Letter: Historical society requests art and artifact displays at RBC Courthouse

Dear Editor:

The Rio Blanco County Historic Courthouse, built in 1935, has been designated by the History Colorado State Register of Historic Places and by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service National Register of Historic Places as a part of the Meeker National Register Historic District, as of April 13, 2018. The building now appears on the websites and literature of those and other organizations that promote heritage tourism benefiting economic development.

The Rio Blanco County Historical Society has received a recommendation from a number of county residents and elected officials suggesting that the courthouse should display historic art and artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia representative of the unique and colorful history of the Town of Meeker and of Rio Blanco County. Such displays could be placed on the walls and hallways adjacent to the various offices representing the history of the particular elected officers (e.g., county commissioners, treasurer, assessor, sheriff, et al).Visitors and heritage tourists often seek to observe and enjoy such displays in the environment where the history actually occurred. Historic courthouses throughout Colorado and nationally are increasingly displaying such memorabilia for the benefit of visitors, both domestic and international who are fascinated with the Old West Heritage Culture unique to Colorado and the Western United States.

There are numerous historic photographs, maps, documents, artifacts and other displays that could comprise such displays. The Historical Society and the Meeker Public Library have a plethora of such historic resources and would offer to curate and display such exhibits in collaboration with courthouse personnel.

We respectfully recommend that this project be initiated and displayed appropriately in connection with the spirit of the Meeker National Register Historic District.

Sincerely,

Teresia R. Ruckman-Reed, President

Rio Blanco County Historical Society