pine Trees of Pagosa Springs.”

Hazella Haptenstall donated this quilt, a granddaughter of early Pagosa Springs pioneers Joe and Hazel Macht.

Bowtie Quilt

Genelle Salabar Macht’s grandmother Effie made the bowtie quilt on display. Genelle remembers that in the evenings the quilt frame would be pulled down and the quilt would be worked on.

The Salabar family lived 2 miles up the Pine River from Bayfield. Genelle Salabar married Ray Macht, who is descended from on of the earliest families in the Pagosa Springs area. Genelle and Ray made their home in Pagosa Springs.

The pattern for the bowtie quilt dates from 1898. This quilt is dated 1929-30.

Crazy Quilt Top

Alice Webb donated this quilt to the historical society. The Webb family was one of the early families that settled in the Upper Piedra area north of Pagosa Springs.

When the quilt was donated to the society, it was backed with muslin. To conserve it, the quilt has been stitched to new muslin all around the outside edge and along some of the blocks, which are constructed out of stronger fabrics. The quilt will remain stitched to this muslin to help protect it for the future.

Other quilts in this special exhibit date from 1840 to 1960. They are reminiscent of the quilts that would have been brought to Pagosa Springs with the first settlers and those that would have been, and were, made as our community settled and grew. There are several friendship quilts and some wonderful crazy quilts that date from 1890 to 1900.

Gift shop

The museum gift shop offers a nice selection of quilting and regional history books, tote bags and purses, historic playing cards and old photographs from this area.

Admission to the museum is free. Donations are appreciated as expenses for operation of the museum are covered through donations and gift shop sales.

The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 96 Pagosa St., the corner of U.S. 160 and First Street in downtown Pagosa Springs.

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