As a kickoff for its 2002-2003 membership drive, the Northern Gila County Historical Society will open the doors to The Rim Country Museum and The Museum of Rim Country Archaeology (MRCA) to all visitors at no charge. The event takes place from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3.
Last year, approximately 50 new memberships were added to the historical society's rolls.
This year the membership goal (one membership covers both museums) is to add 500 new memberships by December 2003.
With the addition of MRCA, opened in July after a six-month cooperative volunteer building effort and the museum's finest accomplishment of 2002, the society is expanding its appeal.
If you are a newcomer, you will learn about the "pioneer days." If you grew up here, you'll find out something new about an ancestor or the ancient peoples who inhabited the area from 300 to 1200 AD, and if you're a student, there's material for an original term paper on subjects ranging from foods and early pottery of ancient times to Western cowboys.
Don't miss Nov. 3 and this opportunity for your family and friends to spend a Sunday afternoon delving into the Payson area's past.
Refreshments will be served, and special tours for children will commence at each museum at 2 p.m.
From now until Nov. 14, the featured display at the Rim Country Museum is a second showing of the popular "Grazin' Saddles," first featured at the "Western Heritage Festival." Saddles used on the range, a side saddle and an eight-string saddle owned by Zane Grey are just a few of those shown.
Local artists Jan Hodson, Jim Hagen, Brenda Baker, Donn C. Morris, Bj Sherrill, CM Okerwall, Rock Newcomb and Linda Nannizzi have imaginatively depicted history of the cowboy and his life on the range.
The Museum of Rim Country Archaeology introduces you to the world of the archaeologist.
You will be guided by texts and exhibits of our Ancient Cultures by Ao, "the Ancient One," and one of the elders who lived around 1200 AD. He will show you how he lived, ate, traded and with what tools he worked in his Rim country culture.
You'll hear about the Risser Ranch Ruins, a prehistoric property owned by the museum in an established subdivision in Payson.
All memberships to the Northern Gila County Historical Society include free admission for a year to both museums.
Members receive a quarterly newsletter, a 10 percent discount and no sales tax in the Rim Country Museum's gift shop (just in time for Christmas shopping if you join now), invitations to opening receptions celebrating new exhibits, monthly meetings with interesting speakers, complimentary passes, and more.
Classes of membership range from $5 for students, $15 for individuals, $25 for families, and up, with various business classifications available.
Membership dues help to further programs, activities and exhibits, and support maintenance.
Membership chairman Carol Dixon, 472-7256, can assist you with your membership selection. You can also stop in at either museum, from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, for additional details on membership.
For more information, call The Rim Country Museum at 474-3483, or The Museum of Rim Country Archaeology at 468-1128.
Historical society memberships
Miners/Flint Knappers Club $50
Settlers/Pioneers Club $100
Loggers/Ao's Club $250
Ranchers Club $500
Director's Campfire $1,000
Business Booster $250
Business Sponsor $500
Corporate Sponsorship $1,000