Historical figures to emerge Sept. 13 for annual Cemetery Crawl (OCCHS fundraiser)Thanks to the downpours last September, the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) Fairview Cemetery Crawl had to take a “rain check” in 2013.
It was bad luck for the volunteer society, which counts on the annual event as a major fundraiser.
The OCCHS hopes for a better fate Saturday, Sept. 13, when this year's Crawl is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tours will stop at six graves in the cemetery, each with one to two people dressed as characters from the past and telling their stories as if they were them. Groups of ticket-buyers will be guided by OCCHS volunteers from one enactment graveside to the next.
Fairview Cemetery is at 1000 S. 26th St. The tour for each group takes about 90 minutes in all.
Probably the most notorious of the historical figures buried at Fairview is Laura Bell McDaniel, a madam from Colorado City's era of plentiful saloons and a red-light district.
Playing Laura for the first time this year will be Roberta Hardy. She and her husband David moved to Colorado Springs three years ago to be closer to their grandchildren, she said, after which she began volunteering with the OCCHS.
“I think she's an interesting character from this period,” Hardy replied, when asked why she agreed to take on the Laura Bell role. “It's definitely a fun one to get to portray.”
Other characters this year are also being enacted by OCCHS members/volunteers. The scheduled characters (with impersonators in parentheses) are:
- Jacob and Bertha Schmidt, who ran a bakery and a bar in turn-of-the-19th-century Colorado City (Werner Karlson and Sandy Hanzlian).
- Birdie Stapleman, who came to the Springs for treatment of tuberculosis and died at age 18. (Her mother will be portrayed by Kathy McBride.)
- David Moore (Johnie Jackson), a farmer and Civil War veteran from Kentucky who moved to Colorado City in his later years.
- Fiery minister Duncan Lamont and his wife Katherine, who opposed Colorado City's saloon era (Leo and Miki Knudson).
- Anthony Bott, co-founder of Colorado City (Dave Hughes, who is himself a co-founder of the Historical Society).
Note: Simplifying year-to-year tracking issues, the OCCHS is promoting the 2014 Crawl as its 17th annual, even though (because of the rain) last year's 16th annual event did not actually occur.
Westside Pioneer article