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Our Board of Directors

The Society is governed by a volunteer board of directors, who are dedicated to the mission of the organization. We are grateful for our board members' service and their commitment to preserving the history of Ouray County and the surrounding area.

Kevin Chismire photo

Kevin currently serves as President of the Board of Directors. He is a physician who retired in 2002 to Ridgway with his family after serving 30 years in the United States Army. He specialized in Ophthalmology and is a recognized sub-specialist in the field of Glaucoma having conducted extensive research on this ocular disorder.

Dr. Chismire earned his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame (1972), attended the University of Kansas Medical Center, interned in San Antonio, Texas at Brooke Army Medical Center and did his residency in Ophthalmology at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Chismire served as a Special Forces Battalion Surgeon with the 5th Special Forces Group stationed at Bad Tolz, West Germany; served on the Staff of Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington; and taught at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

He and his wife, Joan, both grew up in Denver, Colorado and moved to Ridgway, Colorado permanently in February 2002 along with their two sons Neill and Bryce.

Kevin's interests include running, biking, climbing, backpacking and collecting western books and memorabilia, especially items relating to the early exploration and mapping of the American West by the Army Corps of Engineers.


Elayne is a Colorado licensed architect and agent, focused on Historic Preservation, as well as a fourth generation Coloradoan. Her great-grand parents came from Sweden, homesteading in eastern Colorado, then moving further west to Telluride, to work in the gold and silver mines at the turn of the century.


She received her Master of Architecture degree at University of Colorado at Denver and began her preservation experience while with the National Park Service (NPS), in Denver, Colorado. At the time, NPS had a team of over 600 planners, architects, engineers, historians, archeologist, and biologists working together on the preservation and interpretation of the national park structures throughout the entire United States.

Her preservation work includes, on-site building assessments, existing conditions documentation, preservation/restoration/reconstruction strategies, preparation of National Register of Historic Places eligibility, historic interpretive displays, and historic architectural research.

Her projects included historic buildings in parks such as Ellis Island NHP, Gates of the Artic NHS, Petrified Forest NP, Virgin Islands NP, Cape Cod National Seashore NP, New River Gorge National River and Lowell National Historic Site, to name a few.

Recently she has worked as a historic preservation consultant for FEMA, under the Department of Homeland Security, providing cultural resource services for historic structures effected by natural disasters throughout the United States. Her current focus is incorporating the new NPS sustainability and climate resiliency initiatives towards protecting the historic structures and our cultural heritage.

Carl Cockle photo

Carl Cockle is a native of Ouray. He was born in the Miners hospital before it was the Ouray Museum. His mother (Margaret) and father (Bob) came to Ouray after World War II. He was a mining engineer for the Idarado Mining Co on Red Mountain working on the Treasury Tunnel living in one of the Idarado Houses on Red Mountain Pass for the Idarado Mining Staff.

Carl completed his schooling at the Ouray Schools and then attended Fort Lewis College in Durango completing a degree in Business Administration. Carl has an extensive background in the Mining Administration throughout the U.S. and Worldwide. He moved back to Ouray in 1980 and has been involved as a Planning Commission Board Member for five years and a City Council Member for two years. Carl has been in the Real Estate Business for 20+ years. His wife Mary is also a Native of Ouray and her parents (Don and Barbara Spencer) and grandparents are 3rd generation Residents in Ouray.


Jenny Hart taught for 27 years, most of them at Ouray School where she taught Ouray History to all fourth graders. She is now retired from teaching and works with new teachers all over the region. Jenny loves the history of Ouray and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Her mother was born in the hospital and her grandfather was the general manager of the Idarado Mine from 1942-1962. She is a wife and mother to two wonderful kids. She also does trail work with Ouray Trail Group and has been a member of Ouray Mountain Rescue for 25 years.

Larry Kerecman photo

Larry fell in love with the west while on childhood road trips from New Jersey with his family. After a 10-year detour to Cornell University in upstate NY he moved to Loveland, Colorado in 1975. Four-wheeling adventures in the San Juans were his first introduction to the Ouray area even before he lived in Colorado.

He is a retired electrical engineer, having worked in multiple fields including high energy physics, photogrammetry, oil and gas exploration, lighting control systems and fountain design. A descendent of early Delaware Valley settlers, he has had a life-long interest in history.

After moving to Colorado he found western mining and railroad history to be much more interesting than the colonial history he grew up with. An unexpected job opportunity led him to work for a few days each spring at the Double RL Ranch for many years. Staying in Ouray for business, he was soon attracted to the OCHS Museum and Research Center.

After several years of volunteer work for OCHS and research for an Evening of History program he gave in 2019 he decided to retire to the Grand Junction area to be closer to the activities he enjoys. Exploring back roads in a Jeep, riding his street-legal dirt bike, playing the organ and sharing his collection of automatic musical instruments all vie for his attention in his free time.


Glenda graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, with a Bachelor of Arts in English. At the University of Mississippi, she received a Master of Arts in English, specializing in Victorian literature.

After teaching high school English for several years, she completed a Master of Library Science degree. Glenda's career has involved work as a technical writer in the aerospace industry, teacher, librarian, and computer tech.

Glenda Moore photo

Glenda completed certification for a Master Gardener and has served as president of garden clubs and flower show judge. She belongs to the Woman's Club of Ouray County, Women in Support of Education, and the United Church of the San Juans.

Don Paulson photo

Don currently serves as the Curator of the Museum. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Monmouth College in Monmouth, IL and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Indiana University. He recently retired from California State University, Los Angeles where he was Professor of Chemistry for 36 years.

He and his wife Beth have been coming to Ouray on vacations for more than 20 years. They built their house five miles north of Ouray in 1999. Don has a passion for mining and railroad history and in his basement is a 30 x 40-foot model railroad based on the D&RGW and RGS Railroads. In his spare-time he enjoys hiking and jeeping in search of yet another mine or railroad right-of-way.

He is the Editor of the Ouray County Historical Society Magazine and author of Mines, Miners, and Much More, a history of mining in Ouray, Silverton and Telluride.


In addition to being a Board Member, Gail also serves the museum as our photo archivist.

Descended from Italian immigrants who settled in Ouray in the early 1900's, Gail Zanett Saunders is a long-time student and researcher of Colorado history. She has been associated with OCHS for over 15 years as a volunteer, Board member, and staff assistant. Gail's favorite project has been working on the "Vignettes of History" fund raising projects.

Gail Saunders photo

Gail received a BA in history from Colorado State University with an emphasis in Colorado history in undergraduate and graduate course work. She received her teaching certificate from Western State College in Gunnison. Gail has taught Colorado History and Adult Literacy. She is a semi-retired small businesswoman and a former member of Altrusa International and the Montrose Chamber of Commerce.

Gail is a member of Women Writing the West and is a new member of Chipeta Chapter of the Colorado Archaeological Society. She serves on the Zanett Foundation. She is a disability advocate.

Gail lives near Colona with her husband Joe where she reads and writes. She lives 25 miles from the place where she was born, the Miner's Hospital now the home of the Ouray County Museum.

Robert Stoufer photo

Robert Stoufer is a noted authority on minerals and mining in the San Juan Mountains. He is also the former proprietor of Buckskin Booksellers in Ouray.


Alan moved to Ouray County in 2010, having returned to the Western Slope as quickly as he could. He is the former owner/publisher of the Ouray County Plaindealer and The Ridgway Sun. Prior to purchasing the Plaindealer, he spent 26 years in the newspaper business in management and executive positions related to marketing and advertising.

Alan Todd photo

Alan is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Advertising. He has served on numerous non-profit boards including locally the Ouray Chamber Resort Association and the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce, of which he served as president.

Alan currently owns The Sock Mine, a novelty store on Main Street in Ouray. He also writes a weekly history column in the Montrose Daily Press.

Alan is a native of Gunnison, Colorado. When not working at his store or around the house, he can be spotted knee-deep in a river with a fly rod in his hand.

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