Museum curator retires after 19 years

Ardith Douglass is retiring as curator of the White River Museum at the end of February after 19 years. One of the items that stands out for her is this 1867 wood high chair that breaks down into a stroller. Doc Watson Photo

By Doc Watson

Special to the Herald Times

MEEKER | After 19 years as the curator of the White River Museum, Ardith Douglass is retiring at the end of February.

Having moved to Meeker from Yuma, Colo., in 1970 and raising her family here, she started working at the museum in 1999. Her responsibilities have been many through the years. Besides showing people through both buildings that comprise the museum and visiting with them, she has kept the museum itself looking nice. She said she “cleans and oils furniture in the fall, and all those things that go along with keeping house.”

While Douglass couldn’t say that there are items she could really call her “favorites,” she did mention several that obviously stand out for her. Topping the list is a wood high chair dated 1867 that actually transforms into a stroller.

Other items she noted were a folding bed, guns, needle point and crocheting, medical items, and others.

“I have really enjoyed working here all these years,” she immediately added. “I think our history needs to be preserved so others can come along and see what it was like, how people had to live. It’s something I think you should know.”

Retirement will give Douglass more time to take care of her house and yard and see her family—one daughter and family lives near Omaha and the other in Vernal. She might even be able to do something specific for her church.

The historical society has not yet named Douglass’ replacement, but it sounds like she will be a hard act to follow.

There will be an afternoon tea in Douglass’s honor on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 3-5 p.m. at the Heritage Culture Center on Park Ave.