Hayden museum to host Smithsonian exhibit

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Ribbon cutting for Smithsonian exhibit

  • Friday, July 19, 2013, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hayden Heritage Center, 300 West Pearl Street, Hayden, CO
  • Not available

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— Rebecca Wattles and Laurel Watson bustled around the Hayden Heritage Center on Wednesday.

It wasn’t nervous or bad energy.

“Oh no, no, no,” said Wattles, who is on the board of directors for the museum. “I’m giddy about this. I keep doing my happy dance.”

Rightfully so.

The museum has a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest — and possibly best ever — exhibit from 4 to 7 p.m. today with a reception at the Hayden Chamber of Commerce.

The Hayden museum is one of six in Colorado to host the Journey Stories exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution.

It’s part of the the Museum on Main Street project organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

“This is to help kick off our expansion,” said Watson, the curator. “It will help show people where we are at. We are one of six museums in Colorado to get this.”

The exhibit follows those who immigrated to America and the difficulties they faced. It explores the beginning, the expansion and the troubles of immigrating and segregation. Through personal stories, it examines how transportation and migration helped build and eventually changed the country. It also looks at how the world looked to travelers along the way.

In addition to the Smithsonian exhibit, the museum will have a diagram of the Moffat Tunnel West Portal designed by the Moffat Railroad Museum Model Club. There also are elementary, middle and high school student projects that highlight the Smithsonian project.

The Heritage Center started working on securing the Smithsonian exhibit about a year ago. The museum was chosen because of its square footage and high ceilings.

It wasn’t without a lot of work. The museum had to clear out its freight room, which included a printing press, 20 saddles, a safe and display cases with rocks.

The printing press — all four tons of it — proved the toughest step. Thanks to RN Robinson & Son, the printing press was moved.

“It’s the perfect time with the Smithsonian to get people here,” Watson said. “Our membership is way up, and we’ve had lots of visitors.”

The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The exhibit will be in Hayden until Aug. 24.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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