Fans of cowboy history will want to lasso July 22 on their calendar. That's the date Bill Mackin of Craig will present items from his collection of historic cowboy equipment during the Brown Bag Lunch series at Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs.
Mackin's original collection of antique firearms and other cowboy gear is housed in the Cowboy and Gunfighter Collection at the Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig. He said this week that he isn't certain what he'll bring to Steamboat from his remaining personal collection. But a post-1900 Mother Hubbard trail saddle, a vintage Winchester rifle and Colt single action revolver, also known as "the Peacemaker," are good bets. Mackin is likely to bring some other items of horse tack and historic spurs -- maybe even a Sharps plains rifle.
"I have 41 different categories of collectibles," Mackin said. "My hope is to mostly create some questions" from the audience.
Tread of Pioneers Executive Director Candice Lombardo said the Brown Bag Lunch series has grown in popularity in recent years. The informal talks are free of charge and are held at noon Fridays in July and August. The series is devoted to oral presentations about the history of Northwest Colorado, as well as broader collections at the museum.
Audience members are invited to bring sack lunches to the presentations.
Mackin said the Mother Hubb--ard saddle is recognizable by the large, square leather cover, or moch--ila, that covers the saddle. The horn and cantle protrude through slits in the leather of the mochila.
Mackin's saddle was made in Vernal, Utah. The saddles were favored by working cowboys who trailed herds of cattle.
This year's series will begin July 1 with Yampa storyteller Rita Herold talking about the methods pioneer families used to raise their food.
Jan and Nadine Leslie will give a July 8 talk based on their new book about the history of the area's post offices.
On July 15, it's Wanda Red--mond's turn to talk about the history of commercial lettuce and spinach growing in South Routt.
After Mackin's July 22 talk, cowboy ski jumper Ray Heid will spin yarns July 29.
Also this summer, Maxine Turner will talk about the largely forgotten town of Trull, which abruptly disappeared from the Routt County landscape in 1917.
Angie KenCairn packed the house last summer for a presentation about the archaeology of the Routt National Forest, Lombardo said. Elaine Gay drew an enthusiastic audience that wanted to hear her stories about the history of her ranching family. Tread of Pioneers curator Kelly Bastone gave a presentation about Navajo weavings.
The presentations are videotaped, and in most cases, DVDs have been burned. People who missed last summer's presentations can call ahead at 879-2214 to arrange a showing at the museum.