Eagle: History gets fresh coat of paint
EAGLE, Colorado Sometimes, history needs a bit of touching up.That is most certainly the case with the Eagle County Historical Societys Museum, the old white barn adjacent to the Eagle Visitors Center in Chambers Park. The barn, which houses local history displays, was in sore need of a fresh coat of paint.The modestly funded Historical Society was well aware of that need, but did not have the means of financing or completing the task.Meanwhile, the Western Eagle Valley Rotary Club has been looking for a meaningful centennial project for the past few years. The Rotary, a local service club, is part of a national organization that was founded in 1905.As fortune would have it, the paths of the local Rotary and the Historical Society intersected at a breakfast meeting in the spring.One of the projects the Rotary was considering involved improvements in Chambers Park. That prompted a visit from Historical Society representatives, including museum curator John Bronn, who were concerned about the potential impact on the museum.In the course of the ensuing discussion, Rotary Club members agreed to paint the barn.Rotary member Scott Marino, a broker associate with Slifer, Smith & Frampton Real Estate, paid his first visit to the museum a couple of months ago. I saw what a neat place it was, says Marino. He thought that helping the Historical Society met Rotarys goal of helping out local facilities.It doesnt get any more local than this, said Marino, gesturing towards the barn on a recent sunny day. Seeing the potential for some community partnerships, Marino contacted Greg Tarpey, a close friend, fellow rugby player, and, coincidentally, the owner of a local painting business, Primary Colors Painting.The Rotary Club, which raises money through local events such as the Labor Day weekend rubber duck race and the Flight Days Run for the Future, is buying the paint and helping to pay for some labor.Primary colors is donating over 50 percent of the labor.It was for a good cause, says Tarpey, Sometimes you just have to give back. Painting crews have already been at work for one week, and should soon have the old dairy barn looking like new. Bronn notes that some surprise help came from another direction. A Bloomington, Minn. man named Kodo Kawamura stopped by the Visitor Center in May, and paid a visit to the museum. While he enjoyed exploring the archives, he was concerned about the outer appearance of the barn.Having long been active in a Sister City program, he made an offer to donate $1,000 to the Historical Society, specifying that the money go towards painting the building.I dont know how we could have gotten this done without the help, says Bronn.Rotary president Brady Baker says the club hopes the barn painting is the first phase in a long-term partnership with the Historical Society. He and Marino see more improvements at the historical museum and at Chambers Park ahead.We want to make this park more friendly for tourists and locals, says Baker.The Western Eagle Valley Rotary Club meets at 7:30 a.m. every Tuesday morning in the basement of Alpine Bank in Eagle. For more information, contact Baker at (970) 328-0443.The Eagle County Historical Museum, located in a historic barn at Chamber Park, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 21; then will be open on weekends until Oct. 19.