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Pioneer Museum hosts free event March 8 

‘Wire and Thread’ theme of spring event

–Set aside as a special evening event, the Board of Directors wishes to thank the Roblans and all the other great people who continually support the Paso Robles Pioneer Museum year after year. Continuing the quest of being The Best in the West, it all happens because of wonderful volunteers and the monetary and artifact donations. From 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday March 8, there will be an open house at the museum, located at 2010 Riverside Avenue, with free admission, free appetizers, and free wine and sodas.

There will be two featured displays that evening. First is the third annual quilt display showcasing beautiful and intricate creations from 30 local quilters. The Museum’s yearly quilt display has been so popular that it was decided to hold it again in honor of Womens’ Month. These will be displayed throughout The Museum’s halls with ample space to observe them from all angles.

The second and brand-new display will be the grand first-showing of the Swift Jewell barbed wire collection. The collection consists of 1,000 different pieces and is the largest on this side of The Rockies. “Swift” moved his family to Paso in 1965 after a very distinguished career as a pilot in the Air Force during and after WW2. Settling on a 20 acre horse ranch on Union Rd., he collected many things and barbed wire was just one of them.

Swift became the head of Paso’s Chamber of Commerce and held that position for 17 years. In an unparalleled manner, he thrust himself into defining the meaning of “Giving Back To His Community.” The list of events and organizations he was involved with is almost staggering to imagine. Each of them left a positive mark on the face of our community.

As to the barbed wire, Mr. Jewell was always on the lookout for a newly-unseen-variety and, as he traveled the southwest, he’d often stop at ranches and ask for a sample piece that he didn’t have in his collection. He even kept spare wire with him so he could patch a ranch’s fence if the rancher didn’t have any spare pieces. Auctions were like gold in his quest for more samples. While at the Chamber, Swift kept the pieces on the walls in the back room. Swift was one of the seven founding members of Pioneer Museum and in 1979, he donated the entire collection to Pioneer Museum where they stayed largely unseen.

The California Association of Barbed Wire Collectors partnered with Pioneer Museum in 2016 to identify, categorize, label and remount them onto panels for proper display. The Association will remain as curators of the display’s artifacts.

March 8 will be the first unveiling of this brand new display area located in Transportation Hall. Members of Swift Jewell’s family plus members of the Barbed Wire Association will be on hand to answer questions about the man, his history and the history and importance of barbed wire plus explain the collection itself.

Please bring your children! They could very well learn far more that night that they can then teach to their teachers! This is a great learning opportunity.

The quilts will remain on display for the month of March. The barbed wire remains as a permanent Museum display.

Pioneer Museum is located at 2010 Riverside Ave—next to the Event Center. For more information, see



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