Dan Perry, one of HistoriCorps’ most enthusiastic supporters, has volunteered for three consecutive seasons, joining us at the Tobasco Cabin in 2012, the Golconda Mining Complex in 2013, and the Dawson Cabin in 2014. Before moving to Greeley, CO to run the Greeley Museum System, Dan worked as the Chair of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Board. A self-taught blacksmith of over 30 years, Dan has cultivated a life-long interest in historic preservation. It isn’t surprising then, that Dan loves volunteering with HistoriCorps. “As a member of a state historic preservation commission, I had the opportunity to shepherd lots of worthy sites through the process of being listed on the National Register,” he noted. “While this is gratifying, there’s nothing like the feeling of satisfaction that you get when you actually help to physically save a wonderful piece of history.”
Dan loves working on projects that align with his personal interests. His passion for coal mining was the impetus for his volunteer work at the Golconda Mining Complex, and he found himself drawn to our project at Dawson Cabin because he plans to renovate a similar cabin in the Greeley Museum System. For Dan, volunteering at Dawson was a “win-win:” not only was he able to help preserve a beautiful home, but he also learned valuable skills that are applicable to his own life.
Dan has experienced some very special moments on HistoriCorps’ projects. In 2012, he volunteered with his son, Josh, at the Tobasco Cabin in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. One night, while the crew sat around a campfire, Josh played classic Scottish highland songs on his bagpipes. Dan described the moment as “haunting to hear the bagpipes echo in the San Juan Valley.” In 2013, Dan, Josh and Josh’s friend, Katie, volunteered together at the Golconda Mining Complex, also in the San Juan Mountains, after taking a road trip across the country. Little did Dan know, Josh was planning to propose to Katie. There couldn’t be a more memorable place to pop the question!
Between projects and in the off season, Dan is always eager to help spread the word about HistoriCorps projects. To him, HistoriCorps epitomizes selfless devotion to the tangible preservation of our physical past. “As a trained historian, I am gratified, but as a parent I am humbled that I have been given the chance to save a small piece of our nation’s past for my grandchildren’s grandchildren and possibly even beyond.” Dan’s enthusiasm, positive attitude and preservation skills have been a huge asset to our organization. We’re thrilled that he has made Colorado his home and look forward to more memories.