OTM Awarded CSA Grant

The Old Trails Museum is the 2024 recipient of the Costume Society of America’s Small Museum Collection Care Grant! Since 2003, CSA has awarded a single, $1,500 grant nationally to assist the costume and textiles collection of a small museum that has a very limited budget and staff. OTM will be using the grant to purchase archival materials so that OTM Volunteers/WHS Board Members RaeNell Holmes and Toya Rubi can continue to house and catalog more of OTM’s extensive textile collections.

CSA funds are helping the museum carry out a fundamental part of its mission, caring for textiles donated by current or former residents that are historically significant to Winslow. OTM’s collections include Santa Fe Railway uniforms, hats, and watches donated by former employees of the largest employer in town; Santa Fe Indian Band uniforms from the families of Laguna, Hopi and Navajo tribal members who performed in the band; and Harvey Girl uniforms from the descendants of women who worked at the original Harvey House and La Posada Hotel.

The collection also includes Navajo rugs and other Native-made textiles; handmade quilts made by local quilters; and antique wedding dresses, evening dresses, and swimwear worn by prominent local citizens. Highlights include an extensive collection of party gowns, tailored suits, and stylish day wear donated by the Winslow family of stage actress Norma Deane (born Leorena Shipley), who drowned in a flash flood while visiting home; and a uniform and medals donated by Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Col. Jay Vargas.

In 2021, OTM developed History Minutes with the Old Trails Museum, short videos available on the Videos webpage and the OTM YouTube Channel that highlight artifacts from the museum floor. Textile highlights include Colonel Vargas’ Medal of Honor (seen here), a La Posada Harvey Girl Apron, Mabel Nagel’s Dress, a Santa Fe Indian Band Shirt, and Verla Oare’s Gown.