The Museum of Moab preserves both natural and cultural history artifacts at their location at 118 E. Center St. [Photo courtesy of the Museum of Moab]

The Museum of Moab is hosting their annual membership dinner next Wednesday at the Branding Iron.

Ray Tibbetts will be sharing stories of Moab’s past at the dinner. Tibbetts is a former Grand County commissioner and was instrumental in establishment of Canyonlands National Park in the 1960s. Tibbetts was the also the consult for the book, “Robbers Roost Outlaws: Moab’s Bill Tibbetts” by Tom McCourt.

Bill Tibbetts was Ray’s dad.

Tibbetts was surprised to learn about his father’s outlaw past and the time he spent at the hideout where Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch would rest.

The evening is also a good time to show support for the Museum of Moab by starting or renewing membership. Memberships start at $25 a year.

“Membership is a vote indicating that you care about preserving Moab’s history,” said Museum of Moab board member Michele Hill.

Membership dues keep projects alive and Moab’s history visible to the public, Hill said.

Membership benefits include free admission to the museum, invitations to special members only events and a subscription to the museum’s semi-annual journal “Canyon Legacy”.

The museum was first established in 1959 in a small four-room adobe house at 150 E. Center. Within the first 14 months of operation, 6000 people came through to see the exhibits. It was later moved to its current location at 118 E. Center St.

The museum is ever-evolving and has two areas for special displays throughout the year.

“So the museum is not the same place you visited three years ago,” Hill said. “It is time to return to enjoy the variety of temporary exhibits throughout the year.”

The museum is now fundraising to replace the front door.

“A double entry way will help maintain the humidity levels, which is important for preservation of museum items,” Hill said. “This is another step toward accreditation.”

When the Museum of Moab is accredited, it can exhibit collections from Grand County that have gone to accredited museums. It will also enable exhibition of other regional National Park Service or Bureau of Land Management items here in Moab.

The museum also has an extensive historical archive on site. While items cannot be checked out, the materials are available for research or reminiscing.

“Local help with photograph identification is encouraged,” Hill said.

Five years ago while reorganizing the Museum library staff found a film reel that read “Million Dollar Drill Holes.”

“It took some time to find a company to digitize the film but today thanks to OminiProductions in Moab we were able to watch the film for the first time on DVD,” Hills said. “We hope to be able to show the film sometime in February. We hope members and the community will join the museum for its grand debut.”

The Museum of Moab will be celebrating bike history in May during National Bike Month.

“If you have bike history of memorabilia about Moab to share, come talk to us at the museum to supplement the collection,” Hill said.