2nd local-research book for Historical Society member
When Barbara Barbaro joined the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) four years ago, she was encouraged - as all members are - to write a small book
on an aspect of local history.
She has clearly taken the proposal seriously, having recently published her second such book. She will sign copies of the 116-page “Law and Disorder in Colorado City” during the Tuesday Nights in July speaker series July 21, starting at 7 p.m.
(The featured speaker that night will be Phil McDonald, also an OCCHS member, who will give a presentation on prostitution in the Old West.)
Barbaro's first book, 41 pages and published in 2007, was titled “Antique Bottles from the Era of Old Colorado City (1859-1917).” It discusses bottles that were made in Colorado City or used by local businesses before the 1917 annexation into Colorado Springs.
She had not previously written a book, but had plenty of writing practice preparing reports as a human resources investigator for Boeing (she's now retired).
Both publications reflect Barbaro's personal life. She has a hobby of collecting antique bottles and has organized the OCCHS History Center's bottle collection. As for law enforcement, her husband Gary was a police officer in Santa Monica, Calif., for about 20 years, and it was he who suggested the topic of peace officers in Colorado City.
She said he asked her, “Wouldn't you want to know what it was like then, what kinds of calls they went on and what kinds of problems they had?”
Barbaro is pleased with the facts and anecdotes she found - many related to Colorado City's issues with saloons and red light districts - but disappointed that she couldn't find more during 10 months of research. Much of her information came from back copies of the Gazette and the Iris (the Colorado City weekly). But there's a “big hole” in the 1860s, before there were regular newspapers; also, Colorado City arrest records that had been stored at the Colorado Springs Police Department are currently unavailable because of a disagreement with the Pioneers' Museum.
What she did uncover was a clear impression that Colorado City police “were serious about their work, and the residents held them to their task. People would write letters to the newspaper if they thought the police weren't making enough arrests.”
Printed locally and published by OCCHS, Barbaro's books are available at the OCCHS bookstore inside the History Center, 1 S. 24th St. She donates all sale proceeds to the center.
Westside Pioneer article