Marta Hedde Wood

Jul 9, 2022

Come one, come all!

To the All-member Special Meeting scheduled for 11:00

Load up the whole family, and come on over to the Historical Park. It’s Member Appreciation Day on July 9, 10-2. New cards and great gifts!

Clear your calendar for a Wheat Ridge

Historical Society special event July 9

from 10:00–2:00 –– just for you! Your new

membership card is ready, AND we have

a special gift for all members who attend.

We’re excited for you to see the progress

made on the Century-long Story in the

Johnson Cabin. We also would like to bend your ear a bit at a brief Special Meeting at 11:00 and talk about some problems that we hope you can help solve.

Time was when the Historical Society served the small community of Wheat Ridge very well. A group of energetic, adventurous, dedicated members took on some gargantuan projects; they saved two park buildings from demolition, erected a massive storage shed for farm equipment, and implemented an open-door policy for donations of all kinds, some prized and some, as can be expected, junk. Those thousands of donations have been stored on site for decades, and many have never been processed (called “accessioning” in museum lingo). Now, in order to maintain professional museum status (thereby assuring opportunities for grant monies and a continued relationship with the City, among other benefits) over 50 percent of the donated artifacts and documents must be accessioned, catalogued and stored, ready for display. This fits hand-in-hand with the Century-long Story theme. It’s a massive job, though. Surprisingly, some items take up to five hours each to be processed. You begin to see our problem. . .

Since before COVID hit, a small cadre of active members, many from the board of directors, has maintained the collections and planned a new approach in keeping with professional museums. Between aging and burnout, progress has slowed. Some volunteers have been working 40 hours a month! The work, though sometimes mundane, is more often enjoyable, fascinating and certainly necessary. The company is great, but the current active group of volunteers is too small (and tired!) to accomplish much long-term. And so, we come to you, our members, with an appeal for your active partnership to secure a happy future for this important organization. Current projects we’d like to bring to fruition include restaging the Soddy to fit in the Century-long Story; processing all the artifacts in the Implement Shed, then cleaning and organizing it; and processing and organizing the archives in the Post Office. We also desperately need a volunteer coordinator (future board position), someone to take over the oral histories project, and, coming in 2023, a treasurer.

At the All-member Special Meeting Saturday, we want to honor you, our members, with new membership cards and a small token of our appreciation. We also want your input on some important questions. At the meeting you’ll receive a short survey to complete and return before you leave, and we’ve incorporated a chance to do that while we celebrate you. The meeting will take place in the central grassy area, but after that short introduction, we invite you to migrate to one or more museum buildings where you can get out of the July heat, “sit a spell”, talk to other members and board representatives, have a cool drink and a snack, and complete the survey.

The compiled survey results will be shared with the membership and will be used to direct the board deciding which programs to continue and a timetable to implement. Please take the time to give us honest feedback and consider the skills YOU can bring to the WRHS. Without significant increased involvement from the membership, the future of this noble organization is on shaky ground.


Respectfully,


WRHS Executive Officers and Board of Directors