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September 21, 2006
Museum Opens In Pie Town
|Dan and Cyndi Lee at the new museum in Pie Town. |
|Danial Bayer photo|
SOCORRO, New Mexico (STPNS) -- Just in time for the Pie Festival the DanCyn Windmill Museum opened to the public in Pie Town, New Mexico, on Friday, Sept. 8.
The museum is an ongoing labor of love for Cyndi and Dan Lee, who conceived the idea after they visited a Windmill Museum in Oklahoma nine years ago.
Right now the museum consists of the Old Bennett cabin, built in the early 30s, where the Lee family of five children lived in its two rooms on the Tres Lagunas Ranch. The museum has expansion plans for two outbuildings and, of course, more windmills.
Dan and Cyndi Lee purchased the cabin from Miles Choate and it is dedicated to his memory.
?We tore it down in 1999 and marked every log with its location and moved it log by log to Pie Town,? Cyndi said. ?Two years ago we did the foundation.?
According to invitation to the opening, ?It?s been our dream to capture the rich heritage of the area in a period authentic log cabin filled with memories of local families, the homesteaders, the ranchers.?
And filled it is with donations of furniture, clothing, dishes, bedding, tools, newspapers and magazines, photos, saddles, quirts and quilts ? intriguing treasures from the past of the 30s to the early 50s. People viewing the cabin on its opening day could be heard exclaiming with delight, ?My grandmother had one of those,? or ?We used to have that when I was growing up.?
?I have gobs more to put in,? Cyndi said.
Among the many friends and neighbors who have donated family heirlooms to the museum are Jeannie Nelson, Sharon Armijo, Bob Adams, Billie Weathers, Jake Snyder, Norm Maisel, Pancho and Laura Elliott.
?The piano was purchased from the First Baptist Church in Quemado,? says Cyndi. ?All our purchases we made by feel ? how did it feel to us.?
Everything is arranged as though a family were still in residence. The inviting quilt-covered bed, the kerosene lamps, the washing machine, the cradle, the chinaware ? it?s all there. Pie Town old-timers were sitting around the table (from the Duggins house) looking at scrapbooks and photographs, and finding their relatives and friends.
Cyndi and Dan Lee get great pleasure from just sitting in the cabin when they?re alone. ?One night I could hear Dan playing the fiddle from the cabin and it was just right. We?ve enjoyed it the most and we want everyone to enjoy it.?
The museum, which is just east of the Lee home on U.S. 60 in Pie Town, will be open, Cyndi said, ?during daylight hours only if I?m home.?
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