FOR RELEASE: What better way to kick off spring than visiting with a bunch of baby animals? Baby Animal Days returns to Centennial Village, 1475 A St., from Thursday, April 20 through Sunday, April 30, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
During the event, families can interact with various baby animals such as goats, lambs, ducklings and piglets. Some of the animals live in the museum’s Centennial Barn throughout the summer, and some of the animals are visiting just for this event. Small children can also enjoy pony rides on weekends, weather permitting.
Admission is $3 per person, ages three and older.
“We have a lot of families and daycares who will pack a picnic and spend quite a bit of time with the animals,” said Museum Educator Sarah Lester. “It’s a delightful experience for families to enjoy the day together.”
Agfinity, a locally owned agricultural cooperative, is Centennial Village’s season sponsor and provides feed for the animals throughout the season.
For more information about this event, call 970-350-9220 or visit GreeleyMuseums.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Sarah Lester, Museum Educator
Famous Faces in Northern Colorado History
Written by Kimberly Overholt, Museum Marketing
Several stories and people have found historic fame in northeastern Colorado, but none so much as the fame garnered by an early 20th century rattlesnake killing incident.
“Rattlesnake” Kate was a progressive and important female figure in Northern Colorado history. Her story is one of strength, determination, and creative fun.
Kate McHale Slaughterback was born in 1894. In her early life, she was known to enjoy wearing pants instead of dresses, and loved shooting guns and working hard.
An independent lady, Kate was progressive for the time—she had married and divorced several times and had been a trained nurse and taxidermist. Rumor has it that she was also a bootlegger.
On October 28, 1925, Katherine McHale Slaughterback (1863-1969) was out with her 3-year old adopted son Ernie. They were on horseback and headed toward a lake near her farm in Hudson, Colorado after hearing what sounded like hunters. Slaughterback hoped they would find ducks left by the hunters, but what they found instead were over a hundred migrating rattlesnakes. Kate fired the bullets in her .22 Remington rifle until none remained. She had disturbed the snakes and soon Ernie, Kate and her horse were surrounded.
Worried about Ernie and her horse, and with nothing left in the gun, Kate grabbed a nearby sign—ironically it’s believed to have been a “No Hunting” sign—and began killing the rattlesnakes, one-by-one, until all were dead.
According to Kate, “I fought them with a club not more than 3 feet long, whirling constantly for over two hours before I could kill my way out of them and get back to my faithful horse and Ernie, who were staring at me during my terrible battle not more than 60 feet away.
All totaled, she killed 140 snakes.
The story immediately spread like wildfire and according to Kate, “Soon a newspaper reporter came and had me string 140 dead rattlesnakes on a wire and have my photo taken.”
The story of her bravery earned Kate national notoriety. Reports of her snake-killing story and photos emerged, and the incident earned her the nickname “Rattlesnake Kate.”
Kate was a lady of many talents and someone who did not waste anything. Prior to the incident, Kate had taken a correspondence class from the Northwestern School of Taxidermy in Omaha, Nebraska. She was also proficient at sewing. Putting both skills to work, she used a fair amount of the snakeskins and rattles to create a one-of-a-kind flapper-style dress with matching shoes and accessories.
The snakeskins were attached to a simple-style underdress.
According to Ernie, Kate wore the dress to a few parties and supposedly wore the dress while she danced on top of a tavern bar in Juarez, Mexico.
Kate would ultimately go on to raise rattlesnakes on her property, extracting their venom for profit. She would also make and sell snakeskin souvenirs.
Visitors can see the original dress, which is kept in an air-tight, climate and light controlled case at the Greeley History Museum.
Three weeks before her death, Kate donated the dress to what was then called the Greeley Municipal Museum. She claimed the dress was patented and that she once had an offer from the Smithsonian Institute to purchase the dress.
She died in 1969 at the age of seventy-five. At her request, her headstone in the Platteville cemetery where she is buried reads, “Rattlesnake Kate.”
In 1987 and 1988, Ernie donated additional items of Kate’s to the museum including her .22 Remington.
Today, her original snakeskin dress is exhibited in a climate and light controlled area in the Greeley History Museum, 714 8th Street, along with her rattlesnake shoes and accessories. Documents, images and artifacts related to the story are kept by the museum’s Hazel E. Johnson Research Center.
Her homestead and story are also a part of nearby Centennial Village Museum, 1475 A Street.
Special thanks to Peggy Ford Waldo, development coordinator, for providing additional resources for this article.
On October 28, 1925, Katherine McHale Slaughterback was out with her 3-year old when they were surrounded by migrating rattlesnakes near her farm in Hudson, Colorado. McHale Slaughterback used all of the bullets in her rifle and then she grabbed a nearby sign and began killing the snakes, one-by-one, until all were dead.
News of the incident spread quickly and earned McHale Slaughterback the nickname “Rattlesnake Kate.” An industrious woman, she used many of the snakeskins and rattles to create an authentic, one-of-a-kind flapper-style dress with matching shoes and accessories.
The Rattlesnake Kate story is one of six stories currently being considered for the Rocky Mountain PBS series Colorado Experience. It’s up for popular vote, or as the television station calls it, Viewer’s Choice, against five other history stories from across the state. The link to vote is at http://woobox.com/cgdn2e/iqrdc0 and the winning show topics will be announced Friday, April 7.
Today, Rattlesnake Kate’s original snakeskin dress is exhibited in a climate and light controlled area in the Greeley History Museum, 714 8th St., along with rattlesnake shoes and accessories. Her original homestead and story are part of nearby Centennial Village Museum, 1475 A St., which coincidently opens April 20 for Baby Animal Days. For information about the museums, visit Greeleymuseums.com.
The series Colorado Experience airs on Rocky Mountain PBS every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the contest and series, visit RMPBS.org/ColoradoExperience.
For more information, contact:
Kim Overholt, Museum Marketing
FOR RELEASE: In 2016, the City of Greeley Museums had 136 volunteers donate over 10,000 hours of service. Thirty-seven of those volunteers will be presented with the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for 2017.
Six of those volunteers were local teens who will be recognized at the gold level:
- Roarinbrook Smith, 345 hours
- Corvin Seery, 316 hours
- Kaitlyn Jacobson, 188 hours
- Annika Miller, 124 hours
- Hannah Miller, 108.25 hours
- Kylie Hinz, 104.5 hours
“It’s an incredible honor to have such dedicated volunteers. It has been my pleasure working with them,” said Volunteer Coordinator Serena Fanning.
Additionally, four volunteers were recognized at the silver level and 28 volunteers were recognized at the bronze level. Volunteers’ ages range from youth through adult. Each recipient receives a letter signed by the President of the United States, certificate of recognition, and a lapel pin in honor of their achievement.
For information about the PVSA, visit PresidentialServiceAwards.gov. For information about volunteering at the City of Greeley Museums, visit Greeleymuseums.com/Volunteer.
For more information, contact:
Serena Fanning, Volunteer Coordinator