Cedaredge, Colorado’s Pioneer Town: A trip back in time | TheFencePost.com

Cedaredge, Colorado’s Pioneer Town: A trip back in time

Carolyn White
Olathe, Colo.

The building and boardwalks have been set up to mirror a genuine Frontier town.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the early settlers of the American West? And wished that you could go back in time, if only for a day, to actually see and experience some of the same things that they did? If so, then you’ll certainly enjoy a trip to Pioneer Town in Cedaredge, Colo., – it’s a historical village that bridges that gateway to the past.

There, one can stroll down an actual, turn-of-the-century boardwalk and view the contents of 24, carefully restored buildings such as the Coalby Store and Post Office; the First State Bank (which has an authentic “teller’s cage”); a barber shop; the Town Marshal’s Office; and even a jail which, according to local lore, was primarily used only by those who had over-imbibed. Among the additional sites in place on the five and one-half acre property, you’ll find a blacksmith shop, the Sutherland Indian Museum, a doctor’s office and the Peterson Cabin. Impossibly small, it was one of the first homes built in the Surface Creek Valley – and it sheltered nine children.

“Visitors are encouraged to explore,” according to Gini Moseley, the Welcome Center coordinator. It’s OK to sit at a desk in the one-room schoolhouse, or better yet, ring the bell. Go ahead and pull up a chair at the poker table in the Lizard Head Saloon, or prop your foot up at the bar. Ladies, you can pretend that you’re browsing for bonnets, lace-up boots, furs, or silk dresses at a women’s vintage clothing store. In addition, it’s possible to learn Morse code in the office of the Austin Train Depot. “This is definitely a ‘hands on’, family-friendly place,” Gini continues. “You can even bring a picnic basket and eat your lunch in the neighboring park.”

Few areas are off-limits, and those have been either roped off or protected by unbreakable glass, such as the immense doll collection in Doris’ Doll and Toy House. Named for Doris Steward, who initially gathered them (plus organized the fundraisers needed to buy building materials and cabinets), it is a “must see” … even for folks who think that they have outgrown such things. There are hundreds of figures, from Barbies to Kewpies to popular television characters to members of the British Royal Family. On duty the day of my visit was a friendly, knowledgeable lady named Mildred Brooks, one of many volunteers. Later, I learned that at least 99 percent of the staff is there on their own, donated time. My first thought? What a wonderful way to spend it!

Nearly every single item at Pioneer Town has been donated, also. Maynard Nelson, one of the original, driving forces behind the entire project, explained how it came about. While traveling around to local auctions in the ’70s, he’d been concerned at “finding all sorts of antiques going out of the area.” He approached Mrs. Stewart about saving them, and in 1980 The Surface Creek Valley Historical Society was founded. Soon, as they say, the rest really was history.

“Don Petersen (a very generous benefactor) bought the three and a half acres in the back,” Maynard told me. “It’s the site of the old Bar I Ranch. Although all that was left were the circa 1916 silos, it was suggested by one of the ranch’s owners, Art Scott, that the location needed to be preserved.” (Today, the three massive, wooden structures tower over the property, landmarks along scenic byway, Highway 65.) Meanwhile, as word got out that a preservation center was going up, residents from across the county started eagerly handing over their heirlooms: furniture, musical instruments, trunks and bags, maps, books, black and white photos, machinery, tools, cookware, buggies, cars, and much, much more. There’s even something for dinosaur lovers: a plaster cast of a Mosasaur head, which sits in the visitor’s center, plus a separate display of fossils, rocks, and crystals.

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In some instances – as with the State’s Mining Museum, the Stolte Fruit Packing Shed and the Surface Creek Creamery – the entire contents of once-booming businesses were painstakingly cleaned, catalogued, transferred and recreated, again by groups of dedicated volunteers. Their efforts have been well worth it. This wonderful place is so authentic that it really will make one believe in being transported back to a kinder, gentler time in our history.

Starting each Memorial Day, Cedaredge, Colorado’s Pioneer Town is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., six days a week, and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. This season it will run through Oct. 3, which coincides with Applefest, so hurry, there’s two weeks left to fit in a tour.

For additional information, please call (970) 856-7554 or visit the website at http://www.PioneerTown.org.

Carolyn would like to thank Karen Madrid for her help in gathering the additional information needed to finish this story.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the early settlers of the American West? And wished that you could go back in time, if only for a day, to actually see and experience some of the same things that they did? If so, then you’ll certainly enjoy a trip to Pioneer Town in Cedaredge, Colo., – it’s a historical village that bridges that gateway to the past.

There, one can stroll down an actual, turn-of-the-century boardwalk and view the contents of 24, carefully restored buildings such as the Coalby Store and Post Office; the First State Bank (which has an authentic “teller’s cage”); a barber shop; the Town Marshal’s Office; and even a jail which, according to local lore, was primarily used only by those who had over-imbibed. Among the additional sites in place on the five and one-half acre property, you’ll find a blacksmith shop, the Sutherland Indian Museum, a doctor’s office and the Peterson Cabin. Impossibly small, it was one of the first homes built in the Surface Creek Valley – and it sheltered nine children.

“Visitors are encouraged to explore,” according to Gini Moseley, the Welcome Center coordinator. It’s OK to sit at a desk in the one-room schoolhouse, or better yet, ring the bell. Go ahead and pull up a chair at the poker table in the Lizard Head Saloon, or prop your foot up at the bar. Ladies, you can pretend that you’re browsing for bonnets, lace-up boots, furs, or silk dresses at a women’s vintage clothing store. In addition, it’s possible to learn Morse code in the office of the Austin Train Depot. “This is definitely a ‘hands on’, family-friendly place,” Gini continues. “You can even bring a picnic basket and eat your lunch in the neighboring park.”

Few areas are off-limits, and those have been either roped off or protected by unbreakable glass, such as the immense doll collection in Doris’ Doll and Toy House. Named for Doris Steward, who initially gathered them (plus organized the fundraisers needed to buy building materials and cabinets), it is a “must see” … even for folks who think that they have outgrown such things. There are hundreds of figures, from Barbies to Kewpies to popular television characters to members of the British Royal Family. On duty the day of my visit was a friendly, knowledgeable lady named Mildred Brooks, one of many volunteers. Later, I learned that at least 99 percent of the staff is there on their own, donated time. My first thought? What a wonderful way to spend it!

Nearly every single item at Pioneer Town has been donated, also. Maynard Nelson, one of the original, driving forces behind the entire project, explained how it came about. While traveling around to local auctions in the ’70s, he’d been concerned at “finding all sorts of antiques going out of the area.” He approached Mrs. Stewart about saving them, and in 1980 The Surface Creek Valley Historical Society was founded. Soon, as they say, the rest really was history.

“Don Petersen (a very generous benefactor) bought the three and a half acres in the back,” Maynard told me. “It’s the site of the old Bar I Ranch. Although all that was left were the circa 1916 silos, it was suggested by one of the ranch’s owners, Art Scott, that the location needed to be preserved.” (Today, the three massive, wooden structures tower over the property, landmarks along scenic byway, Highway 65.) Meanwhile, as word got out that a preservation center was going up, residents from across the county started eagerly handing over their heirlooms: furniture, musical instruments, trunks and bags, maps, books, black and white photos, machinery, tools, cookware, buggies, cars, and much, much more. There’s even something for dinosaur lovers: a plaster cast of a Mosasaur head, which sits in the visitor’s center, plus a separate display of fossils, rocks, and crystals.

In some instances – as with the State’s Mining Museum, the Stolte Fruit Packing Shed and the Surface Creek Creamery – the entire contents of once-booming businesses were painstakingly cleaned, catalogued, transferred and recreated, again by groups of dedicated volunteers. Their efforts have been well worth it. This wonderful place is so authentic that it really will make one believe in being transported back to a kinder, gentler time in our history.

Starting each Memorial Day, Cedaredge, Colorado’s Pioneer Town is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., six days a week, and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. This season it will run through Oct. 3, which coincides with Applefest, so hurry, there’s two weeks left to fit in a tour.

For additional information, please call (970) 856-7554 or visit the website at http://www.PioneerTown.org.

Carolyn would like to thank Karen Madrid for her help in gathering the additional information needed to finish this story.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the early settlers of the American West? And wished that you could go back in time, if only for a day, to actually see and experience some of the same things that they did? If so, then you’ll certainly enjoy a trip to Pioneer Town in Cedaredge, Colo., – it’s a historical village that bridges that gateway to the past.

There, one can stroll down an actual, turn-of-the-century boardwalk and view the contents of 24, carefully restored buildings such as the Coalby Store and Post Office; the First State Bank (which has an authentic “teller’s cage”); a barber shop; the Town Marshal’s Office; and even a jail which, according to local lore, was primarily used only by those who had over-imbibed. Among the additional sites in place on the five and one-half acre property, you’ll find a blacksmith shop, the Sutherland Indian Museum, a doctor’s office and the Peterson Cabin. Impossibly small, it was one of the first homes built in the Surface Creek Valley – and it sheltered nine children.

“Visitors are encouraged to explore,” according to Gini Moseley, the Welcome Center coordinator. It’s OK to sit at a desk in the one-room schoolhouse, or better yet, ring the bell. Go ahead and pull up a chair at the poker table in the Lizard Head Saloon, or prop your foot up at the bar. Ladies, you can pretend that you’re browsing for bonnets, lace-up boots, furs, or silk dresses at a women’s vintage clothing store. In addition, it’s possible to learn Morse code in the office of the Austin Train Depot. “This is definitely a ‘hands on’, family-friendly place,” Gini continues. “You can even bring a picnic basket and eat your lunch in the neighboring park.”

Few areas are off-limits, and those have been either roped off or protected by unbreakable glass, such as the immense doll collection in Doris’ Doll and Toy House. Named for Doris Steward, who initially gathered them (plus organized the fundraisers needed to buy building materials and cabinets), it is a “must see” … even for folks who think that they have outgrown such things. There are hundreds of figures, from Barbies to Kewpies to popular television characters to members of the British Royal Family. On duty the day of my visit was a friendly, knowledgeable lady named Mildred Brooks, one of many volunteers. Later, I learned that at least 99 percent of the staff is there on their own, donated time. My first thought? What a wonderful way to spend it!

Nearly every single item at Pioneer Town has been donated, also. Maynard Nelson, one of the original, driving forces behind the entire project, explained how it came about. While traveling around to local auctions in the ’70s, he’d been concerned at “finding all sorts of antiques going out of the area.” He approached Mrs. Stewart about saving them, and in 1980 The Surface Creek Valley Historical Society was founded. Soon, as they say, the rest really was history.

“Don Petersen (a very generous benefactor) bought the three and a half acres in the back,” Maynard told me. “It’s the site of the old Bar I Ranch. Although all that was left were the circa 1916 silos, it was suggested by one of the ranch’s owners, Art Scott, that the location needed to be preserved.” (Today, the three massive, wooden structures tower over the property, landmarks along scenic byway, Highway 65.) Meanwhile, as word got out that a preservation center was going up, residents from across the county started eagerly handing over their heirlooms: furniture, musical instruments, trunks and bags, maps, books, black and white photos, machinery, tools, cookware, buggies, cars, and much, much more. There’s even something for dinosaur lovers: a plaster cast of a Mosasaur head, which sits in the visitor’s center, plus a separate display of fossils, rocks, and crystals.

In some instances – as with the State’s Mining Museum, the Stolte Fruit Packing Shed and the Surface Creek Creamery – the entire contents of once-booming businesses were painstakingly cleaned, catalogued, transferred and recreated, again by groups of dedicated volunteers. Their efforts have been well worth it. This wonderful place is so authentic that it really will make one believe in being transported back to a kinder, gentler time in our history.

Starting each Memorial Day, Cedaredge, Colorado’s Pioneer Town is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., six days a week, and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. This season it will run through Oct. 3, which coincides with Applefest, so hurry, there’s two weeks left to fit in a tour.

For additional information, please call (970) 856-7554 or visit the website at http://www.PioneerTown.org.

Carolyn would like to thank Karen Madrid for her help in gathering the additional information needed to finish this story.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the early settlers of the American West? And wished that you could go back in time, if only for a day, to actually see and experience some of the same things that they did? If so, then you’ll certainly enjoy a trip to Pioneer Town in Cedaredge, Colo., – it’s a historical village that bridges that gateway to the past.

There, one can stroll down an actual, turn-of-the-century boardwalk and view the contents of 24, carefully restored buildings such as the Coalby Store and Post Office; the First State Bank (which has an authentic “teller’s cage”); a barber shop; the Town Marshal’s Office; and even a jail which, according to local lore, was primarily used only by those who had over-imbibed. Among the additional sites in place on the five and one-half acre property, you’ll find a blacksmith shop, the Sutherland Indian Museum, a doctor’s office and the Peterson Cabin. Impossibly small, it was one of the first homes built in the Surface Creek Valley – and it sheltered nine children.

“Visitors are encouraged to explore,” according to Gini Moseley, the Welcome Center coordinator. It’s OK to sit at a desk in the one-room schoolhouse, or better yet, ring the bell. Go ahead and pull up a chair at the poker table in the Lizard Head Saloon, or prop your foot up at the bar. Ladies, you can pretend that you’re browsing for bonnets, lace-up boots, furs, or silk dresses at a women’s vintage clothing store. In addition, it’s possible to learn Morse code in the office of the Austin Train Depot. “This is definitely a ‘hands on’, family-friendly place,” Gini continues. “You can even bring a picnic basket and eat your lunch in the neighboring park.”

Few areas are off-limits, and those have been either roped off or protected by unbreakable glass, such as the immense doll collection in Doris’ Doll and Toy House. Named for Doris Steward, who initially gathered them (plus organized the fundraisers needed to buy building materials and cabinets), it is a “must see” … even for folks who think that they have outgrown such things. There are hundreds of figures, from Barbies to Kewpies to popular television characters to members of the British Royal Family. On duty the day of my visit was a friendly, knowledgeable lady named Mildred Brooks, one of many volunteers. Later, I learned that at least 99 percent of the staff is there on their own, donated time. My first thought? What a wonderful way to spend it!

Nearly every single item at Pioneer Town has been donated, also. Maynard Nelson, one of the original, driving forces behind the entire project, explained how it came about. While traveling around to local auctions in the ’70s, he’d been concerned at “finding all sorts of antiques going out of the area.” He approached Mrs. Stewart about saving them, and in 1980 The Surface Creek Valley Historical Society was founded. Soon, as they say, the rest really was history.

“Don Petersen (a very generous benefactor) bought the three and a half acres in the back,” Maynard told me. “It’s the site of the old Bar I Ranch. Although all that was left were the circa 1916 silos, it was suggested by one of the ranch’s owners, Art Scott, that the location needed to be preserved.” (Today, the three massive, wooden structures tower over the property, landmarks along scenic byway, Highway 65.) Meanwhile, as word got out that a preservation center was going up, residents from across the county started eagerly handing over their heirlooms: furniture, musical instruments, trunks and bags, maps, books, black and white photos, machinery, tools, cookware, buggies, cars, and much, much more. There’s even something for dinosaur lovers: a plaster cast of a Mosasaur head, which sits in the visitor’s center, plus a separate display of fossils, rocks, and crystals.

In some instances – as with the State’s Mining Museum, the Stolte Fruit Packing Shed and the Surface Creek Creamery – the entire contents of once-booming businesses were painstakingly cleaned, catalogued, transferred and recreated, again by groups of dedicated volunteers. Their efforts have been well worth it. This wonderful place is so authentic that it really will make one believe in being transported back to a kinder, gentler time in our history.

Starting each Memorial Day, Cedaredge, Colorado’s Pioneer Town is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., six days a week, and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. This season it will run through Oct. 3, which coincides with Applefest, so hurry, there’s two weeks left to fit in a tour.

For additional information, please call (970) 856-7554 or visit the website at http://www.PioneerTown.org.

Carolyn would like to thank Karen Madrid for her help in gathering the additional information needed to finish this story.

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the early settlers of the American West? And wished that you could go back in time, if only for a day, to actually see and experience some of the same things that they did? If so, then you’ll certainly enjoy a trip to Pioneer Town in Cedaredge, Colo., – it’s a historical village that bridges that gateway to the past.

There, one can stroll down an actual, turn-of-the-century boardwalk and view the contents of 24, carefully restored buildings such as the Coalby Store and Post Office; the First State Bank (which has an authentic “teller’s cage”); a barber shop; the Town Marshal’s Office; and even a jail which, according to local lore, was primarily used only by those who had over-imbibed. Among the additional sites in place on the five and one-half acre property, you’ll find a blacksmith shop, the Sutherland Indian Museum, a doctor’s office and the Peterson Cabin. Impossibly small, it was one of the first homes built in the Surface Creek Valley – and it sheltered nine children.

“Visitors are encouraged to explore,” according to Gini Moseley, the Welcome Center coordinator. It’s OK to sit at a desk in the one-room schoolhouse, or better yet, ring the bell. Go ahead and pull up a chair at the poker table in the Lizard Head Saloon, or prop your foot up at the bar. Ladies, you can pretend that you’re browsing for bonnets, lace-up boots, furs, or silk dresses at a women’s vintage clothing store. In addition, it’s possible to learn Morse code in the office of the Austin Train Depot. “This is definitely a ‘hands on’, family-friendly place,” Gini continues. “You can even bring a picnic basket and eat your lunch in the neighboring park.”

Few areas are off-limits, and those have been either roped off or protected by unbreakable glass, such as the immense doll collection in Doris’ Doll and Toy House. Named for Doris Steward, who initially gathered them (plus organized the fundraisers needed to buy building materials and cabinets), it is a “must see” … even for folks who think that they have outgrown such things. There are hundreds of figures, from Barbies to Kewpies to popular television characters to members of the British Royal Family. On duty the day of my visit was a friendly, knowledgeable lady named Mildred Brooks, one of many volunteers. Later, I learned that at least 99 percent of the staff is there on their own, donated time. My first thought? What a wonderful way to spend it!

Nearly every single item at Pioneer Town has been donated, also. Maynard Nelson, one of the original, driving forces behind the entire project, explained how it came about. While traveling around to local auctions in the ’70s, he’d been concerned at “finding all sorts of antiques going out of the area.” He approached Mrs. Stewart about saving them, and in 1980 The Surface Creek Valley Historical Society was founded. Soon, as they say, the rest really was history.

“Don Petersen (a very generous benefactor) bought the three and a half acres in the back,” Maynard told me. “It’s the site of the old Bar I Ranch. Although all that was left were the circa 1916 silos, it was suggested by one of the ranch’s owners, Art Scott, that the location needed to be preserved.” (Today, the three massive, wooden structures tower over the property, landmarks along scenic byway, Highway 65.) Meanwhile, as word got out that a preservation center was going up, residents from across the county started eagerly handing over their heirlooms: furniture, musical instruments, trunks and bags, maps, books, black and white photos, machinery, tools, cookware, buggies, cars, and much, much more. There’s even something for dinosaur lovers: a plaster cast of a Mosasaur head, which sits in the visitor’s center, plus a separate display of fossils, rocks, and crystals.

In some instances – as with the State’s Mining Museum, the Stolte Fruit Packing Shed and the Surface Creek Creamery – the entire contents of once-booming businesses were painstakingly cleaned, catalogued, transferred and recreated, again by groups of dedicated volunteers. Their efforts have been well worth it. This wonderful place is so authentic that it really will make one believe in being transported back to a kinder, gentler time in our history.

Starting each Memorial Day, Cedaredge, Colorado’s Pioneer Town is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., six days a week, and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. This season it will run through Oct. 3, which coincides with Applefest, so hurry, there’s two weeks left to fit in a tour.

For additional information, please call (970) 856-7554 or visit the website at http://www.PioneerTown.org.

Carolyn would like to thank Karen Madrid for her help in gathering the additional information needed to finish this story.