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Fairview Cemetery Crawl by Old Colorado City Historical Society volunteers Sept. 13 - photos

Dressed to resemble Laura Bell McDaniel, Roberta Hardy stands beside the gravestone of the famous Colorado City madam while telling her story in the first person as part of the 17th annual Fairview Cemetery Crawl Sept. 13. The event is a fundraiser for the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS). For this year's Crawl, Hardy and six other OCCHS members/volunteers portrayed six people who are buried at Fairview Cemetery. OCCHS guides led people to the graves. Known as the "Queen of the Tenderloin," Laura Bell operated a house in Colorado City's red-light district from about 1890 to her death in a car crash in 1918. This year's Crawl impersonators are shown in the photos below, except for Kathy McBride, who played the mother of Birdie Stapleman, who had come to the Springs for treatment of tuberculosis and died at age 18.
LEFT: Miki and Leo Knudson, a married couple themselves, portray a husband and wife - Duncan and Katherine Lamont - who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Lamont had a varied career, including quests for elected political office, but left his mark on Colorado City history as a fire-and-brimstone Baptist minister who celebrated when a fire broke out on the then-“shady” south side of Colorado Avenue, spurring irritated firefighters to briefly turn the hose on him. RIGHT: Dave Hughes, a co-founder of the OCCHS in 1981, has often been Anthony Bott, a co-founder of Colorado City in 1859, at the Cemetery Crawl, but the last time before this year was 2010. Bott's impressive resting place, in front of which Hughes is standing, is located at the northeast corner of the cemetery, by 26th and Howbert streets.
Sandy Hanzlian (right) dressed as Bertha Schmidt, reprised the role this year, paired with first-time player Werner Karlson as Bertha's husband Jacob. The Schmidts ran a bakery and a beer hall in Colorado City until the town went "dry" in 1913. Their story has the twist that Bertha disliked liquor on religious principles and refused to take any money from that part of their enterprise. Note: The grave of Laura Bell McDaniel is close to that of the Schmidts, with both of them near the entrance to Fairview Cemetery off 26th Street. In the background can be seen Laura Bell (played by Roberta Hardy), who was waiting for her next group.

Westside Pioneer photos
(Posted 9/14/14; Community: Old Colorado City History Center)

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