The Summit Historical Society will present Night at the Museum today. The event, which takes place at the Dillon Schoolhouse Museum on LaBonte Street in Dillon, is an open house to celebrate the preservation of Summit County’s history.
“We want to highlight what our summer events are going to be,” said Christy Nelson, administrator for the Historical Society. “I think they are really going to be exciting. You can take a look around, and I’ll answer any questions.”
Nelson said the event is good for families, especially those with school-aged children who might enjoy exploring the old schoolhouse and seeing what it was like to be a student there in the 1800s.
“We also have a Tarzan video, one of the first silent movies, which features a native Dillon, Coloradan, Enid Markey,” Nelson said. “She was the first Jane in the Tarzan movies.”
The Tarzan DVD will be playing during the event, which launches the Historical Society’s summer season. The Dillon Schoolhouse Museum will officially open on Saturday at 1 p.m.
“May is Preservation Month, so that’s why we do it in May, to celebrate as a museum the preservation of our Summit history,” Nelson said. “We’re excited about opening up two properties that the Summit Historical Society owns. We’ll be at the Montezuma Schoolhouse a couple of times this summer, and then Slate Creek Town Hall, north of Silverthorne — we’ll have a country dance and barbecue there.”
Other events on the summer schedule include a series of dinners with historical themes, starting with Dinner with the Ghosts on June 21, and an old-fashioned ice cream social at the schoolhouse on July 20. The Historical Society also will host a lecture series called Pastry and the Past, which features presentations ranging from mining to saloons to geology. Attendees of today’s event will learn more about these and other summer offerings from the Historical Society.
Learning our history
Night at the Museum commemorates the preservation of the Dillon Schoolhouse and the history of the county and lets people know that the Historical Society sites and materials are available to them.
“We have a lot that documents what took place in the early years of our existence,” Nelson said. “We’ll begin to pique people’s interest in Summit County and, particularly, the interest in this building, the schoolhouse.”
The Dillon Schoolhouse Museum property and the other properties owned by the Summit Historical Society are valuable pieces of history that engage local residents and visitors and teach them about Summit County’s past.
“We’ve served many requests for information about relatives people have that they want more information about,” she said, “but I also think that keeping our history present helps us to understand the roots of where we’ve come from.”