December 18: Highlands Ranch Historical Society conducts The Mizel Museum Tour

Cherokee Ranch & Castle in December

December 20: Have a Holly, Jolly Murder
December 21: Holiday Tunes by Rachael Lampa

Check out dates on Event Calendar for more detail.
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ALSO ...don't forget to check the "Around the West" to find events outside of Douglas County.

That Special Gift

Here’s a great opportunity to get that little something as a remembrance for yourself or someone during the holidays …give a gift of reflection on historic times.

Merry Christmas - Coverlet, Calendar and Ornament 2014

Ranchers of Early Douglas County is the limited-edition Historic Douglas County calendar for 2015. Learn more and order at: Order Calendar.

Historic Douglas County Coverlet is a gorgeous 48” by 68” woven coverlet depicting the treasured historic structures of Douglas County. Stay warm with the coverlet at night while watching the History Channel …go to: Coverlet Ordering.

The Indian Pony Tree Ornament is symbolic of the Indian Pony on the incredible Kit Carson Carousel, it will remind you again and again, year after year about the really special things and places in Colorado. Learn more and order at: Ornament.

Historic Douglas County, Inc. Mission:

The purpose of Historic Douglas County is to expand and enrich public awareness of Douglas County history through education and communication, and through support and coordination among local historical organizations and other related groups.


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Dec Header 2014It is December in Douglas County! From a historical events perspective, December is a bit like the “Ghost of Christmas Past;” i.e, historical events for the remainder of the year, as does the chronological year of 2014, repel rapidly to a halt. 9News Parade of LightsThe good news is that December abounds with families’ and friends’ camaraderie, seasonal fun and frolic, huge amounts of entertainment and all sorts of Christmas Season and outdoor and indoor winter events. A great website to find most of these events is COLORADO …Comes to Life. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean. And, whether you bundle-up and see it live or stay in the snugly warmth of your home and watch it on television, you’ve got to take-in the 9 News Parade of Lights (Parade of Lights). …replete with Jolly Ole Saint Nicholas! Wow! But, before we look at the historical tours and historical venue events of December, let me do a summary of magnificent November in Douglas County…November in Douglas County 2014

November was loaded with historic educational events, tributes and historic venue entertainment …actually, a larger number of events than past Novembers of years past. With November 11 being Veterans Day, there were a number of tributes and celebrations honoring all our military veterans that have served our Great County so honorably and courageously. Douglas County Libraries did a couple of programs featuring veteran writers Dan Hampton and Don Cygan. Parker Area Historical Society hosted a moving military veteran tribute by Rocky Mountain Honor Flight while Highlands Ranch Historical Society conducted a well-attended program, Rosie the Riveter. Castle Rock Historical Society hosted Author Robert Easterly in a program about his book, By an Act of Congress. DCVMF Veterans Tribute - 2014Douglas County Veterans Monument Foundation (DCVMF) held a tribute at the Veterans Monument Plaza in Castle Rock, featuring guest speaker, Secretary of State Scott Gessler and attended by Douglas County Commissioner Roger Partridge. Douglas County is truly one of the most patriotic counties in Colorado and the Nation.

Also in November, Larkspur Historical Society presented an educational re-enactment program at Larkspur Elementary School for the 4th Grade classes …the re-enactments featured a wagonmaster, a prairie housewife, a turn of the century mercantile owner-operator, a civil war artillery Corporal and long term serving Douglas County Sheriff John Hammond. Parker Genealogical Society also hosted a very educational program by Carol Darrow, Castle Garden: New York Immigrant Receiving Station 1855-1890. South of the Douglas County border, Palmer Lake Historical Society hosted Jedidiah Smith portrayed by Dave Wallace. The largest attended event in honor of the season was Castle Rock’s annual Starlighting, attended by thousands and featuring huge numbers of non-profit organizational booths, music, ice skating, chili, caroling, fireworks as well as the lighting of the star and entrance of Santa Claus! Entertainment-wise, Cherokee Ranch & Castle featuring music by BeatRoots , Beatles Jazz and the Lynn Baker Quartet , plus a Comedy Night and three Thanksgiving Teas.” Oh, and did I mention, Castle Rock Museum conducted a tour of the Mensenberg Quarry Tour. So, as you see, for a slow month, November was packed. Wow!

Cherokee Castle Entertainment at the Castle 2014”Whata bout December?” Well, the Cherokee Ranch & Castle makes up for about what I earlier spoke as December’s “Slow Down of historical events …making up for the deceleration with acceleration in entertainment. The Castle has a plethora of music …plus readings and Holiday Dinner with Charles Dickens as well as a “musical murder mystery,” Have a Holly Jolly Murder! The Castle’s December musical repertoires feature White Christmas – A Holiday Music Review, The Brass of Christmas Past (The Denver Brass) and Holiday Tunes by Contemporary Christian Artist, Rachael Lampa.

I spoke about December’s the month when historical societies generally devote their time to member Christmas parties and take a month off, somewhat as a “resting point” for the year past. The Highlands Ranch Historical Society and the Sedalia Museum and Gardens are an exception. Sedalia Museum and Gardens are doing a Holiday Open House at the Sedalia Museum & Gardens on December 6. Highlands Ranch Historical Society's Jersey Boys Musical TourHighland Ranch Historical Society's December 2014 ProgramHighlands Ranch Historical Society is doing another one of their famous RTD Tours, The Jersey Boys Musical at the Buell Theatre in Denver on December 11 and, on December 18, the Society is hosting a program by Mizel Museum speakers, Mizel Museum Tour: The 4000 year Road Trip, Gathering Sparks. There is another tour conducted by Roxborough Park; this tour is a hiking tour, Peresse Open House. My reaction for a “slow December, “Wow! Believe me, “Wow” is not an overstated word when it comes to all this great historical education, historical tours and great entertainment at historical venues.

As a sidebar to my normal focus on monthly historical events and venues, I want to bring your attention to an official selection of the 2014 STARZ Denver Film Festival, Man on Devils Head. This short Daniel Fickle film (4 minutes, 26 seconds) is a fascinating, heart felt glance of a truly determined and dedicated forest ranger, Billy Ellis, who has kept watch for years at Devils Head Tower, warning us of potential forest fires. Viewing this short film is time very well spent! See the film at Man on Devils Head.

2014 was a really good for history in Douglas County Colorado and also a very good year for Historic Douglas County, Inc (HDC). HDC thanks and appreciates all the dedicated and sincere work that all of the County’s historical societies and venues expended during the year. Their contribution to the ongoing historical and cultural preservation and research and dedication is truly one of the great and sometimes overlooked treasures of Douglas County. HDC tips our hat to all of those of the historical societies, museums and cultural venues that make Douglas County a truly magnificent place to live. Thank you, one and all!

Weglarz's Wise WordsMallet and BellThe Colorado State Rams – best record / season in nearly fifteen years and then “Whack, the Air Force sent in a few F-16s Fighting Falcons. Congrats to the Falcons who wound-up 9 and 3 …capturing the Commanders and Chief Trophy and assuring themselves a bowl game. The Rams wind up 10 and 2 …quite a turnaround from three years ago! Jim McElwain should be in the running for OUTSTANDING college Coach of the Year. It is ‘rumored’ the Florida Gators may be knocking on his door after the season? Absolutely, no!

Denver Broncosare making this season seem much more nerve racking than necessary. After getting shellacked by the New England Patriots, the Broncos were treated very rudely in St Louis. Kansas City on the road was was a really good game and the Broncos played amazingly well. The Bronco early offense set the tone and the defense was awesome. It will take a lot of intestinal fortitude to get through the remaining on-the-road games at San Diego and Cincinnati …very difficult games; we’ll have to wait and see! Although Green Bay beating New England while the Broncos knocked-off KC was gave the Bronco’s run to get to Super Bowl XLIX a bit of additional impetus. In the AFC, there could be some 10 or 11 win teams missing the playoffs in January, while at the same time, in the NFC South the division leader will be lucky to have 7 wins. Wow! Is this parity?

The Avs and Nuggets both got off to very slow starts, the Nuggets have rebounded to win six in a row to ‘right the ship’. The Avs need to go on a run of 5, 6, 7 games to get back into the Western Conference discussion – another “wait and see.” Maybe, Santa Claus will fill all the Avalanche Team’s socks …with greatness, not coal

Jim Weglarz

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