Three main events Sept. 22
Cemetery Crawl

       With three new stories to tell - seven in all - the 15th annual Cemetery Crawl will be Saturday, Sept. 22 at Fairview Cemetery, 1000 S. 26th St.
       A fundraiser for the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), the event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $8 in advance and $10 at the gate, with no charge for children 12 and under.
       For early tickets, call the OCCHS at 636-1225, e-mail board@occhs.org, or go to the Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St.
       According to a press release from OCCHS member Jo Cervone, the Crawl “will take you back in time - the late 1800s and early 1900s - as actors dressed in period costumes portray a variety of Colorado City pioneers who lived or spent time and eventually found their final resting place in this town.”
       Visitors will be guided from station to station, typically to the gravesites of the people the actors are portraying.
       New personalities from the past will be:
  • Birdie Stapleman - (Her mother is portrayed by Kathy McBride, who in several past Crawls has played early preacher's wife Katherine Lamont.) “Birdie came to the Springs for treatment of tuberculosis and died at age 18,” Cervone said.
  • David Moore (portrayed by OCCHS member Johnie Jackson) - Moore was a farmer and Civil War veteran from Kentucky who moved to Colorado City in his later years.
  • John Gardner - (His second wife Martha will be portrayed by Laura Moncrief.) Gardner was another Civil War veteran, in his case from Rhode Island, who also moved to Colorado City. Moncrief has written a book about Florissant history, is a member of both the OCCHS and Ute Pass Historical Society and “personally researched Mr. Gardner and his two wives as well as many other early pioneers,” Cervone said.
           A new take on a Crawl story will be provided by OCCHS member Sandy Hanzlian, acting the part of Bertha Schmidt. She will be paired with Phil McDonald as her husband, Jacob Schmidt, a turn-of-the-19th-century Colorado City tavern/deli-bakery owner. An element of their relationship was that Bertha did not like the tavern side of the business. Jacob's character has been presented at the Crawls in 2009 and 2010, but this will be the first time for Bertha.
           Another character this year who has appeared at previous Crawls (most recently 2009) is heart-of-gold lady of the night Blanche Burton, who ran houses in Cripple Creek and Colorado City. She will be portrayed this year by Dianne Hartshorn, a fifth-generation Coloradan who first played Burton 14 years ago, according to Cervone.
           Laura Bell McDaniel, Colorado City's most famous madame, will be played for the second straight year by Lee Michels, who has researched Colorado's early brothels for about 20 years.
           Reprising his 2011 role as Colorado City co-founder Anthony Bott will be David Wright, who works with several reenactment organizations.

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