Ridgway resident contributes to preservation of ranching history

Joan Chismire, Ouray County Ranch History Museum board director, shows off an historic writing station used by students at the old Ridgway School. The station, which is missing the chalkboard that would rest below it, is one of several recent acquisitions by the museum.

Plaindealer photo by Dalton Carver


by Dalton Carver
dalton@ouraynews.com


Heading into the new year, the Ouray County Ranch History Museum continues to honor the ranching heritage of Ouray County, having recently made several new acquisitions for the Ridgway museum. Antiquated bank papers, a schoolhouse writing station and a horse barn owned by a Ridgway local are additions visitors can now see and learn about at the museum.
Nearly three years ago, the museum packed up in its previous location at the Colona Schoolhouse and moved to the historic railroad depot building in Ridgway, built in 1891. Since then, the museum has had more opportunities for acquisitions, patronage and fundraising.
One such acquisition is an old horse barn “sold” to the museum in early December for $1 by Kuno Vollenweider, a Ridgway resident since 1986. The structure, which would hold two or three horses, is scheduled to be transported to the museum in April.
“I really couldn’t just give it away, so I sold it for a dollar,” Vollenweider said in a phone conversation Monday. “It’s a symbolic gesture, you know? That way I can frame the dollar.”
Vollenweider bought his property from Ed and Linda Ingo of Fisher Ranch in 1985. The barn was waiting for Vollenweider when he moved in the following year. The Ridgway local said the desire to have the structure hauled off his property was a contributing factor to his decision to sell the barn.
“I was just trying to find a good way of not having to do anything myself,” he said. “Instead of trying to take it apart or sell it for old wood, I thought the easiest thing was to just give it away.”
Joan Chismire, museum board president, is pleased with the addition to the museum, regardless of Vollenweider’s motivation to be rid of the structure. She said she isn’t sure of...

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