There’s a lot of heritage tourism in Golden — both visitors and residents are curious about its history and past. “It was the territorial capitol, and now boasts a charming downtown and …
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There’s a lot of heritage tourism in Golden — both visitors and residents are curious about its history and past.
“It was the territorial capitol, and now boasts a charming downtown and historic neighborhoods,” said Dixie Termin who has lived in Golden for about 30 years. “A lot has happened here. It’s sort of where the state began.”
And people can find all those stories at the Golden History Museum, which will host its grand reopening event on June 23.
“It’s great to be able to open the doors and invite the public in,” said Mark Dodge, the museum’s curator. “I’m excited to see what the community enjoys about it.”
Formerly known as the Golden History Center, the museum closed on Dec. 30 to make way for Discovery Awaits — another term for the museum’s master plan, which includes an interior renovation of the nearly 50-year-old building and new exhibits. It cost about $350,000 and was in planning for about three years.
Five exhibits are part of Discovery Awaits: Epic Events, Legendary People, the History Lab, The Salon and the Touch Gallery. Throughout the museum, visitors can expect to see new artwork and about 100 new artifacts, including recent acquisitions and on-loan pieces.
“We’ll know more once it opens and we get to go see it, but they’ve got some really cool stuff going on,” Termin said, a frequent museum-goer who recently started volunteering there. “The different galleries will offer something for everybody.”
Termin is especially excited to see the Legendary People exhibit.
“My favorite thing is seeing something that used to belong to somebody I know,” she said, “or seeing something that takes me back to my childhood.”
Those who have lived in Golden a long time or the city’s senior population will probably enjoy that, also, she said.
“And for the younger kids, there’s going to be a lot that captures their attention,” Termin said.
Angela Wheaton has lived in Golden for more than 20 years. She enjoyed being able to spend hours at a time at the museum, but that wasn’t always possible with her children, who are now 12 and 15.
“I’m looking forward to going more often with the kids now because they’ll be entertained,” Wheaton said. And it’ll be educational, she added. “I have a thing for the past and I think there’s so much value in learning from the past.”
The Touch Gallery is designed for families to enjoy the museum experience together.
“Museums everywhere are looking to bring in that next generation,” Dodge said.
But visitors of all ages will probably also enjoy the History Lab, added Vanya Scott, the museum’s curatorial assistant.
“It will give them something more than looking at the artifacts in a case,” she said. “They’ll get a little peek behind-the-scenes of what museum employees do.”
The museum will be one, cohesive museum that serves the Golden community and those who love Golden, said Nathan Richie, the museum’s director.
“It will be a vibrant hub of activity,” he said, adding, “there will always be something new or different to see.”
Wheaton believes that no matter if a person has lived in Golden for a long time or recently “landed here from somewhere else,” they should start their exploration of the community at the Golden History Museum. It’s a community-connector of sorts, Wheaton said.
“It will be more than just somewhere to go to pass some time,” she said. “I’m proud of Golden. It’s a great place to be and it all begins at the museum.”
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