History in the air on Westside Aug. 9-10
For the third time in four years, two historical forces in Old Colorado City will coincide on the second Saturday in August.
The older and more locally traditional is Founders' Day in Bancroft Park, at which the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) commemorates the beginning of Colorado City in August 1859. More recently started is Carnegie Day - an effort by the Old Colorado City Branch Library, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave., to celebrate the overall values of history.
The two free events will synchronize entertainment and activities Saturday, Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
For the OCCHS, Founders' Day is once again just half of the weekend. On Sunday, Aug. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be the annual Cemetery Crawl, at which volunteers in period costume stand at the gravestones of historical figures buried in Fairview Cemetery and tell their stories. The event is a fundraiser for the OCCHS. Tickets are $6 ($8 at the gate). Ages 12 and under are $3. To buy advance tickets, go to the History Center, 1 S. 24th St., Tuesday through Saturday, or call 636- 1225.
Three music groups (Serendipity Peak Dulcimers, Shadow Mountain String Band and County Line Ramblers) and a historical dance group (the Victorian Society of Colorado Springs) will perform in Bancroft for Founders Day. People can also take in a simulated gunfight (the Gunfighters of the Resurrection), walking tours, several craft booths and local antiquities that will be on display inside the park's Garvin Cabin.
At the library, the morning will focus on children, with a reading by writer Maria Faulconer (author of the picture book, “Arianna and the Strawberry Tea”) leading into a special “grand hotel” children's activity in the downstairs room. The afternoon will feature storyteller Opalanga Pugh from Denver as Aunt Clara Brown (a former slave who became a successful businesswoman in Colorado in the 1800s).
Reservations are requested for the “hotel” activity, because of the limited space in the downstairs room (25 only). The phone number is 634-1698.
For the Cemetery Crawl, eight individuals will be portrayed again this year, including Colorado City co-founder Anthony Bott and famous madame Laura Belle. A new character will be late-1800s/early 1900s Colorado City bar owner Jacob Schmidt, portrayed by Dave Hughes. Meanwhile, Bott (previously acted by Hughes) will be Paul Shepard this year.
Others are Laura Belle (Jennifer Tilton); Katherine Lamont (Kathy McBride), wife of a fire-eating preacher; Hattie Hedges Trout - (Sharon Swint), a Colorado City settler from the 1860s; Dr. Isaac Winternitz (Phil McDonald), an early doctor; Mrs. Edward Baxter (Sarah Swint), whose husband/journalist died of opium; and Oliver Ingraham (Ken Markus), a lawyer and one-term Colorado City mayor.
The first Carnegie Day with Founders' Day was in 2004, timed for the 100th anniversary of Old Colorado City's Carnegie Library, according to Julianne Rist, now the Fountain branch manager, who was the Old Colorado City library manager until this year. The event did not occur last year because the library was closed for major reconstruction work, but the goal all along has been to make it an annual event on the same day as Founders' Day, Rist said.
Westside Pioneer article