Founders would be pleased

       The seventh annual Founders' Day Celebration Aug. 14-15 was “better than last year's,” according to organizer Joanne Karlson of the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).
       The event featured a first-ever cooperative effort with the Old Colorado City Library, as part of its 100-year anniversary commemoration. With OCCHS' craft fair and open Bancroft Cabin as attractions both days, a steady stream of people kept dropping by to see what was going on in Bancroft Park.
       Highlights of the weekend included live music, cabin bake sale, University of Nevada history professor Doug Mischler portraying library benefactor Andrew Carnegie inside the library Aug. 14, and games and square-dancing the afternoon of Aug. 15.
       The “Carnegie” arrival was greeted by bagpiper Justin Duran, with the man himself wheeled to the front steps by a horse-drawn carriage (Mike Solano of Old Colorado City's 3Gs's Front Range Carriage Service). Librarian Julianne Rist told the audience that when Carnegie donated the money for the library 100 years ago, “the chamber of commerce wanted to have a Carnegie Day. Unfortunately, it never took place. So this is the first annual Carnegie Day.”
       Karlson said that while she was pleased with the events and the turnout, she and others with OCCHS will be looking at ways to improve the Founders Day Celebration next year. One area she said will be upgraded is the musical amplification; the live musicians generally could not be heard on Colorado Avenue.
       Society members would also like to be more effective at getting people into their History Center across the street, and OCCHS Treasurer Dave Hughes said he is angered at City Parks' increased park-rental fees and insurance requirements this year, which hurt income from the would-be fund-raising event.
       Mischler's talk, attended by more than 50 people, touched on the topics that Carnegie himself found important. He believed in the survival-of-the-fittest credo (e.g., the right of an industrialist like himself to compete financially), but also that if a man became rich he should give his money back to society through worthwhile causes. The Founders' Day Celebration commemorates the formal founding of Old Colorado City Aug. 13, 1859. Participants in the games received ribbons that read “Old Colo City 1859.”

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