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Front Page » January 13, 2004 » Lifestyle » An Old Fashioned Christmas
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An Old Fashioned Christmas

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Bert Oman shows visitors an old handcart on display at the Pioneer Museum.

The Emery County Historical Society held its annual Christmas Social recently at the Museum of the San Rafael.

This was an unusual social event in that the participants were led on a tour of the San Rafael Museum and the Pioneer Museum by Bert Oman.

Oman, in the San Rafael Museum, pointed out items of interest such as the arrow heads, a travois, woven baskets, pottery, grain grinding stones and many other Indian artifacts. Some of these were found in a local cave. There were paintings by Clifford Oviatt and others, to view. The Indian travois was found by the Lake boys while hunting deer. The huge wall mural by Clifford Wyatt depicting the desert in Emery County is something that everyone in the county should see. This museum has a stuffed elk, a deer, a mountain lion,a mountain sheep and a beaver on display.

One wall mural illustrates the various rock formations in Emery County and helps to explain how the coal and gas came to be here.

Oman said that he rode past the cave where some of the Indian artifacts were found many times with out taking time to find out what was inside.

There are several sculptures on display of Western scenes, such as a large Indian head with a headdress, a sculpture of buffalo being driven over a cliff, and one sculpture of an Indian making arrow heads. Most of these bronze sculptures were made by Gary Prazen.

In the museum there is an ultra violet display of rocks found in Emery County. Some of these rocks don't look like much in the daylight, but under the ultra violet light they are quite pretty.

Oman said it took a lifetime of several curators to gather the items on display at the San Rafael Museum. They are always happy to get items that can be added to the museum. Everything in the museum has been found on private ground.

After the tour of the San Rafael Museum the tour group walked across the street to the Pioneer Museum in the Castle Dale City Building on the second floor.

In the Pioneer Museum everyone sampled hot cider, sandwiches, chips and dips while following Oman around to the various rooms looking at pioneer artifacts. On display was an old handcart like the pioneers used and such things as tables chairs, rockers, wardrobes or dressers and clothing all carried across the plains by pioneers in wagons or hand carts. A solid brass bed on display is considered one of the most valuable items in this museum. The solid brass bed cost new $23 dollars and now appraises at $60,000.

Some of the items on display in the Pioneer Museum were cowbells, devices to keep cows from going through a fence, horse hobbles, hay stack cutters, and cross cut saws.

Under a large painting of branding calves was a display of branding irons, including the famous running iron that was used by cattle rustlers.

Ray Wareham displayed two quilts that were made by his first grade teacher Irma Peterson Snow with the names of 33 students she was teaching. The quilts have the embroidered names of each of the students in the first grade that year.

When in the room where tools and things used by ranchers and farmers from Emery County were on display, Oman would hold up a tool or point to a tool, or some other implement and ask if people in the group could identify the item. Some people were able to identify the items readily.

Oman also pointed out the display of tools and equipment used by early miners of this area. Some of these were hand drills used in the drilling of holes for inserting blasting powder to break the wall of coal down so that it could be hauled away.

Oman displayed lye soap made by his mother 45 years ago.

The Pioneer Museum also has the Joseph Smith sword on display. This sword is considered another very valuable item in the museum.

Oman took the crowd into a room representing a fifth grade classroom and pointed out the desk where he used to sit and where he carved his brand. That carving cost him six weeks of daily, one hour detention.

In the Pioneer Museum the tour group enjoyed hearing Annette Cook playing Christmas music on an ancient pump organ.

When the tour of the Pioneer Museum was over the tour went back to the San Rafael Museum for sandwiches, cookies candies, cake hot chocolate and hot apple cider.

In the San Rafael Museum, Kathryn Seely entertained with Christmas stories. There was also entertainment by a singing group Barbara Moore, Doris Walker and Cindy Price singing Christmas songs.

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January 13, 2004
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