Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Gold Fever!" Strikes Ocotillo! & Rotary Club Volunteer Day

Rotary volunteers and Interact members
This was a big day for the IVDM. This morning El Centro's Rotary Club and the Southwest High Interact Club spent Rotary's National Volunteer Day curating at the museum. Eusebio, who holds the museum's title for Most Artifacts Curated in One Day by One Person, challenged his Rotary peers to beat his record.
One person came close, but at the end of the day Eusebio still held the record at 181 artifacts. Over the intense cataloging session 17 people curated 348 artifacts in 3 hours. That's equivalent to a full days work by our CDAS partners. The staff sends a big thank you out to El Centro Rotary for organizing the event and helping us curate IVC's collections.

One of the 348 artifacts curated by El Centro Rotary and SW Interact Club. 

Later in the afternoon, visitors from Imperial County, Jacumba and as far as San Deigo helped us celebrate the grand opening of our first traveling exhibit. "Gold Fever! Untold Stories of California's Gold Rush". It's amazing to think that last January we just finished the curation lab and today we have a full exhibit up on the walls.

Nearly 100 people visited throughout the afternoon to eat tacos at the cart sponsored by the El Centro Rotary Club, listen to traditional cowboy music performed by El Centro's own Jugless Jug Band, and view the exhibit. Adults and children alike enjoyed testing their knowledge of the area and identifying good hiking areas our new
topographical map of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Families enjoyed our miner's cabin and trying to identify different objects in the miner's trunk a miner would have brought with him for work and for fun.The Jugless Jug Band played timeless favorites like "Buffalo Girls" and "Little Brown Jug" and quizzed the museum staff on the historical meaning of each verse to "She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain".  We didn't know nearly as much as we expected we would.

This exhibit opening represents an amazing milestone for us as a fledgling museum and the IVDM staff would like to thank everyone who has helped make this museum a reality.  Thank you to all of our visitors for coming out, and we hope to see more of you soon!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ocotillo Rocks, Again!

Whew! The Ocotillo Rocks event just got over. 

We had a full building with 107 people in attendance. Joe Rodrigues from the Gem and Mineral Society gave a talk on the geology of the Imperial Valley and showed different kinds of rocks that are found here. Chuck Bucher followed up with a gave talk on how rocks were used by Native Americans in the Valley. Lots of families came and children entertained themselves at craft stations where they painted rocks and built coiled clay pots. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New Map!

We have spent a long weekend gathering a new addition to our education collection. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum donated a three dimensional map that used to sit outside the museum's front entrance.  They are replacing the map with a new exhibit so plan a visit after the summer to see the new trolley!

The topographical map of San Diego and Imperial counties is 8x19 feet - massive inside our exhibit space! - so not all panels will be on display at once.  The map highlights the amazing landscape of Imperial County and we like being able to see all the places we've hiked this year. The map will be on display during Ocotillo Rocks on the 20th - see the flyer below!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Coiled Clay Extravaganza

Jessica and Allison work with kids to make pots
April 6-7 our Curator, Jessica Brody and assistant Allison Brody went up to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to help with the 10th Annual Archaeology Weekend, sponsored by the Colorado Desert Archaeology Society, Anza-Borrego Foundation, and California State Parks.  Our friends at the CDAS make the drive down to Ocotillo twice a month to help the museum curate artifacts.  We were happy to give back by running the coiled clay table, something we've become known for, and join volunteers Carol Black and Astrid Webb in showing over 80 children how to make coiled clay pots.

Jessica teaches coiled clay

We also joined the activities at the Children's Fair for the second year in a row. Once again Kohl's Cares volunteers stepped up to help us work with 143 elementary and high school students to work with coiled clay.

 A good time was had by all!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First Loan to Turn into Accession

The museum has past another milestone!

One of the grants programs we built this summer focused on the care of audio cassette tapes that contain oral histories told by Tom Lucas, the last Kwaaymii to learn English as a second language. The tapes include Mr. Lucas repeating what I'm told is the earliest known Kumeyaay bird song, past down to him in the early 1900's. We have had these tapes on loan for several months and yesterday the owner gifted them to the museum so we can digitize, transcribe and make accessible these irreplaceable histories.