5 new players for this year’s Cemetery Crawl

       The Cemetery Crawl Sunday, Aug. 21 at Fairview Cemetery, 1000 S. 26th St., will climax the two busiest weekends of the year for the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).
       Founders Day activities - celebrating the 152nd year since Colorado City started - will take place Friday night, Aug. 12 and all day Saturday, Aug. 13 (see Westside Happenings for times).
       In the Cemetery Crawl, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., individuals in period costume will stand at different graves, each giving a first-person account as if told by the person buried there.
       Ticket prices are $10 at the gate or $8 if purchased in advance at the Old Colorado City History Center, 1 S. 24th St. Children 12 and under are free.
       Eight individuals will be portrayed this year, including two “regular” Crawl characters: Colorado City co-founder Anthony Bott (who donated the cemetery's original acreage and is buried at its northeast corner) and long-time madame Laura Belle.
       The two will be portrayed by David Wright and Lee Michels, respectively, who are co-owners of a Lakewood Old West event company. According to Jo Cervone of the OCCHS, Wright is an experienced reenactor who has previously done Doc Holliday and George Custer, while Lee Michels has researched the madams of Colorado for more than 20 years.
       Another returning character with a new player is Catherine Amsler, widow of Fire Station 5 Captain Oscar Amsler, who died in the 1918-1919 Flu Pandemic. She will be enacted by Robin Johnston, a Westsider who has performed with the Rocky Mountain Gunslingers and created the “ Victorian Wake for Emma Crawford” event.
       A new character this year will be Sean Patrick Murphy, as the Fairview Cemetery sexton. He will talk about “some unique/interesting headstones and their inscriptions,” Cervone said. Old Colorado City business owner Gerry Murphy, who organized and performs in a weekly Old West show at Thunder & Buttons, will play the part.
       The Crawl will also give a new twist to the enactment regarding 13-year-old Harrell Ross, who drowned in a Red Rock Canyon quarry in 1904. In recent years, the performer has depicted Harrell's mother. This year, the story will be told by his father Charles, portrayed by Gavin Rogers, a volunteer at OCCHS.
       Returning characters (performers) will be:
  • Civil War veteran and Colorado City police chief Alex Taws (Phil McDonald).
  • Oliver Ingraham, 55-year Colorado City resident who worked as an attorney and was elected to one term as mayor in 1894 (Stephen Lebel).
  • Katherine Lamont, wife of anti-saloon Colorado City preacher Duncan Lamont (Kathy McBride).

    Westside Pioneer/press release