Angela Rayne, Executive Director/Chief Curator of the Humphrey History Park and Museum as a passion for museums in general and the Humphrey in Evergreen specifically.
Prior to Rayne arriving at this historically priceless ranch in May of 2011, many admirers of the historic homestead feared that it would be parceled off and lost to Colorado’s history forever. In fact, years earlier, in order to pay the bills, earlier management did exactly that. A sale was held where the public came and purchased artifacts from the historic ranch. Everything from Native American jewelry to Asian vases was sold.
The Humphrey family had traveled extensively and had built an impressive collection of Native American as well as international artifacts. “Selling pieces of the Humphrey’s is not in our mission,” states Rayne. While museums will exchange items to complete a collection, Rayne emphasizes that “every item belongs here, because everything was a part of the Humphrey family story.” When she comes across someone who purchased items from the ‘sell-off’ event, she turns to them and says, “I hope that you enjoy it, but when you no longer want it, or when you are planning your estate settlement, please consider returning it.” Happily, several people have, indeed, returned the items that they purchased, slowly returning the collection to its whole again.
Today, under Rayne’s guidance, the museum is flourishing, items are catalogued and protected, and visitors to what the Humphreys lovingly called, “The Kinnikinnick Ranch,” experience a living history of a Colorado ranch during the 1930s. “Adults take classes on everything from making soap to making wine. We name the wines after animals that lived here,” Rayne says, holding up a bottle of Pinot Noir named after “Lucy,” a French poodle who lived on the ranch in 1923. Rayne knows how to make history fun and how to make the Humphrey History Park and Museum “a place to remember.” While adults learn skills, children learn fun.
Children love to learn about Native Americans who originally lived in the area. Docents guide the children and help them discover the fun that children had at the turn of the century. There is also a 1920's dress up station and a chance to feed cats, chickes and goats. “They get a big kick out of the log teeter-totter,” smiles Rayne.
Rayne returned to the University of Colorado to earn a Masters in Anthropology/Museum Science because “it requires a Masters to know how to do what you need to know.” She knows of what she speaks: Rayne was named the Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year when she graduated. Prior to arriving at the Humphrey History Park and Museum, Rayne served as Executive Director/Chief Curator of the Houston Fire Museum (Houston, TX), the Denver Firefighters Museum (Denver, CO), as Museum Program Specialist at the Hiwan Homestead Museum (Evergreen, CO), Curator at the Astor House Museum and Clear Creek History Park (Golden, CO), Education Interpreter and Lead Instructor at the Lakewood Heritage Center (Lakewood, CO), Project Collections Coordinator at the Colorado Historical Society (Denver, CO), Instructor and Teaching Assistant at University of Colorado – Denver, among other positions.
All of this experience enables visitors to the Humphrey History Park and Museum to go back in time and experience life as it used to be. Of course, tours of the Humphrey home, filled with seemingly countless items from their travels, and seeing life at the ranch exactly as it was when Hazel Humphrey lived there as late as the 1990s, are experiences not to be missed. But under Rayne’s enthusiasm and guidance, there is so much more: over 150 different classes, intensive courses – eleven week-end courses and overnight stays in the bunk house, four annual fundraisers, special art events, the Harvest Festival in September and a traditional tree lighting at the Humphrey Home in December.
Rayne is passionate about anthropology and museum science, and anyone who takes the time to visit the Humphrey History Park and Museum will benefit from her education and passion.
For more information and a current list of events and activities, look to www.hmpm.org
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sun, sand and sea – and a cold beer of course!
What is your greatest fear?
That I am not using my God-given talents to the fullest.
What is the trait you most admire in others?
Integrity – above anything else.
Which living person do you most admire?
My Dad – for the values he has taught his four girls, and how he lives his life to the fullest each day. He always has a joke to tell and a smile to share – he is a really funny man. His favorite saying is “Carpe Diem” (“seize the day”).
What is your greatest extravagance?
Spoiling my five nieces and one nephew – we have a lot of fun together!
What is your greatest trait?
Compassion for people.
What is the quality you most like in a person?
Self-confidence, a good sense of humor and being genuine
When and where were you happiest?
In my childhood – growing up on Powers Avenue in Littleton with 52 other kids.
Who are your favorite public figures?
Oprah – because she has used her wealth to help, encourage and ‘grow’ so many people. I think she has a refreshing and positive effect on our world.
Who are your real-life heroes?
The men and women who fight for our country and our freedom.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Owning BING.COM before Microsoft did! (My company sold it to Bench Mark Capital before MicroSoft bought it!)
Also, surviving this economy – owning my own business for the past 12 years.
If you couldn’t live where you live now, where would you like to live?
I’ve spent some time in London and really enjoyed it because it is so close to so many wonderful places. It would be fantastic to have a place here and one in Europe some day!
What is your most treasured possession?
My photos of my family and friends – I am the family historian.
What do you most value in your friends?
Loyalty, honesty and non-judgment – I have great friends!
What is it that you most dislike?
What is your greatest regret?
That I didn’t sell BING.COM to MicroSoft!