Call it what you will, the idea that items that have outlived their short term usefulness can be of value is a concept that matters to an organization like the Museum. Happily, our neighbors at the Empire Ranch Foundation feel exactly the same way which is why we are now the proud owners of 14 1940’s era school desks.
In terms of the back story on the transaction, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is partnered with the Empire Ranch Foundation (ERF) for the purpose of preserving the Empire Ranch, one of our area’s treasures. School desks that were not needed at another BLM restoration project at the Fairbank schoolhouse have been in storage in an outbuilding at the Ranch since 2007. Fortunately, Alison Bunting who is the historian for the ERF, as well as a member of the Museum, was aware of our plan for the Lochiel schoolhouse to become a community meeting place in the near future. She contacted our curators, Linda & Tom Shore, and the rest, as they say, is history.
We owe a big round of thanks to the BLM for their generosity, Alison for her thoughtfulness and the ERF volunteers for their helpful hands. The desks are off to a good new home and the ERF has regained some storage space…..which sounds like a win/win to us.