A gift of history for the holidays

Posted on December 11th in News


Gifts available at Christmas Jamboree

by Karen Nitz
for the Burns Times-Herald


One of the watercolor house paintings that will be featured on Claudette Pruitt’s calendars and notecards. (Submitted photo)

One of the watercolor house paintings that will be featured on Claudette Pruitt’s calendars and notecards. (Submitted photo)

With the Christmas holidays fast approaching and the New Year just around the corner, Harney County is preparing to celebrate its 125th anniversary.  From Drewsey to Denio, Wagontire to Andrews, and all points in between, Harney County boasts of a colorful history full of hardy pioneers and rugged settlements. What better way to acquaint yourself, a family member, or a friend with the rich history of Harney County than with a holiday gift. To that end, there will be several venues this holiday season to purchase the perfect gift for the history lover on your list.

At the Community Christmas Jamboree to be held Saturday, Dec. 14, there will be several opportunities to find the perfect gift for the history lover on your list.

Claudette Pruitt, a local author and historian, has commissioned local artist, Mary Lou Wilhelm, to paint a dozen historic pioneer homes located on the hill in Burns. These paintings will be featured in the form of a 12-month calendar and hand-made notecards. A short history of the homes and the homeowners, which Claudette has been researching for the past several years, is detailed on the back of each card. These items will be available for sale at the Burns Ford Garage showroom from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Pruitt has partnered with the Claire McGill Luce Western History Room at the Harney County Library and will have samples of the notecards, calendars and the original watercolor artwork on display in the research room throughout the winter.  Also on hand at Burns Garage will be members from the Harney County Living History Players portraying some of the owners of the historic homes and other early residents of Burns.  Stop by and learn more about the Living History program and find out how you can become involved in a future Living History event.

The Harney County Historical Society will have a table set up on Broadway Ave. in front of the former quilt shop.  Local historical books, including the newly published “The Meek Cutoff; Tracing the Oregon Trail’s Lost Wagon Train of 1845” by Brooks Ragen, “Harney County and its Range Lands” by George Brimlow, “Harney County, An Historical Inventory” by Jackson and Lee, and guide books to Harney County cemeteries will be offered for sale. Do you have one of those hard-to-buy-for, already-has-everything people on your holiday shopping list? Consider purchasing a yearly or lifetime gift membership to the Harney County Historical Society. Membership entitles the holder to free admission to the Harney County Historical Museum and quarterly Historical Society newsletters. The Historical Society will also have a sign-up sheet available for anyone interested in volunteering at the museum next season.

Finally, last minute shoppers can purchase copies of “Images of America: Harney County” at the Harney County Library anytime during regular library business hours. This book features nearly 200 vintage photographs from across Harney County. All proceeds from the book sales benefit the Harney County Library Foundation.

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