Summit Historical Society spotlights women in the county
March 18, 2017
Editor's note: In recognition of Women's History Month, the Summit Historical Society asked its members to share their stories, and the following is Sally Queen's. For more, go to SummitHistorical.org, find them on Facebook and Twitter or visit one of the many local historical sites.
Sally Queen, who lives in Blue River, has been a second-home owner since 2000.
"My first relationship with Summit County was in 1983 when we started skiing on Peak 8," said Queen, who moved here full time in 2015.
Her love of historic textiles extends to more than 30 years of service in the museum field.
"My husband, Bruce, and I joined the Summit Historical Society in 2005 and came to special events when we were in town," she said. "This was a great first step to get to know the organization. When we moved here full time, I volunteered to work with the textile collection."
Queen noted that she loves telling the stories of the people in Summit County — past and present — through their most personal belongings, such as clothing and textiles and adornment.
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She described her connection to these articles as, "the only objects that we all share since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden."
Additionally, she wants to continue unlocking the stories in the current textile collection — about 500 items — and adding to that collection for future generations. She describes her work as uncovering early ski wear, men's work shirts, shoes and boots and finding Aunt Susie's baby dresses.
"These things connect us to the people of Summit County," she added.
According to Queen, local history is important.
"Yes, Thomas Jefferson's clothing is important at the national level, but we need to tell the stories in our own community," she said. "Stories like tie-dyed T-shirts — still popular today but so define the '60s hippie movement."
She is quick to point out that Summit County is big with diverse regions, including mining, ranching, farming, ski resorts, outdoor recreation and the arts.
"The scope and richness is amazing, and clothing spans across time and across the county," she said. "I can't wait to share those stories."
Queen said she hopes Summit County residents get involved, become a member and even volunteer with the textile committee to learn firsthand about people like Lula Myers and "schoolmarm."
"Come sit in the 1905 desks and imagine learning in a one-room schoolhouse," Queen said. "Take one of the tours on Lake Dillon and imagine Old Dillon or learn about Chihuahua (her next summer adventure). The county is rich in history."
A nice fit for Women's History Month, Queen gets her inspiration to volunteer and be a part of Summit Historical Society from special women like Lula Myers who have crossed her path.
"We were cataloging clothing in the collection and came to a box labeled "Lula's Bedroom." Queen asked, "Who's Lula?"
And the stories started coming out.
"Lula came to Summit County as a school teacher, married a local mining engineer, was fired by a spurned suitor on the school board, sued for her wages, raised a family, danced at local social events, and helped many women in Summit County," Queen said. "As one of the first women of Summit County, her story is amazing. And the journey began with her clothing."
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