History Center no B&B, but now it has a parlor

       The Old Colorado City History Center clearly does not provide living space, as do the eight inns on the 16th annual Holiday Bed & Breakfast Tour Sunday, Dec. 5.

In time for the Holiday Bed & Breakfast Tour Sunday, Dec. 5, the Old Colorado City History Center has a new display, which depicts what a middle-class family's parlor might have looked like in 1905.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Nevertheless, the center will offer an authentic-looking early 1900s parlor that people can see for free anytime (the History Center being a free facility) or as part of the package for this year's tour.
       The event, which offers personal inn tours and refreshments, will be from 1 to 5 p.m., including two other Westside sites (the Holden House and the Old Town GuestHouse). Tickets are $12 a person in advance at the History Center, 1 S. 24th St., and $15 the day of the event, and proceeds benefit the center.
       The slice of history in the History Center museum was organized by Barbara Barbaro, collections coordinator for the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), with help from other OCCHS volunteers.
       “I saw a photo in this book,” explained Barbaro, turning to a page in “Victorian America,” by Thomas J. Schlereth (which is sold, by the way, in the History Center bookstore). “And I thought, 'I can do that.'”
       The goal was to create a scene from 1905, as shown in the book. The props are typical of what a middle-class Colorado City family might have had in its parlor in that time, including an organ, family photos, a cradle, a small table supported by a Greek-shaped column, books and dried flowers.
       Some spread-out sea-shells “are a way for a family to show off that they were able to afford a trip to the beach,” Barbaro noted. The large photo on the wall is of an actual Colorado City citizen, Mary Reed, who lived there in the late 1890s, she added.
       The items came from the center's collection of historical artifacts as well as from individual belongings. For example, the cradle was a toy that OCCHS member Joanne Karlson had as a child. Recent donations from the grandchildren of long-time Westside resident Crystal Rhodes added some of the antique furniture.

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