After over 30 years, Colleen Palumbo will be turning over the keys to the Golden Museum, retiring on April 30 as executive director, curator and archivist.
A one woman operation until last year, her job didn’t just stop at her archival and curating responsibilities, with Palumbo maintaining museum grounds and being a friendly face to great guests whenever someone would pop by the museum.
A wealth of knowledge of Golden and the valley at large, she will be missed as a part of the museum, but Palumbo says that it’s time to move on.
“I decided it was time to step aside, we have Britney Newman filling my role now and I don’t want to hold her back or stand in her way any longer,” said Palumbo.
“I don’t necessarily feel ready to retire completely. There’s some skills that I would love to be able to volunteer or pass along elsewhere in the community, but I’m excited to visit my grandkids, my beautiful great-granddaughter, cook, garden and work on my YouTube channel.”
Palumbo says she feels the museum is being left in good hands with her successor, Newman, and that it provides an invaluable resource to the community and any tourists passing through who want to learn more on Golden’s history.
The museum doesn’t just collect memorabilia, but the memories of the people of Golden, says Palumbo, storing them for future generations to come.
“We’re preserving history for future great-grandchildren who may want to come through and say hey, my grandfather lived here, what can you tell me about him and we can tell them exactly what they want to know,” said Palumbo.
She says that over the years, she’s worked with people to help them curate family trees, with tourists looking to learn more about the community they’re visiting, as well as with the town when the ice flows jam up on the river to help determine the best way to mitigate the problem.
Palumbo was also the longest tenured contributor to the Golden Star, writing her Turning Back the Pages columns for years prior to COVID, saying it was one of her favourite parts of her job.
She says she’ll miss the research and the people she met through the job as well.
“I enjoy digging through the old papers and finding some little clues that always lead me down the road to something fantastic,” said Palumbo.
“Since I’ve been here I‘ve watched as we’ve gone from a few boxes of archival items to a concrete vault to store them that’s just jam packed.”
Born and raised in Golden, with a proud lineage in the valley, Palumbo says she knows many of the people and the families that she was working with, adding she’s been honoured to serve them and the community during her tenure with the museum.