It’s a Night at the Museum on Friday, June 7, as the San Juan County Historical Society shows off all the renovation work and new exhibits installed over the last three years.
“We’ve spend $375,000 for just the jail,” said Historical Society Chairman Bev Rich.
The old county jail, built in 1902, has been restored inside and out, top to bottom.
Meanwhile, Rich said, another $40,000 and untold volunteer labor has gone into the adjacent Mining Heritage Center.
A new exhibit in the jail includes an old roulette wheel, a poker table recovered from a downtown basement, and other items from Silverton’s Wild West days.
“This exhibit tells you why people went to jail,” Rich explained.
In the basement of the jail building, a new crystal exhibit from Jake and Alva Gallegos is on display, with specimens mostly from the Idarado Mine.
Meanwhile in the Mining Heritage Center, a replica mining operation has actually been constructed, giving visitors a pretty good idea of the mining process and what various portions of a typical mine might look like.
New exhibits include antique domestic ware, restored mining equipment and tools, and a typical assay lab, with much of the gear donated by Frank Montanati.
The top floor of the museum features exhibits on Silverton sports organizations, the fire department, fraternal groups, photography and movies.
The museum volunteers are also working on display telling the story of Otto Mears, the pioneer path-finder of the San Juans.
The San Juan County Historical Society is hosting a Night at the Museum on Friday, June 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
The Allen Nossaman Archive Building will also be open to the public, with refreshments.