While The Doors Are Closed…

We’re managing to stay busy. In fact, the Museum’s doors being temporarily shuttered has provided our curators with the perfect excuse to rearrange. All in the spirit of creating new “old” displays for our patrons to enjoy in the future.

Patagonia is located in mining country so we’ve added new artifacts to those exhibits that are anchored by a huge mineral display case that is on long-term loan from the Cypress Mines Corporation.

We’ve recreated a turn of the century classroom because the building the Museum is housed in was the longest in-contiguous-use elementary school in the state at the time it closed. Serving the community from 1914 – 2014 is quite impressive, don’t you agree?

Small town commercial enterprises deserve mention so we’re currently featuring a scaled-down version of A.S. Henderson’s general store, as well as some cool old surveying tools and signage from the Bob Lennon collection.

In fact, there is so much that we want to share with the public that the board approved the conversion of the classroom that had been used as a meeting room into a public display area. The curator’s plans for that space include updated exhibits featuring the trades that have made Patagonia a thriving community over the past 100+ years.

Carolina and Hannah, the hard-working young women who are the current student docents, helped us with the first new exhibit, a tribute to the medical community in Patagonia. There’s no doubt that Dr. Delmar Mock is is the most well-known and beloved medical professional having served the area for 38 years. Affectionately known as “Doc Mock”, the town named a large portion of its park system in his honor. That said, it’s interesting to note that the original doctor in town was a woman, Dr. Eva Stevens Henderson, who obtained her medical degree in 1902. The story of women in the health care field in Patagonia continued with locally born Carolina Valenzuela Montoya who was Santa Cruz County’s first public health nurse. The family healthcare clinic in town was originally named after her, another tribute to the role of professional women in the wild west.

That’s a sampling of what we’ve been up to while our doors are closed. Stay tuned for updates as our curators continue the work of making old things seem new again.