Founders’ Day: On to the year after the 150th

       After all the excitement of the 2009 Founders' Day celebration - including the placement of a monument marking Colorado City's sesquicentennial - what can the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) do for an encore this year?

Four of the eight etched graphics and descriptions of periods in Westside history can be seen in this view of the sesquicentennial monument placed in Bancroft Park last year by the Old Colo-rado City Historical Society.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The answer can be found in a lengthy list of free, historically connected activities, starting the evening of Friday, Aug. 13 at the OCCHS' History Center and picking up again the next day at Bancroft Park.
       All are tied in with the founding of Colorado City by a small group of frontier investors Aug. 12, 1859. The city existed as an independent town, with its own school district and municipal services, until it was incorporated by Colorado Springs in 1917.
       Formed around 1980, the all-volunteer OCCHS has accumulated memorabilia dating back to the town's beginnings and, since 1992 has owned and occupied a restored church at 1 S. 24th St. which now serves as a museum where such items can be displayed.
       The Aug. 13 event, from 6 to 8 p.m., will be a reception for a new show by Westside artist Jack Ekstrom. The show, Along the High Road, will feature scenes he's painted “along the High Road in New Mexico, which is the route Dodd's Company followed with recruits from Colorado City to the famous [Civil War] Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862,” states a press release from OCCHS volunteer Jo Cervone.
       For Founders' Day in Bancroft Park Saturday, Aug. 14, the overall time frame will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ongoing activities will include:
       Displays in the History Center as well as in the park's Garvin Cabin.
  • Gold-panning (for a small fee).
  • Archaeological Society members offering displays and opportunities to find items in their “dig box.”
  • A craft fair with up to 35 booths, according to Cervone.
           Here are the times of scheduled activities (subject to change):
           10 a.m., “The Revitalization Tour” - a guided, historic walking tour, leaving from the nearby Old Colorado City Library (and sponsored by the library), focusing on the rebirth of Old Town's business district and neighborhoods.
           10:30 a.m., demonstration of 19th century dances by the Colorado Springs Victorian Society. Onlookers will be invited to participate and learn some of the steps.
           12:30 to 1:15 p.m., music from the early 1900s by the 30-piece Fountain Creek Brass Band.
           2 p.m., gunfighting enactments by the Rocky Mountain Gunslingers group.
           2 p.m., “The Beginnings of Old Colorado City” - a guided, historic walking tour, leaving from the library (and sponsored by the library), focusing on some of the oldest sites in Old Colorado City, including the 1904 library itself, built with a grant from millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
           The monument itself, 6 feet high and made of rose granite, is still in good shape after a year. Cervone advises visitors to “read the etched descriptions with engraved drawings that enumerate the eight distinct periods of Colorado City history. And then remember all the stories, facts, neighborhoods, events, historic buildings and landmarks, personalities and every other reason that makes this part of town so special. Old Colorado City ~ 151 Years and Counting!”
           For more information, call 636-1225 or go to history.oldcolo.com.

    Westside Pioneer article