El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

miércoles, 30 de enero de 2013

La cabaña del naturalista Edwin Carter

Edwin Carter Museum | Marzo 2009

Edwin Carter in his Log Cabin Naturalist Museum (Circa 1875)

Edwin Carter
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Edwin Carter - log cabin naturalist, was born in upstate New York around 1830. Carter lived in the Breckenridge, Colorado area from 1860 to 1900. He originally was a placer miner and was fairly successful, but when he observed the destruction of the environment caused by hydraulic mining, he decided to collect animal and bird specimens for display before they were all gone.

In 1875 he built a log cabin museum with a unique 12 foot high ceiling to house his enormous collection of over 3,000 specimens. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science owes its original start to his collection which was purchased after his death in 1900. The original log cabin is still in excellent shape after 125+ years. As part of Breckenridge's 150th celebration It has been recently (2009) renovated and modernized by Exhibit Design Associates for the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and includes some original examples of his taxidermy work. In addition it has numerous interactive learning exhibits and a small LCD theater room with a short film on his life history. Click here to view the trailer [1]. This creative film was an official selection of the 2009 Breckenridge Festival of Film.

Edwin was somewhat of an enigma as he never married or had any descendants and only 5 photos of him were found, one being his closed casket. Virtually no correspondence, news articles, or diaries exist to give us much insight into what made him decide to be a naturalist instead of a miner. His Masonic connections were notable as he was honored as a first private citizen of Colorado and first lay in state at the state capitol in Denver and again in Breckenridge, both events orchestrated by his fellow Free Masons. Most of our earlier Presidents, scientists and leading citizens were active in the Masonic organization in those days.

Edwin Carter Museum

Edwin Carter Museum, n º 2
Edwin Carter Museum, Breckenridge, # 1
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science Began Nearly a Century Ago in a Log Cabin in Breckenridge...

Edwin Carter, a Gold Rush miner turned naturalist, worked and lived for 25 years in the cabin at 111 N. Ridge Street. His collection of almost 3300 specimens of Colorado wildlife became in the nucleus of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
He was born in Oneida, New York in June 1828 and moved westward, first to Iowa where he was a merchant, then to Pike's Peak in the gold rush of 1859. He became a very capable placer miner (mining for the loose gold found in stream beds) and, in 1860, settled in Summit County.
Carter began to notice that changes were occurring among the wild animals in various mining areas. Deer and elk were growing mismatched antlers. Rocky Mountain bison stopped calving, and mutations such as two-headed calves were appearing. He realized that chemicals such as cyanide used in extracting precious metals from ore were affecting the wildlife through water, air, and soil.
Carter traveled to Black Hawk, Colorado, near Central City, to learn taxidermy and began to collect examples of the abnormalities in several species. This important study became his life work. His collection included more than 360 ptarmigan, nearly one for each day of the yearly plumage changes. Although his form of preservation seems contradictory to today's standards, Carter helped to educate people about the negative effects of the mining era on local wildlife and secured specimens for many future generations to study.
In 1868, Carter purchased five lots in Breckenridge. He lived in a small cabin, while he built the present log structure. In 1875, the log structure building became his home, office, museum and workroom. He never charged admission to his museum, which was visited by naturalists and scientists from many countries. He delighted in showing and explaining what he was learning about animals.
Visitors to the museum today ask, "Where did he sleep?" With so many specimens including full-size mounts of bison, bears, elk and wolves, one can only speculate that he had a cot somewhere. We do know that the cabin never had a kitchen. Carter was a tall, quiet bachelor who loved music, played the flute, threw snowballs with visiting children, and had a ready sense of humor as evidenced by photos showing a full-sized mounted bear holding a wine bottle in one forepaw and a wineglass in the other!
In 1892, Carter began to consider what would happen to his now world-famous collection. After welcoming a group of Denver dignitaries to his museum, Carter offered to sell his collection to found a natural history museum in Denver. Negotiations lagged, however, and his collection was not transferred to Denver until after Carter's death in 1900.
We have a precious legacy to preserve and protect as we remember and respect the life work of Edwin Carter, the log cabin naturalist. His wisdom, foresight and hard work were major influences in establishing the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
(More information can be found at www.BreckHeritage.com)


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