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Every Dollar Counts
The Victor Improvement Association is a non-profit, volunteer organization. Its operation of the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum depends solely on private donations, memberships, admission fees and grants. One of the best ways to support the museum is to take a modern mine tour during the summer months.
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Mining History Donors to be Honored Through Victor Lowell Thomas Museum Fundraising Effort
For the first time since the 1950s, the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum has a heating system, and that means that interior restoration of the building is now possible. This winter’s project is to refurbish an upper floor room into the Hunter Mining History Library. This library of books, publications, and documents will honor and include items donated by several individuals.
The library is named for Ed and Cherry Hunter, who donated thousands of books and documents, maps, and artifacts, as well a large collection of mine safety lamps to the museum in 2013. Staff and volunteers have completed archiving Ed and Cherry’s large collection of mining memorabilia gathered and collected by the couple during their years in the mining industry. When Cherry died in 2004 and Ed in 2013, at their request no memorials were held. This library will be a chance for their friends to commemorate their enormous dedication to mining history and their donation to the communities in which they lived and the lives they touched so deeply.
The library is also being funded in honor of attorney Brian Geddes whose family donated to the library several of his law and mining books in 2011. Geddes is well known in the district and greatly enjoyed collecting Victor & Cripple Creek history. The project will also house some of the books from Victor’s hometown notable Lowell Thomas and family, as well as Lowell Thomas Junior who died in October 2016. The museum collection includes most every title the elder Thomas wrote, his radio and broadcast transcripts from 1934 to 1975, and several first edition books that were donated by the University of Denver Sturm Law School in 2015. Some of Dr. A.C. Denman’s medical books will also be located in the library.
These items and others will be housed in the library, which is the first step toward providing a public research component to the museum experience. The museum board also has plans in the future to install a temperature and humidity controlled archive room in the basement of the museum to house more sensitive items from these collections as well as the original historic newspapers that are the treasure-trove of Victor history.
Donations from this fundraising effort will be used to rehab the library room and purchase bookshelves and other amenities in the library. Thus far, the museum has earmarked over $3,000 donated previously by individuals who wanted to commemorate the Hunters, Geddes, Denman, and the Thomas father and son.
A challenge for the fundraiser has been issued by the Southern Teller County Focus Group, of whom Ed Hunter was a founding member and fervent supporter. The STCFG is seeking partners who will match their kick-start donation of $2,500. Total estimated cost of the project is $48,000.
Donations to this non-profit project are 100% tax deductible. No donation is too small; those who donate will have their names included on a memorial plaque that will hang in the library.
To make a donation to the Hunter Mining History Library please send a check or money order to:
VIA, POB 238, Victor, CO 80860. Be sure to provide your mailing address so that we can send a note of appreciation – also please be sure to designate how you want your name noted on the donor plaque.
The museum will also in 2017 begin raising funds toward the installation of a restroom – that project will be funded in part by grants as well as local fundraisers. Donations for this part of the restoration may be made as above; stay tuned for information on upcoming fundraisers for this project.