SILT — With a lineup that includes a Civil War soldier re-enactor, geocachers and two young mandolin players, the Silt Historical Park is spanning the past, present and future this summer.
“We have a well-rounded schedule, with history-related activities like the Civil War presentation, which is universal to everyone, a visit with Doc Holliday and Kid Curry, and Gypsy Cowbelle, who does troubadour-type singing,” said Pattie Peterson, Silt Historical Society’s volunteer secretary and program chair who helps plan events at the historical park.
Beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 31, the Silt Historical Park, 707 Orchard Ave., is hosting a diverse schedule of summer and fall events going through October. The outdoor entertainment season starts with Fresh Cut, Carbondale’s teen mandolin duo featuring pickers Zachary Baker and Miles Petterson. They will play bluegrass music and provide a presentation of the history and construction of their instruments.
“We’re opening the summer with Fresh Cut and the Porch Pickers, a group of musicians that can range in size at every show and opens for a lot of our events,” Peterson said. “And everybody loves music.”
The Silt Historical Society owns and operates the park, which is celebrating 30 years teaching visitors about Western Slope homesteading history on land donated by the area’s school board. Family-friendly concerts, historical presentations with actors in period dress, and a picnic for geocache enthusiasts on 3 p.m. Saturday, June 21, are just a sampling of the community events planned at the park.
“I’m so excited. Geocaching, it’s just very fun,” Peterson said. “I go for what interests me and what I think people would really like to see in an outdoor venue like this.”
Peterson, who became interested in geocaching two years ago, said she planned the picnic so novices can meet those with geocaching experience to socialize, share stories and search for caches. Going by the geocache handle Silt Sweetie, Peterson best described geocaching as a modern-day treasure hunt connecting hobbyists through a global GPS cache hunt site at www.geocaching.com. According to the site, there are nearly 2.5 million active geocaches and more than 6 million geocachers worldwide.
“Anyone can come to the picnic, but I will say we will be focused only on geocaching,” Peterson said. “There will be some newbies and a lot of geocachers here. Most of us only know each other by our geocaching names, and I can’t wait to put faces to names.”
Silt Historical Society president Bill Smith said events such as the geocache picnic; a July 26 presentation by Pat Thrasher, of the Glenwood Railroad Museum, on the life and times of gandy dancers, who worked on the railroad; and the Silt Hey Day quilt and antique tractor show on Aug. 2 show the wide range of the park’s summer and fall agenda activities.
“We’re starting to really take off. Members are starting to be more involved, and donors are starting to give more. The Chelewski family has loaned us the wonderful display of miniature horse drawn farm equipment their father made,” Smith said. “Our outdoor events and tours are working really great for us, and we are open anytime for special events.”
Summer and fall events at the park allow guests to walk the grounds, touring historic buildings and viewing new displays. The events are always free to the public, and donations are encouraged to help pay for operating costs throughout the year.
“We’re mostly self-sufficient,” Peterson said. “We really appreciate the donations for our day-to-day expenses.”