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Front St.Trails Section - Clovis Free PressBack St.
Vol. 17  No. 21 Final Edition
Clovis Free Press
March 12, 2000
Clovis Future Shock
Founder's Dream Wearing Thin!
By Howard Hobbs Ph.D. Valley Press Media Network
Clovis M.  Cole circa 1890     CLOVIS Calif. -- Today Clovis is a great American city with a precious civic resource that is both the pride of the city and a public concern.
     This city's museum holds a central place in the cultural life of our community -- it is the principal collector, steward and exhibitor of some of the City’s most important accomplishments, its newspapers, its schools, churches, social organizations. It is a center for education and cultural awareness in the entire region.
     One hundred and eight years ago, property owners, miners, and prospectors in what was then an outpost of civilization got together and organized a land survey near Mr. Clovis Cole's ranch headquarters neighbors called Clovis Station. They drafted a map of the region. With it they set out to subdivide the area and promote orderly growth and encourage civic participation. The rest is history. Today, we are helping to build Clovis Cole's dream and beyond. In all this there is still a hint of founder's nostalgia for the old order and for a certain 19th Century structure.
     To fully realize and nourish the strengths and traditions that make the old town of Clovis so vital to the future, we should be taking steps to greatly expand our museum collection to preserve the present diverse human history of this community of people who still care deeply about the future and those who will have to live with it in another time.
Clovis Housing Demand Impacts Schools Quality      We have come a long way from those earlier days. Preservation of our civic pride and social history has been geratly ehanced through our Clovis Museum programs. They are a magnet for new collections, if we only had a place to preserve them. Only a new building and new digital technology will ensure that the Clovis Museum remains an active resource for preservation of prominent historical collections. To do so it must expand to the Internet and introduce database organization and access to memers and researchers.
     New collections can only be secured if we have a safer, more sterile environment for City civic, cutural and technological history. The new Clovis digital museum will enable us to use the collections more cohesively without damage to them.
     These collections make a progressive and compelling case for an integrated digital portrayal of Clovs history. A dynamic collective narrative ranging from ancient Indian civilizations to contemporary America can and should be presented on the Internet for public use in classrooms, homes and offices throught the world.
     Public education and enrichment is the reason that the Clovis Museum was created. For decades, this institution has been at the forefront of the movement among Clovis leaders to educate the public through dynamic learing experience. Clovis educational and community service programs are among the most progressive, the most accomplished and the most comprehensive in the nation.
     Taken together, these programs have earned Clovis recognition as a national leader in historic education and community participation. A new digital Clovis Museum is essential to ensuring that we will continue to be a leader in serving the educational needs of our constituencies.
     But don't forget, the frontier closed in 1890. Frontier stories came to a halt. By the end of the Indian War the West lost its distinctiveness.
     Even more important, any number of conflicts and dilemmas, stirred up in the 19th century, remained to haunt Westerners in the 20th Century. Conflicts over water use, public lands, boom & bust economies, local authority versus federal authority, urban sprawl, relations between Mexico and the United States (as well as between Mexican-Americans and Anglos), Indian land and water claims, and freedom of religious practice -- most of the issues that had agitated the 19th-century West continued to stir things up in our Century at the millennium.
     But, a great local newspaper is an American landmark that lives forever and honors the City's greatest strength, its ability to read. And by the way, its eagerness to write a letter to the editor when you really want to get something done.
Letter to the Editor

© 2000 Clovis Free Press. All rights reserved.


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