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New tipi added as Pioneer Town preps for opening

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Photo by Don Benjamin Pioneer Town has erected a new replicated Native American tipi on the grounds of the Sutherland Indian Museum.

A new addition to the grounds of the Sutherland Indian Museum at Cedaredge's Pioneer Town is a replicated Native American tipi. Helping assemble the tipi last month were Doris McGuire of the Surface Creek Valley Historical Society board, her son Philip McGuire, and Randy Fisher and his son John.

The tipi is a gift from an anonymous donor. The Ute tribes indigenous to Western Colorado traditionally resided in dome-shaped brush shelters but they adopted tipi structures for winter use in the 1870-1880s. According to Doris McGuire's findings, researchers from the Taylor Museum of Colorado Springs stated, "When the Utes got horses they changed their pattern and elaborated their culture. This is when they started having tipis with long poles and were able to carry more buffalo robes and more buffalo hides to set up tipis."

Pioneer Town is gearing up for the start of its season. Clean-up days began on April 30 and are continuing through May 4. Anyone interested in helping to get the museum and historic town grounds ready for visitors is encouraged to call 970-856-7554 to leave their name and number.

Heritage Day, which marks the official opening of Pioneer Town, is scheduled for Saturday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. That day kicks off with the annual pancake breakfast at the Stolte Shed from 7-10 a.m. hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Grand Mesa Post 9221.

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Surface Creek
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