Dixon Peacock gives the history of the museums in the county at the 40th birthday of the Pioneer Museum.
The museum board presented a lifetime achievement award to Dixon Peacock at a special program commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Pioneer Museum in Emery County.
Commissioner Jeff Horrocks is the commissioner in charge of the museums, he welcomed everyone to the presentation. He said the museums in the county exist today because of the hard work of volunteers. Many of the artifacts in the Museum of the San Rafael came from the Pioneer Museum. He said because people have a great love for the museums they have flourished. Jan Petersen is a past museum director. Margaret Keller is the museum director at the present time. There have been a number of dedicated and hard working volunteers over the years.
Zora Fielder takes care of the Pioneer Museum and did much preparation for the 40th year celebration of the museum. Horrocks said the local museums are like diamonds. "Our museums are world class. We recently had a fly-in at Huntington airport and we took those pilots and families to the museums. We had some great comments from them."
Peacock was asked to give a history of the museums. He said everything started with the discovery of an atalatl discovered by himself and Lavar Sitterud. They didn't excavate it, but they notified Don Burge from the CEU prehistory museum in Price. They discovered not only the atalatl, but two bodies as well and a spear thrower, and a shovel made from the bark of an old cottonwood tree. The discovery was in the vicinity of Sid and Charlie. The items were excavated and brought to town and the University of Utah began the first steps to preserve the items which were a rare find. This was the beginning of the museums in the county.
"The Jaycees were just beginning to be active around this time. We met in a garage and discussed the places and options available for a museum. We decided the second floor of the old school in Castle Dale would be adequate which is now the upstairs of the Castle Dale City Hall.
"We cleaned up the building and the Jaycees raised money for the project. We threw the old radiators out the windows and a truck hauled them away. We restored the roof and fixed the walls. Parker Childs designed the showcases to be placed in the museum. We got the glass for the show cases in Salt Lake. Don and Elizabeth helped with the mural. Ann Wissler said egg yolks were used in the yellow paint in Europe and we used them to enhance the yellow paint. Many hours were spent on the mural. We upgraded the electrical and workers from the power plant helped with the electrical work.
"The Green Thumb program worked making quilts to use to sell for fund raisers. The foyer area was a major job. After we had two rooms prepared then Dr. Stokes came and was a speaker at the opening. The city has always been very supportive of the projects," said Peacock.
Work was also done to the outside of the building and crews brought in manure and Jim Jewkes brought in a tractor and prepared the dirt. A sprinkling system was also installed. The Jaycees collected donations from local businesses to lay asphalt on the street in front of the museum.
Each of the rooms at the Pioneer Museum were given special thought and care. They gathered old mining equipment for the mining room, old mine lights, etc. Jan Petersen worked especially hard on the red room. She put together a grant application and received a grant to purchase the red drapes and carpet. "It's one of the nicest rooms in the museum. The antique furniture was donated by Mildred Johnson. Other antiques were donated by Ann Wissler. So many people donated items, that we had to find storage to store the extra items. The organ was a donation and all of the items for the farm room. We added a restroom. Virginia and Gene Talbot were big contributors to the museum.
"My biggest joy I've had with the museums has been the association of everyone I've worked with. Thanks to everyone who has had anything to do in anyway with the success of the museums. Thanks so much," said Peacock.
Dawnette Tuttle was presented with flowers for her work in association with the museums. "She's done a wonderful job," said Peacock.
Keller presented the award to Peacock. She said he was overqualified for the award. "Service is the lifeblood of an organization everything flows from it and benefits from it. She said Peacock exhibits: desire, ambition, contribution, knowledge, passion for excellence, concern for community and has had an enduring and meaningful impact. He is hardworking and receives no pay for all he has done for the museums. He has been willing to serve when called upon and has gone above and beyond the call of duty. He is a special individual.
Bert Peacock spoke of his father, he said Dixon was born and raised in Emery County and had boyhood adventures like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. He thrived on the finding of clues and relics left by the ancient people, the Fremont. "My dad did everything he could to learn more about the Fremont. He talked to archeologists and gained knowledge and experience. He could walk behind you and find arrowheads that you walked over. He can spot arrowheads from a moving truck. He loves spending time with his kids and grandkids. When I was a kid and went out with Dad, I picked up every piece of flint I could find. I figured if I picked up enough of them, I would find an arrowhead. Dad is an advocate for the heritage and history of Emery County. It bothered him there was not a place to display this heritage. That was his motivation. This county has a lot to offer and a rich heritage and it needs to stay here. It doesn't need to go to Price."
Bert said Dixon is called upon often to take people on tours and share his knowledge of the area. "When Dad commits to do something he doesn't do anything half way. He has energy, knowledge and commitment. A bonus was the secretary work of my mother and the slave labor of the kids and grandkids. I am proud of Dad. My Dad taught us about service. My Dad exemplifies service. He's been on the livestock board, union boards, city council, nursing home board and church positions. Dad is proud of his family and next after that is the museum. There have been people like him who have given selflessly of their time and talents." said Bert.
Cliff Oviatt has worked with Dixon on many museum projects. Oviatt said he first met Dixon when they both worked for American Coal. "Dickson cares for people. he gives unselfishly. He enjoys a practical joke. Dixon gives credit to other people. A lot of people helped, but we wouldn't have that museum without Dixon," said Oviatt.
Dixon is welcome everywhere and everybody likes Dixon. He is good at raising money for museum projects. Dixon accepted his award amid a standing ovation for the work he has done for the county.
Commissioner Horrocks concluded the program by inviting everyone to stay for refreshments and tours of the Pioneer Museum. "I first met Dixon when I moved to Orangeville in 1976. He is an example of the kind of people we have here in Emery County," said Commissioner Horrocks.