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Museum includes work of Worthe Crouse, man of many talents

Crouse.

One name that brings back so many memories to those who knew him.

Husband.

Father.

Teacher.

Welder.

Storyteller.

Artist.

And, the list could be so much longer.

Worthe Crouse was instrumental in the founding of the San Juan Historical Society and Museum. At the first meeting of people interested in preserving area history, held in 1970, Crouse was elected chairman of the fledgling society.

After much discussion, two main goals were decided upon — fund-raising and finding a location for the museum. The town stepped up and offered the old town Water Works site, where the museum is currently located.

One of Crouse’s jobs through his years here in Pagosa Springs was working for the Job Corps. They were shutting the site up Piedra Road about the time the historical society was working to get a museum built. The society was able to secure one of the metal buildings that served the Job Corps.

Crouse and his son, George, cut the building in two and brought it to the current museum site, welding it back together to serve as a portion of the museum. Much easier written here than accomplished.

Crouse was also a metal artist and the museum is fortunate to house a small bit of his work. Unfortunately, the hand-made and hand-polished anvil created by Mr. Crouse was stolen in a 2011 burglary, but there are several art pieces remaining including his eagle with a fish in his claws, perched on a rock. There is a columbine, piece of coral, an elephant and more.

Quilt display

For several summers the museum has offered special quilt displays for its visitors.

This year’s display is “Montage: A quilt display” and is truly a montage of quilts. Featured are pieced, appliqué and embroidered quilts dating from 1840 to present. Over 20 quilts are exhibited for the enjoyment of the public.

Gift shop

A small gift shop is housed in the museum offering books of regional interest, quilt books and patterns, Pagosa Springs historical playing cards and locally-made crafts for sale. All proceeds from the museum support the operation of the museum.

No admission

All of the thousands of treasures housed in the museum can be enjoyed at no charge. Donations are gladly accepted to offset day-to-day expenses of utilities, insurance and upkeep.

The museum will close for the season on Saturday, Sept. 15, so be sure to plan a visit before then.

The museum is located at 96 Pagosa St. on the east end of Pagosa Springs, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring the family down and get lost in art and history for a while.

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