Historical foundation to restart
January 31, 2015
Protecting the future is about caring for precious resources; but they are not all endless, and many are slipping away.
This isn’t a story about water or energy, it’s about an attempt to preserve something less measurable and harder to capture: the memories, mementos, and histories that are found with the people who live here.
“I think history is who you are,” Dick Smith said. “If we don’t study history we are doomed to repeat it.”
A group of local history buffs want to take up the challenge of finding and capturing the past of Clovis and the surrounding region for future generations to explore and appreciate.
Patsy Delk, Wilma Fulgham, Smith and Philip Frazee are reviving the High Plains Historical Foundation, and with it the dream of founder and historian Don McAlavy: to build a museum.
Part of the foundation’s mission is to collect oral histories and stories as well as physical artifacts.
“Some of these people are already gone,” Fulgham said. “A lot more are going to be gone. So we’ve got to get it together.”
Frazee said many of the physical artifacts are hidden from public view in “people’s attics, barns and basements.” Fulgham said they would be willing to hand those artifacts over “if they knew there was a secure place to put them.”
Another part of the mission of the foundation is to educate children and provide a space for them to learn about and appreciate where they live.
“It’s time to get some young people that are interested in history in the area,” Smith said.
In addition to building a museum, the group envisions building a pioneer village to allow students and visitors to explore how early natives and settlers lived, hunted, ate and dressed.
Although planning and developing the museum will take time, many in the group think it’s now or never.
“It’s time sensitive,” Frazee said. “We’ve lost some resources, some very valuable resources. That, and oral histories.”
“If we don’t do it, I don’t think it’s ever going to get done,” Delk said.
The foundation is in the planning stages of the multi-year project. The group is researching other local museums, scouting possible locations, and preparing to write a business plan for future funding requests.
“It’s a dream,” Delk said. “And we are going to dream big.”
The foundation is also involved in the “Art Has Heart’ art show and silent auction from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Clovis-Carver Public Library.
To find out more about the foundation, contact Patsy Delk at [email protected] or Dick Smith at