Spring 2020 Renovation Update

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.

 

 

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

Current Renovation Update 04/28/19

The WFHS Board of Directors is pleased to announce that as of March 25, 2019 the grant application we resubmitted to the History Colorado State Historical Fund has been approved and fully executed.  We were awarded $71,928 for the Exterior Rehabilitation of the Howard Free Methodist Church building, which is now the WFHS History Center and houses our community’s archives and artifacts.  Combined with the 25% cash match of $24,000 we raised, the total amount raised for this project is $95,928!  Many thanks to those of you who contributed to the cash match that enabled us to secure this generous grant, including The Pleasant Valley Club of Howard, Western Fremont Historical Society, The Anschutz Foundation, Sangre de Cristo Electric Assn Board of Directors, SDCEA Operation Roundup, and CoBank Sharing Success.  And a special thank you to the people of Western Fremont County for your generous donations–the outpouring of support from our community has been truly heart-warming and we couldn’t have done it without you!

The WFHS Church Preservation Project will be a multi-stage undertaking over the next two years and will be completed by March 25, 2021.  We are fortunate to have secured the help of two highly respected experts in historical preservation, architect Barbara Darden of Scheuber & Darden Architects and local restoration specialist Mike Perschbacher of Older Than Dirt Construction.  Although the church building is in remarkably good condition given its age and history, there is a critical need now for some essential physical repairs, especially to the foundation, exterior siding, windows restoration, the porch, and of course the peeling paint!  There are a lot of moving parts to this project, and we look forward to getting started as soon as possible.”

Ellen Hopkins, Project Manager

 

Newsletter – February 2019

 

Board of Directors
Betsy Denney
Craig Leitner
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 Membership Letter

February, 2019

Dear Members and Friends of WFHS,

The Board of Directors of WESTERN FREMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY is gearing up to share history with all of you in 2019.   We thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many of you at our programs, events and tours in 2018, and look forward to exchanging information and getting to know you better in the coming year.

As most of you know, our long-time President, Janet Lastovica, resigned from the Board at the end of 2018 due to family obligations, and we actually have two vacancies on our Board at the present time.  We hope some of you might consider stepping into that role this year.  The Board meets once a month (except in December) to plan programs and events, as well as work on the upcoming building preservation project and manage the records and collections that are housed at our History Center, maintain our website, etc.  We have a great time together, but we could really use some additional workers  and new ideas to expand our mission and outreach.  Please contact one of us to find out what is involved; maybe you and your spouse/partner would like to join the Board as a team.  Think it over and let us hear from you!

Enclosed is our annual membership form, along with a self-addressed envelope.  Your annual dues enable us to pay our basic expenses, such as real estate taxes on the History Center building in Howard, liability insurance, website maintenance, office supplies, printing and postage, as well as incidental costs for producing programs and tours.

Our first event of 2019 will be our Annual Meeting on April 6 at 2:00 p.m. at the historic Coaldale Schoolhouse/Community Center.  If you have not seen this building, you are in for a special treat!  The agenda will include a brief business meeting and election of Board members, followed by a program featuring memorabilia from the Coaldale Grange.  We make a conscious effort to plan programs and events to include all areas of Western Fremont County and are currently finalizing our programs and tours for the rest of the year.   Check our website for the latest information about upcoming events, and watch for email newsletters and program reminders.

Thank you for your ongoing support.  We look forward to sharing history with you in 2019!

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

Shari Mohr  (719) 942-3355                                                  Kris Shurr (719) 942-3653

Barbara Snyder (719) 539-3956

 

Western Fremont Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preservation and sharing of our local history and artifacts.

Newsletter – November 2018

 

Board of Directors
Betsy Denney
Janet Lastovica
Craig Leitner
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

 

2018 WINTER NEWSLETTER

Greetings of the season to you all.

As the year draws to a close it’s time to share with you a summary of WFHS’ 2018 activities and updates and welcome new members. We try to issue 4 newsletters a year.

MEMBERSHIP:

We are excited to let you know that WFHS membership for this year reached 105 which includes 10 lifetime members. Members reside in many areas: Howard, Salida, Canon City, Coaldale, Cotopaxi, Arvada, Wyoming and California.

PROGRAMS HELD:

  • March: Annual meeting and program about Barnes City history
  • July: 4th of July birthday bash celebrating the 120th birthday of the little church in Howard (now the WFHS History Center). This event was held I conjunction with Howard Hall’s 2nd annual

community 4th of July events.

  • August: Tour Rails and Kilns
  • October:  Tours of Cotopaxi and San Isabel View (Hillside) cemeteries.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH 

Check out our facebook page and website. You will see pictures, history notes, information about our History Center’s publications for purchase, resources, past events, how to contact us, and so much more.

HISTORY CENTER PRESERVATION

An update on our efforts to preserve the 1898 Howard church building which serves as the WFHS History Center and houses archives and artifacts of historical interest in our region:  WFHS submitted a grant proposal to the State Historical Fund (SHF) of History Colorado last spring and was informed on August 1 that although our project was approved (the good news), our overall application score, while strong, was not high enough in the queue of applications to receive a monetary award before the available SHF funds ran out.  With the encouragement of the SHF we submitted a revised application, incorporating their feedback and hopefully improving our score for the fall submission round.  We will hear about this grant request on Feb. 1, 2019.  Hopefully it will be good news and we will be able to move forward with the preservation work next spring.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

WFHS is an all volunteer organization managed by the Board of Directors. This year your board updated the WFHS Bylaws, planned and held four (4) well received programs, had representation at Fremont County Historical Society’s (FCHS) presentation of the Doc Little Award, that recognizes a FCHS member for outstanding achievements in preserving Fremont County history, to Bill Schrader (a past president of WFHS).  We continued to gather on the last Sundays of the month (weather permitting) at the History Center while open for visitors and to work on filing documents and pictures. Board members are active in planning and working on the logistics for programs.

At this time I need to step down from my volunteer activities to concentrate on other areas of my life, so I am leaving the WFHS board.  It has been my privilege to serve on this board as president for the past four (4) years and previously as treasurer. I have had the opportunity to learn so very much and to meet so many wonderful folks. As time goes on, I hope to be able to continue some involvement with the ACCESS HISTORY group.

There are 7 positions on the board and one seat has been vacant since March and now there are two openings. This board can use your help as it continues to move forward. The board can make appointments to the board for the remainder of the term.  If the appointed person wants to continue they then can run for election to the board by the WFHS membership at the annual meeting in March. The board chooses its own officers. Can you serve on a committee or participate in ACCESS HISTORY to use your detective skills to sort and identify photos, file, assist with the inventory, and help visitors?  When you are involved you will meet terrific people. You get to learn more about and participate in the history of western Fremont County, continue to help foster the growth of the Historical Society and be involved in the preservation of the historical white church (now WFHS History Center) located in Howard. 

 

On behalf of the board, thanks to each and every one of you for your support and look forward to seeing you in the coming year. Janet Lastovica (retired board member and president)

 

For further information about the board of directors and WFHS please contact Shari Mohr Community Outreach Coordinator: 719-942-3355

Newsletter – June 2018

 

Board of Directors
Betsy Denney
Janet Lastovica
Craig Leitner
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

 

2018 SUMMER NEWSLETTER

The WFHS Board of Directors has been busy preparing for another season of special events for our history-loving members and friends.  We enjoyed seeing many of you at our Annual Meeting and program, “Barnes City: Boom or Bust?” in March, and appreciate your support as we plan our summer and fall programs.  Our website is up and running, as is our Facebook page, so if you have not already done so, please check out those new sources of information and give us your feedback.

 

Our first event of the summer season will be an open house at our History Center on July 4th in conjunction with Howard Hall Association’s old fashioned 4th of July celebration.  This year we will be celebrating the 120th anniversary of the church building, and will have pictures and stories of the church’s rich history, updates on its current use as WFHS History Center, and status of the building rehabilitation project.  We submitted a grant application to the State Historic Fund, and hope to hear by the end of June whether that application has been accepted.   The matching funds required to support this grant have been secured (thanks again to our gracious donors!) and we will share information concerning the work that is planned, proposed schedule, etc. at the open house.  Please plan to attend and celebrate the building’s 120-year history in the heart of old Howard – BIRTHDAY CAKE WILL BE SERVED!  See the attached flyer for details.

 

Other events planned for 2018 are:

  • August 25CHARCOAL KILN TOUR – The most visible remains of area charcoal kilns are on County Road 6/Hayden Creek Road in Coaldale, but did you know there were also kilns at Wellsville, Howard, Cotopaxi and Texas Creek? Join us as our favorite tour guide, Fremont County native Betsy Denney, shares information about the thriving but short-lived charcoal industry in western Fremont County.

 

  • October 6CEMETERY TOUR – A popular tour for genealogy and history buffs alike, cemeteries are a great source of information about early settlers, pioneer families, etc. We will begin at the Howard Cemetery, then visit Coaldale, Cotopaxi and San Isabel View (Hillside) Cemeteries, with a brown bag lunch stop on the way.  Fall is a great time to enjoy the outdoors while hearing the stories of the settlers and pioneer families who called this area home.

Your dues and participation make these programs and events possible.  THANK YOU AGAIN, and we look forward to sharing local history with you throughout the year.

 

WFHS Board of Directors

Newsletter – January 2018

 

Board of Directors
Betsy Denney
Janet Lastovica
Craig Leitner
Shari Mohr
Kris Shurr
Barbara Snyder
Jackie Stegeman

 

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

 

2018 WINTER NEWSLETTER

                Greetings from the WFHS Board of Directors!  2018 is here and we are excited as we begin planning another year of historical activities focused on western Fremont County.  We have recruited two new members to our Board; Shari Mohr and Kris Shurr will be introduced and formally voted upon at our Annual Meeting in March.  We are grateful to have two more congenial, tech-savy volunteers as we embark on an especially busy year.

 

Ellen Hopkins, Project Manager for the history center building preservation effort, had a very productive year in 2017.  As a result of her ongoing efforts, we have retained an historic preservation architect who will prepare our grant application to the State Historic Fund (History Colorado), and we are well on the way to securing the matching funds necessary to support that grant, thanks to you, our generous members and friends!   A complete update on the status of the building preservation project will be presented at the Annual Meeting.

 

The Board is also continuing to expand our community outreach via Facebook and through our new website, WestFremontHistory.com.   Both are still “works in progress”, but we are excited to offer these additional ways to access information about the goals of our society, as well as ongoing activities and programs.

 

In the meantime, we are working on our schedule of programs and tours for the year, as follows:

  • March 24 at 2:00 p.m. at Howard Hall – Annual Meeting and program about the Barnes City mining scam in the early 1900’s
  • July 4th at the History Center in Howard – enjoy Howard Hall’s old time 4th of July celebration, and help us celebrate the 120th anniversary of our historic church building
  • August (date to be determined) – charcoal kiln program/tour
  • Fall (date to be determined) – cemetery tour (Howard, Coaldale, Cotopaxi and San Isabel/Hillside cemeteries)

These programs and tours for history lovers, as well as the displays and historic documents at the History Center, are made possible by your continued interest and support.   A membership form and return envelope are enclosed for annual dues.  We look forward to seeing you at our Annual Meeting on March 24, as well as the programs and tours throughout the coming year.  The History Center will also be open on the last Sunday of each month (1:00 to 4:00 p.m.) from April through October, weather permitting.   As always, there are numerous ways to participate in either short-term projects, assisting with programs and tours, building and grounds maintenance, serving on committees, providing refreshments, etc.   If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Shari Mohr at 719-942-3355. Thank you for your ongoing support – watch for additional details about upcoming events!