Activities aplenty for Old Town’s birthday

       For the third straight year, Old Colorado City's Founders Day will be celebrated in public events over two days.
       The Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) is organizing a presentation on early leader Irving Howbert Friday night, Aug. 12 as well as its traditional, full-day of activities in Bancroft Park Saturday, Aug. 13.
       The presentation at the History Center, 1 S. 24th St., will be by area historian and former college instructor Lew Archer. It will follow a wine-and-cheese reception. The admission price will be $5 for OCCHS members and $10 for non-members. The reception will start at 6 p.m., the presentation at 7.
       The Bancroft event, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 13, is free. Featured, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, will be reenactors' encampments for both the Union and Confederate armies.
       “It's a great opportunity to celebrate anniversaries by presenting both sides of the war,” said Sharon Swint, OCCHS president. “The main thing to remember is that it's a full day of free fun for the whole family.”
       Those who attended the sesquicentennial Founders Day for Colorado City in 2009 will get a reprise of one of its highlights - a concert by the New Horizons Symphonic Band, including the playing of the 1899 “Colorado Midland Band March.” The group will play from 1 to 1:45 p.m.
       The Colorado Springs Victorian Society will present 19th century dances from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Opportunities for public participation will be provided.
       The other specifically scheduled Bancroft activity is a walking tour of Old Colorado City, leaving from the park's Garvin Cabin. Two times are planned, at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
       All-day activities will include the following:
  • A chance to view, in the cabin, a high-resolution copy of the OCCHS' recently acquired, Fosdick Plat, created in 1860.
  • A “dig box,” offered by the Archaeological Society, that gives children a chance to find items hidden in the dirt.
  • New displays in the History Center (across the street from the park) - a mahogany china cabinet made for turn-of-the-century beer hall owner Jacob Schmidt and a handmade dress dating back to 1882.
  • More than 25 crafter booths in the park.
  • Scavenger hunts. “Kids will take a sheet we've printed and look at the museum displays and find five items,” Swint said. “Invariably parents will get involved because the kids can't find everything.”
           A continuing display is the illustrated, eight-sided monument by the cabin that tells about the Westside's evolution since its 1859 founding.
           The day will coincide with the summer-Saturday Pikes Peak Farmers Market on 24th Street, which continues until 1 p.m.
           The title of Archer's talk will be “The Outstanding Pioneer of Colorado City: Irving Howbert.” Asked about his interest in Howbert, Archer said the man was “extremely influential in the early years of El Paso County,” chiefly in a “behind the scenes” way. Howbert moved here with his father in 1860 and over the years was a farmer, Indian fighter, county clerk, assistant to William Palmer, banker and co-founder of the Short Line railroad to Cripple Creek.

    Westside Pioneer/press release