Historic Douglas County, Inc.
Well, folks …here we are in the last month of 2013! Where or where did 2013 go? That’s a question that many of us ponder and find ourselves somewhat limited for an answer. But, don’t fret. Our television news services will more than likely attempt to answer that question with their numerous reviews and recalls of the year’s past major events …just stay tuned to television news shows during the last week of this year! Let’s talk Douglas County and Historic Douglas County, Inc. (HDC) events, particularly as it relates to history. “We” had a lot of great events happening. Historically speaking, HDC’s Event Calendar for 2013 to date has posted 505 events that have been history-related or sponsored by historical organizations or historical venues in Douglas County. Wow! No wonder I feel a bit out of breath …and, here I thought it was the Irish coffee on Saturday evening after Starlighting …more on Starlighting later. KUDOs to all the historical societies and historical venues in Douglas County for all their event activities and outreach. I guess I had better tone-up my running muscles for upcoming 2014!
December is always a beautiful month in Douglas County. There are lots of Christmas events, lights, gorgeous holiday foods and celebrations and, of course, a lot of hustling and bustling associated with the buying frenzy of Christmas gifts. But, before we whisk off into the activities of this month, let’s reflect on last month, November, which was a great month of events from a historic educational perspective …and, one of our truly great holidays …speaking of which, I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and did not “overdose on turkey, mashed potatoes and all of the unbelievably yummy accompaniments. HDC members and a couple of Douglas County’s History Research Center’s archivists spent the early part of the month working with the second and third grade teachers at Franktown Elementary in assisting them in presenting local history educational programs to their students. Gosh, there were a number of early denizens of the Frankstown area’s historic past that came to live …yes, like William Green Russell that found gold in Douglas County …James Frank Gardner from whom Frankstown (now Franktown) was named and founded …Babette Engle whom, the students were fascinated to know, once lived in a cave in the southeastern part of the County …and, a unique amalgam of a “school marm,” Miss A. Nonny Mouse, that let the students through some of the learning techniques and discipline methods used in the late nineteenth century. The Franktown Elementary experience was really a unique educational experience for both the students and the HDC and presenters.
November was really an education month. Parker Area Historical Society hosted a program, Historic Settlement of the Rocky Mountains. The Parker Genealogical Society educated their constituency on The 5 Steps of Genealogical Proof for ancestral research and exploration. The Douglas County History Research Center did a great job in presenting the tenth anniversary of the Veterans’ History Project while the Highlands Ranch Historical Society presented a superb, well-attended program, Veterans Tribute 2013. And folks, Cherokee Ranch and Castle did a truly distinctive, personal educational program with The Chocolate Therapist.
November had entertainment as well. As they do every year, Cherokee Ranch and Castle held fabulous entertainment and cultural programs such as the comedy, Columbo and the Case of the Country Christmas Killer and musical events from the Colorado Symphony to Lynn Baker Jazz to name a few. What has become the granddaddy of November events was Castle Rock’s fabulous Starlighting. Attended by literally thousands, even in bone-chilling weather, Starlighting offered all ilks of activities from non-profit booths up and down Wilcox and Perry Streets from 2nd to 5th Streets, bands, ice skating, a climbing wall, hayrides and horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate, singing choirs and, of course, the lighting of the Star, unbelievable fireworks and that Jolly Ole Man from the North Pole! The attendance was absolutely unbelievable again this year …I talked with folks from Breckenridge and Elbert County …and, even saw cars parked along the I-25 exit ramps! Yep, they come out of the woodwork for Starlighting! I know, I need to get to December …but, I just had to honk Douglas County’s horn for a great November.
As said earlier, December is a great month in Douglas County. It is winter; it is snow; it is wassal and cinnamon; it is caroling; it is shopping for “just that right gift;” it all kinds of totally un-non-fatting, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth foods; it is Christmas parties; and, most importantly, it is family, friends and time of warmth and reflection. The events in December reflect the Holiday Season. The Town of Sedalia hosts its gala Sedalia Winter Fest. The Town of Larkspur celebrates Larkspur Tree Lighting in their gorgeous, new (dedicated in 2013) park. Castle Rock Historical Society celebrates the Historical Story of Starlighting. And, if it is Christmas music you’re seeking, check out the Events Calendar for what the Cherokee Ranch and Castle has to offer …from Christmas >Jazz …Opie Gone Bad …to ‘Twas the Brass Before Christmas. Oh my! You might even want to consider a Holiday Dinner with Charles Dickens! As said …check out the December Events Calendar.
Since December is the month for giving, you may also want to mark your calendar for December 10. That’s the date for Colorado Gives, during which you can contribute, on-line, to 1,400 non-profits and charities in Colorado …a number of which are in Douglas County. Go to our News page on this website to learn more about Colorado Gives.
Goodness! As I seem to do each month, I have rambled again about all the great history events and entertainment in Douglas County. Sorry folks, once I get going, I find it a bit difficult to cut it short. After all, Douglas County has so much to offer. Just one more thing I seem to do each month …my totally in-depth, unbiased view of Colorado’s top professional sports, Broncos, Avalanche, and Nuggies!
Suffice it is for me to say, December for the Broncos will tell whose “Fairest in the Land” and whether you might want to attempt getting Super Bowl tickets. Peyton is standing up well thanks to that daunting front line. The Avs …hey, their doing beautifully and being well coached …the Stanley well could be a consideration. The Nuggets …well, for the moment, we’ll just leave it at Nuggies.
So, let’s enjoy December in Douglas County. Watch for the mistletoe and get ready to celebrate the New Year with a course of Auld Lang Syne lyrics. Enjoy Douglas County and Colorado folks …taint nothing like it in the world! Check out the December Events Calendar.
Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year,
Jim “Here Comes Santa Claus” Weglarz
About this website…
This Historic Douglas County, Inc. website is a communications vehicle designed as a “One Stop” location where the public can find out about events and what is going-on in historical organizations and venues around and beyond Douglas County, Colorado. Our goal is to expand and enrich public awareness of the history of Douglas County, Colorado through education and communications, and through support and coordination among local historical organizations and other related groups. This website is unique in its focus, and we hope you keep visiting us.
Photographs of Yesteryear
Many of the historic black and white photographs used throughout this website are courtesy of the Douglas County History Research Center at the Phillip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, Colorado. Copies of these photos can be obtained from the History Research Center. If you wish to get one or several copies of these pictures, please refer to the Gallery section of this website under DCHRC provided pictures and obtain the catalog number associated with the photograph you wish to acquire. The Douglas County History Research Center can be reached through their website or telephoning 303.688.7730.