Zuni Historical Society reunion

Published 9:58 am Saturday, April 24, 2010

ZUNI— Nearly 100 people, including residents, former residents and friends, attended Zuni Historical Society’s first annual reunion last Saturday.

Held at the Zuni Ruritan Building, the event gave those with ties to the village a chance to visit and talk over old times, said organizer Jane March.

“Of course we had hoped for a bigger crowd,” March said, “but there were so many other community events being held the same day, it cut down on our attendance.”

“However, many of those who were able to make it commented on how interesting it was,” she continued.

Some of the artifacts spread around the room were one-of-a-kind, March said. For instance, a couple included a cardboard box from the Happy Days Soap Co., circa 1928, and an old sugar bucket made in the late 1800s.

Old pictures were displayed in glass cases, as well as in a slide show that ran throughout the day. Several documents, including a check drawn on the Zuni Bank in 1929 and a 1928 stock certificate from the soap company, were exhibited.

Another exhibit showed pictures, medical instruments and a medical bag used by a mid-wife, who delivered more babies in the community than could be counted.

The oldest visitor, Margie Bradshaw Powers, 93, who was born and raised in Zuni, saw a heart-pine corner cabinet made from the flooring in her former home. The cabinet was made by Johnie Ble and sold at silent auction to benefit the society

Although the flooring in the home, built in 1865, was under water for several weeks during the 1940 flood, it never warped, Powers said.

March said 11 businesses were represented, including Zuni Presbyterian Home, which offered its peanuts for sale.

Curtis Newsome and his son, Wyatt, provided bluegrass music, while manning the Riverkeeper exhibit, and William Bradshaw provided fresh-cooked french fries, hot dogs and soft drinks.

Charlie Brown of Zuni gave youngsters rides on the Zuni Express, a brightly colored train he made a few years ago for the Zuni Christmas Parade.

March says there is no doubt the reunion was a success and the historical society hopes to make it an annual event.

An avid historian, March is president of the historical society and can be credited with trying to preserve the history of the village. Four years ago, she wrote and published a history of Zuni and its residents, both current and past. Titled “Zoo-Nye,” numerous copies of the book have been sold.

Then, last April, March was instrumental in organizing the Zuni Historical Society.

“Zuni is one of the oldest settlements in this area,” she said. “I’ve seen documents pertaining to the village dated in the early 1700s, meaning it is much older than the surrounding towns.

“And another thing: We cannot find out where it got its name.”