Centennial Celebration Scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend

Centennial Celebration Scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend

FOR RELEASE: Centennial Village Museum officially opens to the public this weekend. Step back in time to the late 1800’s with a visit during the museum’s Centennial Celebration event, scheduled for Saturday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, May 28, from noon until 4 p.m.

Located just south of Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley, Centennial Village is northern Colorado’s 8-acre outdoor living history experience.

The event includes buffalo soldier demonstrations on Saturday, as well as blacksmithing, quilt making, and chuckwagon cooking both days. Visitors can tour the newly renovated Farr Garage and the Fur Trapper’s Trading Post, in addition to touring the museum’s other historical homes and buildings.

Centennial Village preserves life in the Colorado high plains region from the last 150 years. The museum is open seasonally, from May until September, with several special events planned throughout the year.

Admission to the Centennial Celebration event is $8 per adult, $6 per senior, and $5 per child ages 3 and up. The museum has a special family rate of $18 for a group of five.

For more information about Centennial Village and the City of Greeley Museums, visit GreeleyMuseums.com or call 970-350-9220.


For more information, contact:
Scott Chartier, Historic Sites Curator


Free Museum Admission Celebrates Local Author, Book Release

Free Museum Admission Celebrates Local Author, Book Release

FOR RELEASE: Saturday, May 20, will be a busy day for Greeley resident Jaydine Rendall. That’s the day she releases her first book as a published author, “High Plains Heroes: Josiah.”

The historical fiction book, which retails for $7.50, is written for third through fifth graders and tells the story of Josiah Sullivan, a thirteen-year old living in the Colorado high plains region in 1862. Josiah’s path crosses with a young Arapaho boy, Lost Stick. As their cultures collide, Josiah must decide whether Lost Stick is a friend or enemy. This young reader novel is a thoroughly researched and a historically-accurate depiction of the early days of Weld County.

The Greeley History Museum and High Plains Library District are co-hosting Rendall’s book release party. The community is invited to visit the Greeley History Museum, 714 8th St., on Saturday, May 20 from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

In celebration of Greeley’s newest author, admission to the museum will be free – compliments of the High Plains Library District and the Museum. Rendall will be onsite for a special presentation beginning at 1:30 pm followed by a book signing. Copies of “High Plains Heroes: Josiah” will be available for purchase at the museum during the event.

Rendall wrote “High Plains Heroes: Josiah” as the High Plains Library District’s first Writer in Residence. During her six-month residency, Rendall found a publisher and completed the first two of her three book series. Rendall’s second book, “High Plains Heroes: Laughing Wolf” will be released this fall. She’s also a teacher at Frontier Academy.

Rendall moved to Greeley in 1999 with her husband and two sons. She worked for the City of Greeley for several years before moving to a teaching position at Franklin Middle School. Rendall currently teaches Literature and Composition at Frontier Academy Secondary School. She has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. Rendall keeps a blogs and information about her writing projects on her website, jaydinerendall.com.

For more details about the event, call 970-350-9220 or visit GreeleyMuseums.com.


For more information, contact:
Sarah Lester, Museum Educator

Jaydine Rendall, Writer in Residence, High Plains Library District

History Re-stitched: Examining Josephine Meeker’s Jacket & Skirt

Written by JoAnna Luth Stull, Museum Registrar

The 138 year old historic jacket and skirt made and worn by Josephine Meeker was examined closely by members of Greeley’s Centennial State Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). Their quest is to re-stitch, in miniature, the skirt and bodice made and worn by Josephine Meeker in 1879.

Image courtesy of Greeley Museums Curator of Collections Sarah Saxe. “Centennial State Chapter Members Examine Josephine Meeker’s Bodice from City of Greeley Museums Permanent Collection, 0426.0001A.

The one-of-a-kind replica garment will be included in a wardrobe of clothing for an American Girl doll named “Miss Ann” in honor of the President General of National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, Ann Turner Dillon. The completed wardrobe will be presented at the 2019 National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution National Congress in Washington, D.C.

Donning protective gloves, members of the NSDAR Centennial State Chapter who had weeks before completed a Museums’ Collections Viewing Request, met Greeley Museums Collections Curator Sarah Saxe in the secure and climate-controlled textile storage area at the Greeley History Museum. Seen here are Chapter Librarian JoAnna Luth Stull, Chapter Treasurer Teresa Hamilton, and Chapter Regent Willma Heckman (l-r) who examined the fabric, pattern, stitching, trim, and workmanship of the historic garment and in so doing, found a number of surprising revelations.

There were details like darts in the jacket bodice for a nice fit and a patch of blanket sewn in to complete the jacket length. Muslin backing supports the hand-stitched buttonholes. There are larger round metal buttons with a center design of an 8 petal flower surrounded by a ring of 16 dots and a repeating angled wheat sheaf alternated by a dot closer to the button edge.

A tiny white pearl button was carefully sewn on at the bodice top. A glimpse of the gathered red flannel ruffle sewn at the neckline as decorative trim may also be seen in this view.





The use of woven stripe inherent in the blanket design (lower green stripe) was supplemented by green ribbon trim (upper green stripe) on the right sleeve. The same process was used with red flannel strips to copy the red stripes in the blanket weave in both the jacket and skirt. The left sleeve utilizes green ribbon trim for both stripes near the wrist with the addition of a red flannel fabric stripe to simulate the red woven stripes found in the trade blanket fabric.

The right sleeve is pictured. Dress images courtesy of Greeley Museums Registrar JoAnna Luth Stull. “Josephine Meeker’s Bodice” from City of Greeley Museums Permanent Collection, 0426.0001A.







The skirt panels cut from the wool trade blanket for front, back and two side sections match nicely, except in one section shown. The skirt waistband (not pictured) is fashioned from muslin fabric and the skirt was secured with tie strips reinforced at the skirt back opening.Image courtesy of Greeley Museums Curator of Collections Sarah Saxe. “Josephine Meeker’s Skirt from City of Greeley Museums Permanent Collection, 0426.0001B.

Several decisions must be made in considering how to re-stitch the replica bodice and skirt originally made by Josephine Meeker. Of primary concern is the fabric as authentic Indian trade blankets made of wool are in very short supply! Locating wool of the proper weave and color is another almost impossible task, and in the process of considering locating a weaver who would spin, dye, and weave the amount of cloth needed, the members asked themselves, “How authentic do we want this garment to be versus the very practical question of future care and preservation?”

Two items of note that will also need to be reproduced to accessorize Josephine Meeker’s garment are not in the Museums’ collection for viewing; her footwear and her hat and there are stories about both items. Josephine may have worn moccasins she crafted herself, or that were given to her by her Ute friends. The hat worn by Josephine in the photograph taken by William H. Jackson of Denver may or may not have been the actual hat she wore during her captivity. An 1896 article in the Greeley Tribune taken from a story in the Denver Post relates that the State Historical Society received “an interesting addition to their collection of relics of historical importance” from Judge Charles Denison Hayt of the “supreme court [sic]” who gave the “hat worn by Josie Meeker during her captivity among the Indians.”

Whatever hat Josephine wore and whatever became of her moccasins, one thing is known for sure, Josephine made it out of Ute captivity due to the help of “Ute Susan” or Shawsheen, whose own story comes full-circle back to Greeley—twice!


Project Background: The Colorado State Chapter NSDAR Juniors’ special project will be to complete a wardrobe for an American Girl doll named “Miss Ann” inspired by Ann Turner Dillon, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution President General and a Colorado native. Each of the 44 NSDAR Chapters in Colorado had the opportunity to submit an interesting and important woman in Colorado history to the Colorado State Chapter NSDAR Junior members for approval.

Greeley’s Centennial State Chapter was honored to be chosen to create two dresses, each with accessories that represent Josephine Meeker and Shawsheen which will be included in the Miss Ann wardrobe as modeled by an American Girl doll. Each dress and its accessories will be accompanied by a photograph of the historic person, a short biography for publication in a NSDAR catalog, and a photograph of the Miss Ann American Girl doll wearing the ensemble created for her persona.

To learn more about the Centennial State Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, visit facebook.com/centennialstatechapter.

Kids Delight in the 2017 Baby Animal Days, April 20-30

Kids Delight in the 2017 Baby Animal Days, April 20-30

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 more information, contact:
Sarah Lester, Museum Educator

Votes Needed for Local History Topic

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

Thirty-Seven Area Residents Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

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