Western Fremont Historical Society

Preserving the history and heritage of the settlers of western Fremont County, Colorado.


WFHS Mission

Dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of Western Fremont County, Colorado through research, education, and the promotion and sharing of the area’s history.

Western Fremont Historical Society is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization.

We do not sell our member information



The Society is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors:

  • Craig Leitner, President and Historian (Howard)
  • Kris Shurr, Vice President and Membership Coordinator (Coaldale)
  • Barb Snyder, Secretary (Salida/Coaldale)
  • Cinde McPhail, Treasurer (Howard)
  • Betsy Denny, Historian-Programs (Cotopaxi)
  • Clark Gardner, Visual/Technology Design (Cotopaxi)
  • Casey Hildebrand-Maintenance (Cotopaxi)
  • Deb Hildebrand-Events Coordinator (Cotopaxi)
  • Shari Mohr, Community Outreach & Exhibits (Howard)
  • Sandy Wallace-Administrative Coordinator (Cotopaxi)
  • Ex-Officio Board Member: Ellen Hopkins, Church Building Preservation Project Manager
  • Ex-Officio Board Member: Mark Minor, Preservation Consultant (Howard)

The Board meets the fourth Thursday of each month (except December).  The public is welcome to attend.  Please call Shari Mohr, 719-942-3355, to confirm meeting date, place and time.



The Western Fremont Historical Society was founded in 1989.  It was created to preserve the history of the Pleasant Valley Area.  Our area spans from Parkdale to Wellsville, Colorado.  We preserve the stories and the heritage of the people that settled and those who live there now.

WFHS History Center:

The Society maintains a small historical center in Howard, Colorado in the Pleasant Valley.  The structure was built in 1898 by members of the Free Methodist Church and was the first church in the Pleasant Valley.  The building has received a local Historic Landmark designation from the Fremont County Heritage Commission.  Over the years area community members worked diligently to acquire and then, preserve the building.

The Cotopaxi-Mullins History Center:

In December 2021, the family of Glenn Mullins 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.  With a lot of planning and elbow grease, we opened the Cotopaxi-Mullins History Center on October 20, 2023.  We hope to continue to preserve the building and include historic displays and local artifacts for the public to enjoy.  Stay tuned for ways you can become involved in our latest preservation efforts!  

Please see Building Renovation page for additional information

Poem by James Freeman, Jr. (circa 1890)

  Pleasant Valley! Happy Name!
Monarchs envy thee thy fame.
Fortressed in by peaks sublime.
Happy people, genial clime.
River flowing swift and grand,
Gem of hoary mountain land,
Fruitful fields and mineral hills
Wet by thousand sparkling rills.
Pleasant Valley! Happy name!
Flocks that feed on hill and plain,
Compassed in secure, serene—
A World itself, this valley green.