Centennial Village Museum Kicks Off Summer Season with Opening Weekend Event, Centennial Celebration

Join Centennial Village Museum for its opening weekend event, Centennial Celebration, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 28 at 1475 A Street.

Explore the museum’s grounds and historical buildings, watch live demonstrations of late-1800s, early 1900s high plains living, and two special performances from the Buffalo Soldier reenactors at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Centennial Village Museum opens for regular summer hours from May 27 through Sept. 3.

Experience Early Life on the High Plains

One of the many ways Centennial Village Museum showcases and preserves history is through live demonstrations of early West skills. This year’s Centennial Celebration includes blacksmithing and woodcarving demonstrations, offering visitors insight into the physical demands early settlers faced.

The Buffalo Soldier reenactors join Centennial Celebration with a special presentation, highlighting an essential part of early West history not widely known in modern times. Members of the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry, both all-Black regiments, the Buffalo Soldiers played an essential role in the country’s westward expansion, with the Colorado Territory being one of their earliest assignments. The regiment’s duties included building forts and railroads, delivering mail, guarding stagecoaches, and protecting settlers in the area.

Opened in 1976, Centennial Village Museum is a living history experience that features more than 35 historical buildings, costumed interpreters, heritage farm animals, and 8-acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. As a City of Greeley Museums site, Centennial Village Museum preserves and interprets American western heritage in the Colorado high plains region, housing some of Weld County’s oldest structures and hosting several annual special events. Visit greeleymuseums.com to learn more.

 

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Release Date:
May 16, 2022
Geoff Havens, Curator of Historic Sites
970-350-9592
geoff.havens@greeleygov.com

Greeley History Museum Exhibit Sheds Light on the Largest Guest Worker Program in U.S. History, “The Bracero Program”

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964,” an exhibit detailing the journey of Mexican migrant workers during and after WWII, opens at the Greeley History Museum May 5. In this exhibit, visitors follow in the footsteps of the braceros as they left their homes, traveled across the border, and performed important, but back-breaking work across the United States.

The exhibit opening coincides with the 36th annual Cinco de Mayo Greeley Festival celebrations, taking place May 7 in downtown Greeley on 9th Street and 8th Avenue. Learn more at cincodemayogreeley.org.

“Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964,” runs at the Greeley History Museum until March 11, 2023.

The Largest Guest Worker Program in U.S. History

The Mexican Farm Labor Program, widely called the “Bracero Program,” began in 1942 and became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. More than four million Mexican men entered the U.S. to work on short-term labor contracts. Their contributions shaped the future political, economic, and social climates of both countries.

The National Museum of American History organized “Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program” in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. All SITES photographs in this exhibit are by Leonard Nadal.

About the Greeley History Museum

The Greeley History Museum showcases and preserves Greeley and Weld County’s history through permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational programs, research, and collections. Check out the museum’s main exhibit, “Utopia: Adaptation on the Plains,” and then head over to one of the museum’s other galleries, which include rotating themes throughout the year.

For more information, visit greeleymuseums.com.

 

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Release Date:
Apr 27, 2022

Sarah Saxe, museums manager
970-350-9218
sarah.saxe@greeleygov.com

Baby Animal Days Return to Centennial Village Museum Ahead of Summer Season

Centennial Village Museum opens its gates once again for Baby Animal Days, taking place 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 15-16 and 18-24 at 1475 A Street.

Historically drawing more than 4,000 visitors across the region, Baby Animal Days celebrates the return of spring by welcoming the community back to the museum prior to the official start of the summer season.

Centennial Village Museum opens for regular summer hours from May 27 through Sept. 3.

Event in Partnership with Greeley West FFA

The Greeley West FFA chapter partners with Centennial Village Museum by loaning baby animals, which include calves, goats, lambs, piglets, chicks, ducklings, and Ethel the cow. Several of the baby animals stay throughout the summer, joining resident chickens and turkeys.

In addition to visiting the on-site animals, visitors can walk the historic grounds, take a self-guided cell phone tour, and participate in wagon rides by Mountain Shadow Carriages on Saturday, April 16 and 23 (weather permitting). Tickets are $4 and children under two-years-old receive free admission.

Opened in 1976, Centennial Village Museum is a living history experience that features more than 35 historical buildings, costumed interpreters, heritage farm animals, and 8-acres of beautifully landscaped grounds. As a City of Greeley Museums site, Centennial Village Museum preserves and interprets American western heritage in the Colorado high plains region, housing some of Weld County’s oldest structures and hosting several annual special events. Visit greeleymuseums.com to learn more.


Release Date:
Apr 1, 2022

Geoff Havens, Museum Curator
970-350-9592
Geoff.Havens@Greeleygov.com

Greeley History Museum Main Gallery Renamed in Honor of Late Historian Peggy Ford Waldo

The City of Greeley Museums’ staff announces the renaming of the Greeley History Museum’s main gallery to the Peggy Ford Waldo Gallery in honor of the late historian.

Museum staff and Ford Waldo’s family participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a private reception held Tuesday, April 12, to formally rededicate the gallery.

In the Peggy Ford Waldo Gallery, visitors explore the history of Greeley, including the formation of the Union Colony, the area’s agricultural heritage, water usage, and expansion over time. Ford Waldo spent countless hours researching and writing text for this exhibit and many others.

“Peggy’s thirst for knowledge and her devotion to her community were inspirational,” said Sarah Saxe, museums manager. “She certainly made a lasting influence on my life and career, and I’m sure that is true for everyone who attended the reception. We hope that by renaming the gallery, Peggy’s immense contributions to Greeley will be recognized and that her legacy will live on. ”

A Beloved Colleague and Historian

Ford Waldo began her 41 years of service to the City of Greeley Museums in 1979, holding various positions throughout her tenure, including research and education coordinator, programming curator, and development curator. She generously shared her knowledge with genealogists, writers, historians, and students of all ages, compiling, organizing, and making accessible Greeley Museums’ extensive archival collection.

Ford Waldo regularly contributed to local publications and collaborated on works such as “The Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra: A Century of Musical Magic,” “Weld County: 4,000 Square Miles of Grandeur, Greatness & Yesterdays,” and her last book, “Bears in the Backyard: The Story of Greeley’s University District.” Ford Waldo twice received the Josephine H. Miles Award for excellence in history, presented by History Colorado.

About the Greeley History Museum

The Greeley History Museum showcases and preserves Greeley and Weld County’s history through permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational programs, research, and collections. Check out the museum’s main exhibit, “Utopia: Adaptation on the Plains,” and then head over to one of the museum’s other galleries, which include rotating themes throughout each year.

For more information, visit greeleymuseums.com.

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Photo: (from left to right) JoAnna Luth Stull, Adam Ford (son of Peggy Ford Waldo), Rob Waldo (husband to Peggy Ford Waldo), and Sarah Saxe participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Peggy Ford Waldo Gallery.


Release Date:
Apr 18, 2022

Sarah Saxe, Museums Manager
970-350-9218
sarah.saxe@greeleygov.com

‘Museum at Twilight’ Event Offers Evening Access to the Greeley History Museum

FOR RELEASE: The Greeley History Museum, 714 8th St., continues evening hours on the second Thursday of the month. Museum at Twilight is a special event from 4-8 p.m. that offers visitors opportunities to explore the galleries and enjoy light refreshments.

The next Museum at Twilight event is happening Feb. 10. The Greeley West Future Farmers of America (FFA) will co-host the event and its members and educators will talk about their organization and its impact at 6 p.m. Following the presentation, The Friends of the Greeley Museums will host their annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. If you have considered getting more involved with the Museum, join us during the Friends meeting to learn more.

“We surveyed community members and they said that they would like to visit the museum in the evenings after work hours,” said City of Greeley Museums Manager Sarah Saxe. “Museum at Twilight offers that with some fun extras like guest speakers, snacks, behind-the-scenes tours and more.”

At each event, co-hosting organizations have an opportunity to provide presentations and information. The presentations begin at 6 p.m.

For visitors over the age of 21, one craft beer or glass of wine is included in the cost of regular admission.  Snacks and beverages are available while supplies last.

Regular Greeley Museum admission applies: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors (60+), $5 for youth (3-17) and $3 for SNAP and EBT cardholders. There is a $25 family rate that includes a maximum of two adults and four youth. Greeley Museums members receive free admission; visit greeleymuseums.com/support/membership to learn more about becoming a member.

The Friends of the Greeley Museums, Highland Park Liquors, and High Country Beverage sponsor all Museum at Twilight events.

The museum is open regular hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Group visits are by appointment on Wednesdays. For more information, visit greeleymuseums.com or call 970-350-9220.

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For more information, media representatives should contact:
Museums Manager, Sarah Saxe
970-350-9218
sarah.saxe@greeleygov.com

“Black and White in Black and White” Exhibit Reveals Dignity, Hope of African Americans in Early 20th-Century America Opening at Greeley History Museum Feb. 17

FOR RELEASE: In 1965, 16-year-old Doug Keister acquired 280 glass plate negatives, originally found at a local garage sale. He immediately made prints from some of the plates, revealing powerful, early 20th-century portraits of African Americans in Lincoln, Nebraska.

These astonishing images are now on display in a new traveling exhibition curated by Keister, “Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope, and Diversity in America.” The exhibition appears at the Greeley History Museum from Feb. 17 through May 28.

Exhibition 

“Black and White in Black and White” features striking photographs attributed to African American photographer John Johnson. Using his Lincoln neighborhood as his canvas, Johnson crafted these ennobling images of his friends and family between 1910 and 1925. Equally as important as Johnson’s depictions of African Americans are his images of Black, white, and other racial groups together, an occurrence almost unheard of at the time.

The Smithsonian Institution recently acquired 60 of these photographs for their collection. Michèle Gates Moresi, curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, underscores the importance of Johnson’s work: “They speak to a time and a place where African Americans were treated as second-class citizens but lived their lives with dignity…You can read about it and hear people talk about it, but to actually see the images is something entirely different.”

While Johnson was busy capturing photographs in Nebraska, the town of Dearfield, Colorado was thriving. Founders O.T. and Minerva Jackson established the town in 1910. Jackson wrote in a circa 1925 brochure that he hoped the town would be a place where Black people “should be given an opportunity to achieve a degree of independence through agriculture which they could not experience as long as they continued to sell their services to others for a daily wage.”

Local artifacts, images, and interactive elements will be added to the exhibit focusing on the story and town of Dearfield, an African American settlement founded about 30 miles east of Greeley.

Background

“Black and White in Black and White: Images of Dignity, Hope, and Diversity in America” is curated by Douglas Keister, traveled by Exhibit Envoy, and presented with support from California State University, Chico. For more information about this exhibit and others, visit GreeleyMuseums.com.

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For more information, media representatives should contact:
Museums Manager, Sarah Saxe
970-350-9218
sarah.saxe@greeleygov.com