People From Our Past will once again be bringing the popular history program to Prineville in September, after a hiatus this past year due to COVID restrictions.
Beginning Sept. 8, the live presentations bring a historical reenactor to the A.R. Bowman Museum's community room every Wednesday from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The program is sponsored by the museum and the Crook County Library.
"The library is pleased to again co-sponsor People From our Past," said April Witteveen, director of library services for the Crook County Library. "We enjoy working with the museum to present cultural programs of regional interest to our community. If you want to learn more about the historical figures featured in People From Our Past events, the library's Ochoco Collection is filled with books on local and regional history that can be checked out with a library card."
Crook County was settled by a range of colorful characters who didn't shy away from hard living for their chance to stake their claim in the Crooked River Valley. From cowboys and gunslingers to madams and ministers, many rugged individuals sought new opportunity on the Central Oregon frontier. With the relaunch of People From Our Past at the Bowman Museum, local patrons will once again have a chance to chat with a few of these historical figures â€“ with no time machine required.
"Upon its inception in 2019,Â People From Our PastÂ quickly became a 'must see' event in Prineville," said Bowman Museum Director Sandy Cohen. "We fully expect that the program's popularity will pick up where it left off. It is fun, entertaining and educational â€“ so please come join us!"
The idea for People From Our Past came out of a successful event held at the Bowman Museum during the library's 2018 Summer Reading Program. Titled Night at the Museum, that program featured multiple re-enactors and storytellers, some drawn from Prineville's Ochoco Players theater troupe.
Night at the Museum drew a crowd of about 80 attendees of all ages and represented a new kind of collaboration between the library and the museum — one that both organizations were eager to continue and build upon.
Patrons are encouraged to bring their lunch and spend some time in the museum's community room to experience the old West. September's program will feature an appearance by infamous outlaw and gunfighter of the American West, Hank Vaughan, played by Bend-based reenactor Matt Cleman.
In the previous programs, locals have found the performances engaging and entertaining. Prineville Senior Center Director Melody Kendall reflected in an earlier interview of her experience on a past presentation at the Bowman Museum of People From Our Past, where Cleman played the part of Barney Prine. Kendall's family has a direct linage to Barney Prine.
"It was just fascinating … I was thrilled that they did that," said Kendall.
The series is primarily being funded by the museum, with the Friends of the Crook County Library funding the advertising.
For more information about this series of free programs, please contact Assistant Director of Library Services Heather Jones at 541-447-7978 ext. 320, or Museum Director Sandy Cohen at 541-447-3715.
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