Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Colorado River Historical Museum to Reopen for Season

Colorado River Historical Society and Museum
Mohave Valley Daily News

BULLHEAD CITY — History is getting a fresh start in September.

“We’re excited to begin a new season at the museum,” said Colorado River Historical Society and Museum President Elsie Needles. “We’ve got a lot going on this year.”

The Colorado River History Museum is a nonprofit operation of the historical society, staffed by volunteers and run on donations. Closed through the summer months, the museum will reopen Tuesday at 10 a.m.

The Colorado River Historical Society formed in 1963 with two primary missions — the preservation of the area’s heritage and to open a history museum.

“Old Bullhead City is disappearing,” said Needles. “Building after building has been torn down. Some of the earliest structures are now falling apart … it is too late to save them and soon those bits of history will be gone.

“This area may not be rich in dollars, but it is very rich in memories. We’re always looking for information, photos and stories about the area from long-term residents and their families.”

“The museum began with nothing,” said Historical Society founding member and long-time volunteer Virginia Sutherland. “We had lots of support in the beginning from local business and were lucky enough to get some really interesting photos and artifacts.”

The Colorado River Museum is housed in a building that once served as a Catholic church for workers who built Davis Dam in the 1940s and is placed in a corner of Davis Camp, just north of the Laughlin Bridge on Highway 68.

“The museum is jam-packed full of good stuff,” said Historical Society Vice President Karole Finkelstein. “Newly arranged displays in the museum tell of the Mohave Indians, the Katherine gold mine, the history of the Mohave Valley and Fort Mohave, memorabilia from Laughlin, NV, the region’s ties to the space program as well as Louis L’amour and so much more.”

In the children’s room are wildlife displays and a historic doll house. Children are given the opportunity to make a corn husk doll.

“A popular program includes a tour of the museum and then a driving tour to about 15 locations in the area,” said Finkelstein. “For more information about the driving tour, people can call me at 928-219-2582.”

Events planned for the season include a Pioneer Picnic, a presentation on the history of the Harvey Girls, at least one scheduled free day, and ongoing fund raising events to move the Little Red Schoolhouse to Community Park.

“We had a meeting about the schoolhouse a few days ago,” said Needles. “Some people don’t think it will happen (moving the building), but I do. We’re at about $17K in the fund to move the schoolhouse and we need $45K. We’ve been selling bricks, selling ice, having fund raisers — we may not get there this year, but we will get there. The cultural center will be important to Bullhead City — preserving this city’s unique history is our goal.”

The Cultural Historical Center in Community Park is a venture supported by Golden Vertex, the mining company that is reactivating the old Moss Mine east of the Bullhead Parkway. Golden Vertex, in partnership with the City of Bullhead City, started the project by donating the cost to relocate the old Moss Mine Head Frame from the mine site to the new location.

The Historical Society meets the second Monday of every month at the Museum.

“We encourage anyone interested in the history of the area to come to a meeting,” said Needles. “We often have an outside speaker at 5:00 on meeting days.”

“It should be a place of interest to anyone who lives in the area,” said Finkelstein. “The real history of Bullhead City is here.”

The Colorado River Historical Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Access on Sunday and Monday is by reservation only. A $2 donation is suggested and children under 12 are free.

For more information about the museum call 928-754-3399.