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The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Exploring Heritage: ‘All Things Sloven’ Exhibit at the Pueblo Heritage Museum

A+wall+of+photos+and+artifacs+in+the+exhibit.+By+Camerron+Martin
A wall of photos and artifacs in the exhibit. By Camerron Martin

The city of Pueblo has been built on the hard work of many different people from many different ancestries; a true city of immigrants with backgrounds of Italian, German, Hispanic, European, and so many more that make Pueblo’s ancestry very diverse. Out of all the different people, Slovenians make up about 10 percent of our community’s population today, the Slovenians.

 

Colorado is the country’s sixth most Slovenian-involved heritage state, and Pueblo is the third most Slovenian-involved heritage city. To celebrate this fact and show off a broad and diverse part of our community’s history, the Pueblo Heritage Museum has been hosting a temporary exhibit that displays this long-involved part of our city.

The Pueblo Heritage Museum is at 201 W. B St. and offers a look into the past of Pueblo through many different exhibits. Since April 29, 2023, one such exhibit that can be viewed on the grounds is the “All Things Sloven” temporary exhibit, which gives a detailed look at the Slovenian heritage of Pueblo. The exhibition was put together by a small team consisting of Toni and Dennis Carter, Elaine Volk, Della and Frank Skul, Kay Perko, and Kay Stark. Toni Carter, of Slovenian descent, initially proposed the idea to the city in July 2022 after the Slovenian Union of America convention. She led the efforts and, with the help of her cohorts and the greater Pueblo community, put together this remarkable display of local history inside the Pueblo Heritage Museum. 

Carter stated, “We needed to honor this group of people and celebrate their community.”

The exhibit was originally planned to run from April 29 through July 29 of this year but was later extended to run until Dec. 22, when the exhibit is set to end. When asked why this was decided, Carter stated that the exhibit had been popular and meaningful enough among community members that it needed to be extended to honor them and their ancestry. The exhibit contains dozens of items showing the rich history of religion, hobbies, organizations, cuisine, music, service, and more, all part of Slovenian heritage in Pueblo. Most items shown in the exhibit are on loan from many parts of the community and organizations, such as St. Mary’s church and the Gornick Slovenian Library, Museum, and Genealogy Center. 

There has been much support for the exhibit from the community, as many different people have donated family heirlooms that hold mountains of meaning to themselves for the museum to display better how Slovenian people in Pueblo used to live and work in our community. Like most people of the era, many Slovenians worked in the steel mill, which was within sight and walking distance from the area t in Pueblo known as Bojon Town, which is the neighborhood that sits at the top of Santa Fe Hill around the intersection of Santa Fe Ave. and Mesa Ave. 

The exhibit has done well over this past year as it has drawn in many people from not only our local community but also from other areas such as Denver, Canon City, Crested Butte, and more, who have all come to the Pueblo Heritage Museum to show their support and learn about the history. The Slovenian heritage is a part of Pueblo’s history that means a lot to many people, and without their support, the exhibit would never have been able to be what it is. “This exhibit shows the pride of our Slovenian heritage. It means to our community the pride we will recognize for the fact that we’ve been able to do so much here,” Carter said.

The exhibit only has a little over a month remaining on its runtime before being taken down. Still, Carted stated that if there is a way to overcome the obstacles required to make at least a part of this exhibit a permanent part of the museum, she and her group would be more than willing to do so to preserve and display this part of Pueblo history forever. 

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