Historic Douglas County, Inc.
It’s April in Douglas County, Colorado! You all know what April means in Douglas County? …snow, showers, tulips, crocus, bunnies and eggs, silly fools, filing deadline for income tax, National Library Day and, of course, peanut butter and jelly day on April 2. April is just crammed full of national holidays and many days of recognition of some, almost nonsensical, traditions. As April is the month that tulips and crocus trumpet the beginning of new growth and warmth to come, so is it that April announces a new year’s revival of historical programs and events. But, before we begin the offerings of April, let me take a couple of moments to cover a couple of last month’s highlights for Historic Douglas County, Inc. (HDC).
March 8 was the beginning of the National History Day academic competition focusing on history for students in grades 6-12 for the Greater Denver Metro Region. Each year, more than half a million United States students construct entries as an individual or in a group in one of five categories-documentary, exhibit, essay paper, performance or website. This year’s theme was “Rights and Responsibilities” and the Regional event was held at the Auraria Campus in Denver. The winners of this event are going to the Colorado state-level event on May 3 and, the winners of the State event, will participate in the National Event at the University of Maryland in College Park on June 15 through 19. HDC participated in judging at the Regional event again this year; doing such is really an exhilarating experience. If you would like to get involved as a judge for the Regional event in 2015, you will find it an enlightening, special and memorable experience. Keep in touch with the event at National History Day.
Our second HDC highlight in March was the public introduction of our newest educational presentation, Breeds, Brands & Ranchers …of Early Douglas County. This presentation was almost three years in the making and now provides HDC with a third presentation in our educational series, see our new Education Resources webpage (also added in March). HDC opened the public introduction of BBR, as Breeds, Brands & Ranchers …of Early Douglas County is abbreviated, at the March Parker Area Historical Society meeting …very appropriate since Parker was the first location for a homesteader-rancher in Douglas County to have the first beef cattle herd …the year? 1865. Two nights later, we presented BBR again for the Castle Rock Historical Society at the Phillip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock. Hey, check us out at the aforementioned new webpage if you would like to see the educational production of BBR. Okay, let’s see what’s coming up in April.
April is generally the year’s “start-up month for historical events …starts a bit slow but builds to May when “things” really get to rockin’! To start the month’s events, the Cherokee Castle hosts one of their afternoon teas on April 2 …wonder if they’ll be serving PB&J finger sandwiches with tea? After all, April 2 is National Peanut Butter & Jelly day! On the fifth of April, Colorado Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) holds the third in their “Chickens …All You Need to Know” series.
The second week of April has four events, starting on Tuesday, the 8th, with Parker Area Historical Society hosting Judy Winnick in her fantastic role as Irena Sendler: Angel of the Warsaw Ghetto. If you haven’t seen Ms. Winnick do Irena Sendler before, you are definitely in for a treat …it’s moving! By the way, Parker Area Historical Society starts meeting in April at the Ruth Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church on east Mainstreet in Parker; the Parker Senior Center isn’t big enough to hold the crowds. Good job, PAHS! The second history event of the week occurs Thursday night at the Phillip S. Miller Library. Castle Rock Historical Society is hosting Jim Sawatzki presenting ARTISTS OF PIKES PEAK. On April 12, Cherokee Ranch & Castle is holding another afternoon tea …this one is special. The tea is themed as the Titanic Tea. Attend the Titanic Tea in the Castle’s Great Hall and be treated like royalty! The fourth event for the week is hosted by the Parker Genealogical Society, Finding Civil War Soldiers. If you have Civil War ancestors, this is a program you want to check out. Oh, by the way, also during this second week, Palmer Lake Historical Society, our El Paso County neighbor, celebrates the 78th. anniversary of their historic start with a program by Jack Anthony.
During the third week of April (Thursday, the 17th.), Palmer Lake Historcal Society is presenting a program on the Restoration of Cumbres & Toltec Railroad Cars. Palmer Lake always draws a nice crowd for its programs; this program will likely draw the railroad buffs as well.
The fourth week of April has three more major events. On Monday evening, April 21, Highlands Ranch Historical Society will be focusing its program on the Mammoth Bones of Lamb Spring as well as a review of future plans for the site. On Saturday, April 26, Sedalia Historic Museum & Gardens opens for the season …10:00 AM until 2:00 PM. The museum has some new exhibits on display; so, stop by and check out the Museum …likely there will yet to be flowers all over the place at this time of year. But, you might see some tulips and crocus beginning to break the soil.
The biggest history event for April will occur on Saturday, April 26, in Flager, Kit Carson County, Colorado. This event is the Spring Meeting of the Eastern Colorado Museums and Historical Societies (ECM&HS). ECM&HS is comprised of members from museums and historical societies within Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Kit Carson and Lincoln Counties with the commonality of not having any paid staff. This group meets twice a year, spring and fall, and discuss ideas and what works and does not work in working to improve their respective operations and organizations. Flager is a community that has a tremendous amount of historical character. The meeting should prove insightful and should be fun with the on-site historic venues.
At the end of April, Cherokee Castle, hosts another tea on the 30th to close out the month. Well, for a start-up month for history events, April really gets rolling!
April 8 update: This most certainly deserves an update a little more than a week into April’s monthly message …so, let’s talk sports.
Congratulations to the University of Connecticut as the National NCAA Basketball Champs and the last men to leave the March Madness dance floor on April 7 …some exciting basketball! UCONN’s 60 to 54 win over Kentucky and the 2014 Dance’s biggest “bracket – buster” ever goes down as some of the NCAA’s most memorable events!
Our initial “ga-ga” about the Colorado Rockies opening their road to the World Series …well, as they opened their road… was somewhat squished by the “fish” devouring the Rocks at the Marlins’ opening game in Miami, but the Rockies did do well in their Coors Field home opener on April 4. Other Colorado pro teams …? The Avs? At this point, questionable if they will get to touch Lord Stanley’s Cup and hold it over their heads. The Nuggets? Well, the Nuggets are at the other end of the anatomy above which Lord Stanley’s Cup is held! And, after spending $110 million and John Fox a new three-year contract, the Broncos are likely to have a better defense next season than they did the last season, during which Seattle went “…that a – way! Again, congratulations to the University of Connecticut in their superb, NCAA basketball win.
April looks like it is panning out to be a great month …weather-wise, history-wise and every other-wise! Hey, get out there and enjoy Douglas County history in April …take in a Rockies home game as well …after all, it’s Springtime in Douglas County!
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.