New history exhibits ready in time for B&B tour

       Visitors to the 14th annual Holiday Bed and Breakfast Tour Sunday, Dec. 7 will be treated to a new historical exhibit… but not at one of the B&Bs.
       The location will be the Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St., which is part of the tour as well as (the purpose of the tour) the beneficiary of all its proceeds. Two new displays have been created at the center, which is owned and operated by the non-profit, all-volunteer Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).
       One display consists of Colorado City archives from about 1890 to 1910, and the other presents artifacts and information about blacksmithing.
       The tour itself has been doing well in advance sales, according to Jo Cervone, who is the event's lead organizer for the OCCHS. She reported 60 tickets had been sold through the first part of this week.
       Ticket prices will remain at $10 a person until the day of the event, when the price will increase to $15.
       “We would like to sell at least 100,” Cervone said.
       The tour will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Advance tickets are available from the History Center as well as from the Holden House, 1102 W. Pikes Peak Ave.
       The one other Westside establishment on the tour this year will be the Old Town GuestHouse Bed and Breakfast, 115 S. 26th St. Co-owner Shirley Wick said she and her husband Don plan to have the three-story, eight-suite brick building decorated inside and out.
       The History Center's archive display includes “papers, documents and books that we've never had a chance to display before,” said Barbara Barbaro, who works with the collection of mostly donated historical material that is stored in the History Center's basement. Dolls identified as “General Palmer and Queen” are also in the case, next to pictures of fashion styles from those times.
       Other items in that display, according to West Word, the OCCHS's newsletter, include an 1894 stock certificate for shares in the Isabella Gold Mining Company, William Palmer's 1901 rail pass and a printed program for a 1906 play put on by the Ladies Town Improvement Society in the Waycott Opera House (now the home of Meadow Muffins and Old Colorado City Lofts).
       Barbaro assisted other volunteers, Martha Lee and Liz Geiss, on the blacksmith exhibit. Including branding irons and an anvil, the display development was aided by recent donations of tools from a woman “who just showed up,” Barbaro said. “It was as if she knew we were doing this.”
       To make room for the new displays, the exhibit of old-time political buttons has been taken down now that the election is over, Barbaro said.
       The displays can be viewed as part of the B&B tour or whenever the center is open (Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). There is no admission fee, although donations are accepted.

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