Stella Craig shares experiences Saturday at the Preserving the Last Frontier meeting at Sunset Meadows. The meeting's discussion centered on the Great Depression and gas rationing.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Stella Craig shares experiences Saturday at the Preserving the Last Frontier meeting at Sunset Meadows. The meeting's discussion centered on the Great Depression and gas rationing.

The importance of the past

Moffat County group strives to record history

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Living in the new millennium involves adjusting to continually changing technology, endless alterations to the landscape and more.

In the midst of this progression toward the future, the local Preserving the Last Frontier group works to ensure that the history of Moffat County is not forgotten.

The group meets at 1:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of each month in the second-floor meeting room of Sunset Meadows I, 633 Ledford St. Their meetings consist of guest speakers and discussions about the historical aspects of Moffat County and surrounding areas.

This month's meeting centered on the Great Depression as group members discussed their recollections of the time period.

The forum was full of the contributors' observations on the time in American history when frugality was essential, and bartering - trading chickens for new shoes, potatoes for dental work, eggs for school supplies - was the only way for some families to endure.

The group touched upon rationing as a major subject, particularly the government's employment of gasoline rationing stamps as part of the war effort during World War II.

Group president Carol Jacobson chose the topic because of its relevance to modern gasoline issues.

"I was prompted by today's prices and how they're becoming a real problem," she said. "We've just about run out of guest speakers to talk to us, but I thought it would be interesting to have people who experienced it tell us about their lives."

During the meeting, Jacobson mentioned a point following the war when it was thought possible to run automobiles with atomic power. This brought up the concept of feasible solutions to the current gasoline crisis, to which several members suggested alternative fuel sources or boycotts as means to cope with the problem.

The group's goals are geared toward tying the past to the present and future.

Begun in 1986, they specifically focus on detailing the historical importance of Moffat County.

"We do a lot of work with museums in the area and donate frontier materials that we get," group treasurer Wilma Taylor-Baker said. "We want to keep the history alive as much as we can."

Taylor-Baker has been a member of the group since 1990. She is also an oral historian, and transcribes interviews with long-time Craig residents.

"I've lived in Craig my whole life, but until I joined the place, I didn't realize what kind of history this place had," she said. "We need to do more to preserve the history of Moffat County."

Joining the group costs $5 in yearly dues.

"We'd like people of all ages to join," Jacobson said.

"We're always looking for people with interesting stories or questions about Moffat County. It's all part of preserving our history."

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 875-1796.

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