Doug Toney, Director and Docent
Doug Toney –
Apart from my beard, the thing most people first notice about me is my Texas accent. I was born and raised in Dallas and I guess there’s still a touch of “down home” in my voice. DeSoto High School was followed by the University of Texas at Arlington. Majoring in Accounting, I eventually became a CPA and worked for a Fortune 100 company in Texas’ growing energy field. After I retired, I spent a second career working in Government.
Hunting, fishing, and hiking are passions, as is an interest in western expansionist history (basically, the “Mountain Men” era). So, when my Mom, who had lived in Ridgway for 40 years, needed some help, we moved here to assist her, as well as be close to our three grandkids, eventually settling in Montrose. We were immediately comfortable in the Rockies.
My first exposure to the Museum of the Mountain West was to take a tour. There were all these great historical buildings outside. But what got me was when I saw there was also an “inside” Museum with recreations of the kinds of Main Street businesses typical of all western towns, like a general store, pharmacy, doctor and dentist’s offices, and more. And that we actually got to walk INTO them with a personal tour guide and experience them up close. That really hooked me. It was educational and it was fun. I look at history as much more than just names, dates and places. It’s the dreams and aspirations of people who have come before us. Getting so close to this at the Museum, it all becomes very personal. Our visitors love it and I love making it all come alive for them.
Before our personal tour was done, my wife told me that I’d be a great Tour Guide for the Museum. In fact, she volunteered me before I volunteered me. I love all of the town businesses, but I think my favorite is the Dry Goods Store. Through the scope of products and apparel in the store, I can tell you about the society, economy, and trade as The West transitioned from a mere primitive life of survival to one of more modern sophistication.
Outside, of the Museum’s 28 buildings, the Carriage Works isn’t just historical to the west, but specifically to Montrose. Not only does it show the advances in transportation (like John Deere wagons and Studebaker carriages), but the upstairs has its own incredible history. World boxing champion Jack Dempsey trained for many of his fights up there. Most people don’t know that his mother ran a soup kitchen in town while his Dad and brothers worked on the Gunnison Tunnel down in the Black Canyon. It’s all part of Western History, and that specifically is Montrose history.
I’m Doug and I’m a Tour Guide at The Museum Of The Mountain West. Come take one of our great tours, have fun and share our passion for history and the West that surrounds us all. You’ll be amazed.