Golden Museum opens for the season with new displays, artifacts
April 22, 2015
For 25 years, the Golden Museum has been a hidden treasure in Barry County. With collections ranging from Native American artifacts to record-holding mineral samples to toys and war memorabilia, the museum has something for everyone. Tuesday marked the opening day of this season, and new additions to the collection are sure to excite patrons again.
The Golden Pioneer Museum is owned by Winfred and Lee Ona Prier who have spent a lifetime acquiring collections for the museum. During the off season, the couple travels and is always on the lookout for a new piece or two to add the collection. Winfred enjoyed collecting things over the years and, eventually, decided to open the museum so that others could enjoy the artifacts, as well. It didn’t take long for the Priers’ reputation to become known, and they are sought out by collectors who don’t want their treasures to fall into hands that wouldn’t appreciate them.
Winfred said, “Sometimes we will have someone call us because they’ve heard of the museum and have something they want displayed.” The Priers travel all over purchasing collections to add to the museum and to keep the artifacts new and interesting for visiting patrons.
Some of the items new to the museum this year include a huge Apatosaurus thigh bone as well as an ancient preserved fish and reptile from the same period. In another room is a bear skull from the same collection.
This year there is a special Shriners exhibit up for the first time, as well. The collection, which was acquired from Shriner Frank Fusco, of Mountain Home, Ark., includes pins, Bibles, commemorative glasses, bells and much more. Even a special women’s Shriners hat is included in the display.
Last fall, the museum opened a brand new 2,700 square food addition to house new collections, including a huge Native American artifact and arrowhead assortment and the largest known collection of butter dishes on record. Over 1,300 different butter dishes are displayed along the walls of the newest room, which is the fifth for the museum.
The beauty of the Golden Museum is the variety of artifacts on display. Antique tractors, countless types of glassware from over the years, collectible lunch boxes and African artifacts also adorn the shelves inside. Spending a whole day pursuing the five rooms still wouldn’t allow one to see every artifact on the shelves. The best way to understand the sheer volume of collections inside the doors is to visit for yourself.
The Golden Pioneer Museum is located at Highways 86 and J in Golden across from Ball and Prier Tire. Their hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 4;30 p.m. until October 31. Admission is free, but donations are accepted to help with the upkeep of the museum. For more information, call (417) 271-3300 or online at www.goldenpioneermuseum.org.