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Estes Park Museum Community Case Display Celebrates 150 Years Since Joel Estes’ Arrival

The monument, located at Hwy 36 and Fish Creek Way, was dedicated in 1927 as a tribute to the Estes family settlement. Photo courtesy Estes Park Museum

The monument, located at Hwy 36 and Fish Creek Way, was dedicated in 1927 as a tribute to the Estes family settlement. Photo courtesy Estes Park Museum

To celebrate the sesquicentennial of Joel Estes’ arrival to the area, a new exhibit in the foyer of the Estes Park Museum features a display assembled by Colleen Estes Cassell, a descendant of Estes Park’s namesake. The Community Case display, featuring photographs and other Estes family memorabilia, will run until January 2010 at the Museum.

An Estes family reunion, celebrating the 150th anniversary, will take place in Estes Park at the end of July. Over 80 family members are expected to attend. The first reunion occurred in 1927 when the Town of Estes Park honored Joel and his family with the granite monument at the present intersection of Highway 36 and Fish Creek Way, near the site of the original Estes cabin. It wasn’t until 1981, however, that the Estes family reunions became a tradition.

The photographs of numerous past reunions in Estes Park are a testament to the pride of Joel Estes’ family in their ancestor and the area which he settled.

Joel Estes and his son Milton first encountered the uninhabited mountain valley in 1859 while on a hunting expedition. Milton wrote of their “surprise, wonder and joy at beholding such an unexpected sight.” The following year father and son returned to build a cabin along Fish Creek and to make a living by hunting, fishing and raising cattle. Eventually their wives and children joined them, staying until 1866 when, following a harsh winter, the family moved out of the area.

The Estes Park Museum Community Case features temporary exhibits of historic significance. If you or your organization has a personal collection of objects that you would like to display in the Community Case, please call 970-577-3762.

Now through October, the Museum, located at 200 Fourth Street, is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Closed July 3 and 4. Current exhibits at the Museum include Patchwork Storytellers, an exploration of quilting in Estes Park, located in the National Park Service Headquarters building and Altered Landscapes in the main gallery. The mission of the Estes Park Museum is to collect, interpret and preserve local history, as well as to present exhibits, programs and events for the education and benefit of residents and visitors of all ages. For more information call the Estes Park Museum at 586-6256 or visit the Museum’s website at www.estes.org/museum. Admission is always free.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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