GUEST COLUMN:
Appreciation for Founders’ Day support
By Joanne Karlson

       Dear Editor and Readers of the Westside Pioneer,
      
       Yes, the orange fencing has been removed in Bancroft Park, and the new
       historical monument is in place. If you didn't attend Founders' Day festivities Saturday, Aug. 8, the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) hopes you will visit the monument very soon.
       Vice Mayor Larry Small accepted this gift on behalf of the city of Colorado Springs. Other City Council members in attendance were Bernie Herpin, Jan Martin and Randy Purvis.
       For those people who were unable to be there, or were at the park but too far away to hear, I'd like to restate below the comments I made on behalf of the OCCHS during the monument dedication:
       “In commemoration of the Sesquicentennial Year (1859-2009) of the founding of Colorado City, the members of the Old Colorado City Historical Society dedicate this Rocky Mountain rose granite monument as a lasting tribute to the memory of the unique and varied 150-year history of Colorado City, the core of a vibrant Westside neighborhood.
       “To keep this history alive and not forgotten, we donate this monument on
       behalf of all “Westsiders” as a gift to the citizens of the City of Colorado
       Springs.
       “May this community continue to grow in its appreciation of Colorado City's heritage and honor the contributions of its individuals.”
       Before unveiling the monument, we also introduced other honored guests, including: Matt Mayberry, the city's director of Cultural Services,; Christina McGrath, representing the El Pomar & Ackerman Foundation; and direct descendants of two families who lived in Colorado City - that of Judge Stone (1864), represented by Mary Tate, now living in Indiana; and that of Jacob Schmitt (1890s), represented by Catherine Dymkoski, now living in Idaho.
       We also extended special thanks to businesses and individuals who contributed to the monument and the Founders' Day celebration, including:
  • Generous donations from more than 70 members and friends.
  • A grant from the Ackerman Foundation.
  • Dick Wilhelm, Wilhelm Monument Co.
  • Clarence Gianarelli, Ideal-Concrete Inc.
  • Ben Skyler, A-1 Crane Company.
  • Johnnie Jackson, OCCHS member and artist.
  • Pikes Peak National Bank, sponsor of the celebration.
  • The City Parks Board.
  • OCC Carnegie Library.
  • Members of the business community and neighborhood organizations.
  • Many “Westsiders” who grew up here and attended local schools.
  • Loyal members and volunteers of the Historical Society
           And the wonderful entertainers at the event - the 72-piece New Horizons Band, the 1862 Civil War encampment reenactors, the Victorian Society dancers and the Rocky Mountain Gunslingers.
           Hooray for Colorado City! and the Westside! From the Board of Directors and members of the Old Colorado City Historical Society, we thank you all!

    Joanne Karlson is president of the OCCHS.