January 2023 Newsletter

WESTERN FREMONT HISTORIC SOCIETY

P.O. Box 181, Howard, CO  81233

Parkdale   Texas Creek   Cotopaxi   Coaldale   Howard   Swissvale   Wellsville

2023 JANUARY NEWSLETTER

Dear Members and Friends of WFHS,

A new year is dawning and the Board of Directors of WFHS is looking forward to more adventures as we explore local history together.  Many of you had the opportunity to enjoy a variety of rotating displays at our History Center in Howard over the past year.  We will continue to experiment with new ways to utilize that beautifully restored building this year.  

Our newest project is the former Mullins general store property on Plum Street in Cotopaxi which was donated to WFHS by the Estate of Glenn Mullins. We are in the process of converting that property into the Mullins-Cotopaxi History Center.  What a gift to the community, and what a challenge for our little society!  Our heads are spinning with all the ideas for potential uses of that building, but with a lot of volunteer help, elbow grease and the assistance of Cotopaxi High School students, we hope the building will be presentable for public viewing in the near future.  If you happen to have, or know the whereabouts of, any old pictures of Plum Street, the general store or railroad depot, we’d love to hear from you. 

In the meantime, we are planning our programs and events for 2023, including our Annual Meeting in the spring, events at the Howard History Center, and our popular programs and tours of historic locations in the area.  Enclosed is our annual membership form and a self-addressed envelope. Your annual dues enable us to pay our basic expenses, such as real estate taxes and insurance on the Howard History Center as well as the new Mullins-Cotopaxi History Center, liability insurance, website maintenance, printing and postage, as well as incidental costs for producing programs and tours. We appreciate your ongoing financial support; special thanks to those of you who also donated to WFHS through the Colorado Gives campaign that wrapped up in December!  WFHS is an IRS Code 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so every donation matters.  

Please check our website for fun historic facts, follow us on Facebook, and watch for email newsletters and program reminders. Feel free to contact any of the Board members listed below if you have questions or suggestions for programs, would like to volunteer, or need additional information.  Also, if you are aware of anyone (an individual or perhaps an estate) that has photos or other historic items of local interest to donate, please let us know.  You can also reach out via email at wfhsinfo@westfremonthistory.com.  

Thank you for your ongoing interest and support, and special thanks to all who have volunteered their time or allowed us to borrow items from their personal collections for special events at the Howard History Center. We look forward to seeing you at programs and events this year!

Craig Leitner, President (719) 207-0015 Kris Shurr, VP/Membership (719) 942-3653
Barbara Snyder, Secretary (719) 539-3956 Cinde McPhail, Treasurer (719) 942-4521
Betsy Denney, Historian/Programs (719) 942-3679 Shari Mohr, Community Outreach (719-942-3355)
Casey Hildebrand, Maintenance (720) 412-4001 Debbie Hildebrand, Event Coord. (303) 506-4399
   
Facebook: Western Fremont Historical Society Website: westfremonthistory.com

Summer 2022 Newsletter

 

   

 

WESTERN FREMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
P.O. Box 181, Howard, Colorado 81233
Facebook: Western Fremont Historical Society
WFHS HISTORY CENTER
0070 Co Rd 56, Howard, Colorado 81233
Website: WestFremontHistory.com

2022 SUMMER NEWSLETTER

 Here is what we have in store for our history loving friends this season: 

Access Sundays – This year we are focusing on our monthly “Access Sundays” at the History Center in Howard.  We invite everyone to stop by and enjoy informative displays and special presentations on the last Sunday of each month during the summer and early fall.  In May, we shared an array of vintage toys, while June’s special feature was souvenirs and artifacts collected by Kris Shurr during her military service abroad.  Upcoming features will include:

  • July 31, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. – books by local cowboy/historian/author Paul Huntley who rode the range in western Fremont County in the first half of the 20th century
  • August 28, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. – antique tools and farm implements (Bring your treasures/stories!)

Historic pictures/documents/artifacts wanted!  If your family, friends or neighbors happen to be sorting old documents, pictures of the local area, etc., please don’t send those items to the dump or let them leave the area without contacting WFHS.  We don’t have a lot of space, but we are keenly interested in preserving local history and would love for those items to stay in western Fremont County.  Contact one of the Board members below regarding any pictures, letters, documents, etc. that should be preserved.  We would love to hear from you!

Events and Tours

  • July 4, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – WFHS commemorated our nation’s birthday with our friends and neighbors at Howard Hall. Open House at our History center featured a special program regarding flag etiquette as well as displays of military memorabilia from local collections.
  • September 24Watch for details about a tour of the historic Amy Homestead on County Road 4 in Howard, featuring the original house, outbuildings, orchard, and a variety of vintage farm equipment,

Mullins property update –The family of Glenn Mullins recently donated the building that formerly housed the general store on Plum Street in Cotopaxi to WFHS.  This building once was the community hub in Cotopaxi, housing the Post Office as well as the general store; we hope to preserve the building and eventually include historic displays and local artifacts for the public to enjoy.  We anticipate a lot of planning, fundraising and elbow grease will be required.  Stay tuned for ways you can become involved in our latest preservation venture!

WFHS Board of Directors

Craig Leitner, President (719) 207-0015                                            Kris Shurr, VP/Membership (719) 942-3653

Barbara Snyder, Secretary (719) 539-3956                                       Cinde McPhail, Treasurer (719) 942-4521

Betsy Denney, Historian/Programs (719) 942-3679                        Shari Mohr, Community Outreach (719-942-3355)

Casey Hildebrand, Bldg. Maintenance (720) 412-4001                   Debbie Hildebrand, Event Coord. (303) 506-4399

 

 

 

FALL 2020 NEWSLETTER

 

Board of Directors
Betsy Denney
Craig Leitner
Mark Minor
Shari Mohr
Kris Shurr
Barbara Snyder
 

 

WESTERN FREMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
P.O. Box 181, Howard, Colorado 81233
Facebook: Western Fremont Historical Society
WFHS HISTORY CENTER
0070 Co Rd 56, Howard, Colorado 81233
Website: WestFremontHistory.com

 

2020 FALL NEWSLETTER

Dear Friends,                

After months of canceled events and limited social contacts, you may be ready for some positive news.  We are too, and we’re so excited to share it with you:  Exterior preservation of our 1898 historic church building in Howard, which currently serves as our “History Center”, is finally complete!!  So many events and projects have been canceled this summer, we feel really fortunate that our general contractor, Jon Sargent of Deep Roots Timberworks, was able to work with numerous local subcontractors and maintain the schedule to complete the project by the end of October.  Some of you have been able to drive by the site over the past few months and observe the project as it progressed.  For others, seeing pictures of each stage in the project on our website was a fun and interesting distraction during this “Safer at Home” stage of the pandemic.  Either way, we hope you are as pleased and impressed with the results as the Board members are.

You may be aware that the bulk of funding for this project ($71,928) was obtained through a grant from the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF).  The SHF receives funds for grants through a portion of tax revenues from limited-stakes gaming in the towns of Cripple Creek, Central City and Black Hawk, and their grants are extremely competitive.  WFHS was required to raise matching funds in the amount of $24,000 as our share of the project costs, which we were able to do, thanks to your individual donations and community support, including a substantial donation from the Pleasant Valley Club, as well as grants from the Anschutz Foundation, Sangre de Cristo Electrical Assn (SDCEA) Board of Directors, SDCEA Operation Roundup and CoBank Sharing Success.

Several people deserve special recognition for their roles in bringing this project to fruition.   Former president of WFHS, Janet Lastovica, was instrumental in gathering information on the history of the church and its role as the first church in the entire Pleasant Valley area to get the ball rolling for the initial Historic Structure Assessment.  Ellen Hopkins then stepped forward and volunteered to serve as preservation project coordinator, which turned out to be a HUGE task of fund-raising for the required match, completing the grant application, submitting progress reports, managing deadlines, fielding questions from Board members, and attending on-site meetings with the contractor and subcontractors along with current president, Craig Leitner.  Craig also provided on-going oversight and feedback, sometimes on a daily basis, at the work site.  Our heartfelt thanks go out to them, as well as past members of the Board, for their dedication to this project, and their perseverance during the long years and various stages of this process.  There were times we weren’t sure the project was actually going to come to fruition, but here we are, finally with a beautifully restored exterior of the historic church building which now serves as the WFHS History Center.

We also want to recognize the team whose skill and expertise made the project possible:

  • Barbara Darden, Preservation Architect – Scheuber & Darden, Architects
  • Dave Wittman, Preservation Structural Engineer – Martin Martin Consulting Engineers
  • Michelle Slaughter, Archeologist – Metcalf Archaeology
  • Jon Sargent of Deep Roots Timberworks – general contractor
  • Thaddeus Hust, masonry contractor – Agave Masonry
  • Mike Perschbacher and Jesse Haro, window restoration – Older than Dirt Construction
  • Kurt Etscheidt, painting contractor – Kurt’s Painting
  • Bob Ferraro, excavation and site work – KT Sales and Excavation

We have surely missed sharing historical programs with all of you in 2020 – what a strange year this has been!  Hopefully, there will soon be light at the end of the tunnel and we will be able to meet again in 2021 for some fun programs and events.  Be sure to look at the pictures of the preservation project on our website and enjoy pictures of past programs and events while you are there.  If you have comments or questions in the meantime, please feel free to contact any of the Board members listed below.  We’d love to hear from you! We appreciate your ongoing support and interest in the history of Western Fremont County, and wish you the best – stay safe and healthy!!

WFHS Board of Directors
Betsy Denney (719) 942-3679 Craig Leitner (719) 207-0015
Casey Hildebrand (720) 412-4001 Debbie Hildebrand (303) 506-4399
Mark Minor (719) 207-0921 Shari Mohr (719) 942-3355
Kris Shurr (719) 942-3653 Barbara Snyder (719) 539-3956

2020 Spring Newsletter

 

Board of Directors
Betsy Denney
Craig Leitner
Mark Minor
Shari Mohr
Kris Shurr
Barbara Snyder
 

 

WESTERN FREMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
P.O. Box 181, Howard, Colorado 81233
Facebook: Western Fremont Historical Society
WFHS HISTORY CENTER
0070 Co Rd 56, Howard, Colorado 81233
Website: WestFremontHistory.com

 

2020 SPRING NEWSLETTER

Dear Friends, 

                We hope this finds you safe and well during these very uncertain times.  During this period of “social distancing” and “shelter in place”, our Board is just as frustrated and bewildered as everyone else as we try to navigate the current reality.  We decided to cancel our Annual Meeting in March as well as most in-person Board meetings in the meantime, and the programs or tours we had planned for this summer are currently on hold.  We appointed two new Board members, Casey and Debbie Hildebrand, to serve until they are officially elected at our next annual meeting.  So although our programs and tours have been suspended for the time being, we are still active and we want to keep in touch with all of you.

Now for some much needed positive news:  We have completed the necessary contract requirements with the State Historic Fund and the contractor will begin work on the preservation of our historic church/history center in Howard in June!  Completing all of the necessary research, applying for grants, raising matching funds for our portion of the cost, and complying with all the bureaucratic “red tape” has taken many years and lots of patience, but we are finally about to see some results on the ground.  In coming months, you will notice a lot of activity at the building, beginning with removal of the windows for restoration off-site, plus repairs on the siding and trim, foundation, and front porch/stairs, as well as a much-needed fresh coat of paint.  The contractor hopes to complete all the work by the end of the summer, and we look forward to the time we can host an open house to share the results with all of you.  Thanks again to those of you who donated money for this preservation project, and especially for your patience as we worked through the lengthy process involved in obtaining the grant money from the State Historic Fund to allow the project to move forward.

Also, we want to thank those of you who paid your annual dues before this pandemic became our new reality.  Several of our major expenses, such as taxes and insurance on the historic church building/history center, will still be incurred, so we appreciate your loyalty and support during this unprecedented time.

In the meantime, you can get your “history fix” by checking our website listed above for pictures/updates on the preservation project, as well as photos of past tours and events which are now available there.  We look forward to the time when once again we can welcome all of you history lovers to join in our various projects and programs.  Please feel free to call any of the Board members listed below with any questions and comments.  In the meantime, STAY SAFE  – WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU SOON!

WFHS Board of Directors
Betsy Denney (719) 942-3679 Craig Leitner (719) 207-0015
Casey Hildebrand (720) 412-4001 Debbie Hildebrand (303) 506-4399
Mark Minor (719) 207-0921 Shari Mohr (719) 942-3355
Kris Shurr (719) 942-3653 Barbara Snyder (719) 539-3956

Newsletter-Summer 2019

 

Board of Directors
Betsy Denney
Craig Leitner
Mark Minor
Shari Mohr
Kris Shurr
Barbara Snyder
 

 

WESTERN FREMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
P.O. Box 181, Howard, Colorado 81233
Facebook: Western Fremont Historical Society
WFHS HISTORY CENTER
0070 Co Rd 56, Howard, Colorado 81233
Website: WestFremontHistory.com

 

2019 Summer Newsletter

Summer has arrived (at least on the calendar!) and the WFHS board has some great events planned:

JULY 4 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. –  Open house at the WFHS History Center (our historic church building located across the road from Howard Hall), with special presentations by our local “historic paint sleuth” and newest WFHS board member, Mark Minor, at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Mark will explain the process used to determine the original paint colors of historic buildings, including a chance to examine paint samples through the microscope.  (We have a good source of old paint right on our history center!)  In addition, we will be showcasing items pertaining to local Grange activities from Howard, Coaldale and Hillside Grange groups.  Ellen Hopkins, our preservation project coordinator, will also provide an update on the State Historic Fund grant funding which is now in process, after years of effort!

AUGUST 17 – 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. – program/tour featuring history of western Fremont County schools.  We’ll begin with an overview presentation at Cotopaxi School, and proceed up the valley to Coaldale and Howard, with information regarding location and history of the various schools that served those communities over the years.  Watch for further details on our website and flyers.

OCTOBER 12 – 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. – cemetery tours at Coaldale and Howard.  Cemetery tours are always popular as we visit the graves and knit together stories of early settlers and events in western Fremont County.  We will also attempt to assist anyone who is looking for information on relatives or other figures from the past associated with these cemeteries.    More details will be forthcoming early in the fall.

This spring, through the tireless efforts of Howard resident and website guru, Tom Kainz, we unveiled a new and improved website which is now more informative and user friendly than ever.  Please check it out at westfremonthistory.com.  Information regarding our upcoming events as well as publications and tour books available for purchase is on the website, along with a new “historic fun fact” every month.  You can also find information on Facebook, or feel free to contact one of our board members with any questions or comments.

Your support makes these programs and events possible.  As always, we welcome volunteers who enjoy history to join in our various projects and programs. THANK YOU AGAIN, and we look forward to sharing local history with you in the coming months.

WFHS Board of Directors

Betsy Denney  (719) 942-3679                                                   Craig Leitner (719) 207-0015

Mark Minor (719) 207-0921                                                       Shari Mohr  (719) 942-3355

Kris Shurr (719) 942-3653                                                            Barbara Snyder (719) 539-3956