Hayden Heritage Center resumes summer hours

Museum features guided tours, new displays

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If you go

What: Jan Leslie book signing for “Hayden,” a pictorial history

When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Hayden Heritage Center, 300 W. Pearl St.

Cost: $21.99 as a donation to the museum

— The Hayden Heritage Center will resume its summer hours today.

The museum at 300 W. Pearl St. will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

Curator Laurel Watson said visitors would be treated to new displays. She said a display in honor of the 100-year anniversary of the Boy Scouts is available for viewing, as well as clothing from the 1890s to the 1920s.

Watson said another display highlights Ernest Wagner, who rode a bicycle from Denver to Hayden in 1901 and stayed for the rest of his life. Wagner operated a saddle shop downtown and also made harnesses, crafted other leather goods and repaired shoes.

But Wagner was well known in town for his annual toy drive, Watson said. She said he would collect toys and repair them to be donated to needy children. Watson said Wagner also was involved in a number of community projects until his death in 1940, including the improvement of the Hayden Cemetery.

Although the museum has been open only on a limited basis during the winter, Watson said she’s recently seen a number of visitors who have stopped while driving through Hayden. She’s excited for even more visitors who can get a look into the town’s past when they stop by the museum.

“They can expect to learn a great deal about the local history,” Watson said about artifacts on display that highlight the town’s ranching past. “And some of the stories of the first people, first residents of Hayden.”

On Saturday, the museum will host Jan Leslie, who will sign her book, “Hayden” from 1 to 3 p.m. The pictorial history, part of the Images of America series produced by Arcadia Publishing, will be sold for $21.99 as a donation to the museum. All proceeds go to the Hayden Heritage Center.

The book also is available at local retailers, online booksellers and www.arcadiapublishing.com.

Leslie said the book, which was put together with assistance from former Hayden Heritage Center Curator Mary Pat Dunn, would treat readers to photographs depicting the town’s history from when it was settled in 1875 through the 1940s.

“My desire was to put in pictures that nobody has seen,” Leslie said. “With Mary Pat’s help, I think we did that.”

For instance, Leslie said the book features images of Routt County’s first post office, built in 1875 in Hayden; the first schoolhouse, built in 1889; the Reid and Shelton families and others. The book also includes a chapter dedicated to former coal-mining town Mount Harris.

Leslie also will sign her book Monday at the Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig.

Also new this summer will be tour guide David Leugers. A Yampa resident, Leugers will assist Donna Hellyer and Watson with daily museum tours.

Watson said people could stop by the museum any time and get a tour or walk through the museum on their own. The museum also offers a brochure with information to lead visitors on a self-guided walking tour of downtown.

For more information about the Hayden Heritage Center, call the museum at 276-4380.

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