Historic Douglas County, Inc.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” …Ronald Reagan
July is upon us! And with July, we enter the one month of the year when that is truly dedicated to celebrating our American Independence. In Douglas County, that reflection is embodied in our history and our culture. We celebrate America …our freedom and our right to be truly individual. Freedom is not an entitlement. Freedom is a God-given right for which we must constantly fight to keep alive. If Freedom were a color, Freedom would be crimson for the blood of all of those who have given their lives to establish it and those who constantly protect it. God bless America! There are a number of historical events this month in and around Douglas County that are very focused on what it means to be an American and those who protect that great gift. Take a look at the Events Calendar for July and make it a point to attend and enjoy one or two of those events or programs.
This past June was a good month. We received a lot of moisture and cool, spring-like weather before reaching the Summer Solstice, officially on Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 10:39 AM MDT. Summer’s arrived! One could almost see the lights dim momentarily across the state when air conditioners were snapped to the “On” position in late June.
June saw a lot of historical event activity. Larkspur Historical Society, along with the Town of Larkspur and the Larkspur Chamber of Commerce, started the month of June with Settlers’ Day in the park …everything from mountain men, old turn-of-the-century stores and games to nighttime bonfires and dancing to the music of Kantankerous. Parker Area Historical Society entertained with Archivist Shaun Boyd’s Pioneer Women of Douglas County and the 1965 Flood stories and experiences were told at the Phillip S. Miller Library. Highlands Ranch Historical Society hosted a fascinating overview by Jennifer Hankinson of the Littleton Museum, of the City of Littleton and the Museum and Farm. There were also tours. Highlands Ranch Historical Society hosted an RTD tour of Mythical Creatures at the Museum of Natural History as well as a tour to see the Denver Mountaineers’ Stars and Stripes Forever. Castle Rock Historical Society hosted one of their famous walking tours. Up in Arapahoe County, Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society held an Open House at Seventeen Mile House and, down south of the Douglas County border, Palmer Lake Historical Society presented a intriguing program by Author Mel McFarland, Trains in the Ute Pass. Castle Rock Historical Society held another of its walking tours and Cherokee Ranch and Castle held musicals and spring, turning-to-summer hikes. June was fun indeed.
One of the most memorable events was a stirring tribute to Penny Burdick at the Nationally Registered Spring Valley School. Larkspur Historical Society, Douglas County and the Douglas County Historic Preservation Board; dedicated a plaque honoring posthumously Penny Burdick who was an active, dedicated individual in preserving Douglas County History. You can read about the event at News and relive the event on a video by Barton Videography at Spring Valley Sign Commemoration. As said before, June was a great month! …now comes July!
Although we celebrate our Independence as a nation all year long, July is the month that encompasses our National Independence Day and the month’s historical activities take a strong bent on themes surrounding our Freedom and Independence. Across Colorado just about every town, resort and major subdivision have parades and fireworks …from Telluride to Fort Morgan …from Grand Junction to Burlington. Some of these events carry the “mega” tag with them! However, if you want to take in the smaller, fun, traditional and family ultra-friendly events that reflect a bit more on historic, pioneering times, try communities like Sedalia in Douglas County and the Pioneer 4th. Celebration in Elbert County’s Kiowa. Both are great fun and you get and your family get to step a bit back into Colorado’s rural Americana. Yes, both events are on July 4 …check the July Event Calendar for more detail.
On July 9, Castle Rock Historical Society hosts Ralph Dergance in the History of Lockheed Martin. This interesting program gives agreat insight to one of the really fantastic space industries in Douglas County.
Saturday, July 11, is a really busy weekend! Douglas County Public Libraries and Historic Douglas County, Inc. presents the third in the WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE (WDYTYA?) series. This event will be held in southern part of the County at Larkspur (the Larkspur Fire Station), featuring the history of the Larkspur area and the Divide Country. Also, on Saturday, June 11, up in the northeast sector of the County, Parker Area Historical Society will be holding its annual, Moore Ranch Chuckwagon Dinner. This event is at the Moore Ranch and features Cherokee Nation member Bailey Phelps with Tales of Tribal Nations. The Moore Ranch Chuckwagon Dinner is a tradition and something you might want to consider if you haven’t ever attended …get more information about the event on HDC’s July Events Calendar. And, here’s a “Two birds with one stone idea. Just north of Parker (on Parker Road) in Arapahoe County, Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society is holding an Open House at the Seventeen Mile House and Farm Park. Hence, you could attend the 17 Mile House Open House in the afternoon and then do the Chuckwagon Dinner and Tales of Tribal Nations in the evening …darn, you could almost do this on your bicycle since the two events are so close in proximity!
So, let’s consider that you just might not be a chuckwagon food person …you can always try Crawfish at the Castle! Yes,the Cherokee Ranch & Castle folks are hosting a crawfish boil along with great Louisiana Zydeco music. Again, check out the July Events Calendar for more information. Holy Columbo! What a weekend!
The third week of July is as busy with events as the first two weeks! Down south of the border, Douglas County’s border that is, Palmer Lake Historical Society presents retired Naval Reserve Commander Dick Cooper with a fascinating and educational program, Four Navy Ships Named USS Colorado. Roxborough Area Historical Society has a very interesting program on July 17, Mountain Jeannie …who was this woman anyway? True legend or mythological? Down south (Again …of Douglas County’s border), Palmer Lake Historical Society and One Nation Walking present 7th Annual Colorado Springs Native American Intertribal Festival And Traditional Powwow. If you have never attended a powwow, you’ll not want to miss this great event on July 18. Check HDC’s July Event Calendar for all this powwow offers and times.
The fourth week has three events and they are really superb events. Two of the events are hosted by the Highlands Ranch Historical Society (HRHS). The first event is the HRHS’s traditional Monday night (July 20) historical program, featuring Dr. Jeff Broome and his account of the Cheyenne War: Indian Raids on the Roads to Denver, 1864-1869. If you haven’t heard Dr. Broome, you are in for a great treat. The second Highlands Ranch Historical Society event is a Saturday afternoon event (July 25 at 2:00 PM). This is the fourth in the WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE series. This Douglas County Libraries – Historic Douglas County, Inc. sponsored event will be held at the Jamie LaRue Library in Highlands Ranch.
So folks, there you go; I just don’t know how July could be any better in beautiful Douglas County, Colorado! The last event in July is on July 31, Colorado Agriculture Leadership Foundation’s (CALF’s) 2015 Legend of Agriculture Award Dinner. Each year the Legend of Agriculture Award Dinner is really a well-presented and respected event. As usual, the Award Dinner kicks off the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo and is held at the Douglas County Events Center. This year, CALF is honoring Douglas County Young Farmers & Homemakers. See ya there! Now, before I become complete winded, let me follow my usual course and say a few words about Colorado sports.
WOW! Here it is July and we have hit the Summer “Sports Doldrums“!
The only team playing is the Rockies, and we know how that’s going this season, current record is 33 – 42. Same story, pitching cannot compete with the rest of baseball. The last weekend of June was a good example: The Rockies were leading both Saturday and Sunday against the Giants, but could not seal the deal; two losses instead of two wins! Are the Rockies better than last year? …marginally better, but they will still lose 85-90 games …hopefully not more than 90!
The Nuggets …interesting NBA draft, selecting one of the best point guards available! I guess Ty Lawson will be wearing the “For Sale” sign this Summer? New Coach Mike Malone will have his hands full come October. But Malone likes to run, and the Nuggets usually do better when they run …we’ll see. Oh, by the way, Lebron James is a free agent, do you think the Nuggets will make an offer?
The Avalanche …not quite sure what to make of the NHL draft. The Avs traded their first round pick for more late round picks …seems clear the message from Sakic and Roy is, “We have the right players, now go, play hard and win!” Sakic did pull off what may turn out to be a very good trade, sending Ryan O’Reilly (salary dispute) to Buffalo for a 6’ 5” 220 lbs. defenseman. Now that’s a lot of beef at the blue line!
The Broncos …training camp opens in mid-July (REALLY?). You have to believe that this will be Manning’s final season; he will turn 40 prior to the 2016 season. I’ll bet you can’t name too many NFL quarterbacks who were playing after the Big Four Zero! The Bronco’s upcoming season’s schedule is very difficult, featuring many playoff teams. The AFC West is no pushover and seems to get better each year. Can the Broncos win 12 games? Elway and Kubiak believe the answer is “Yes.” We’ll see how the first four games play out. Thomas back in the fold would certainly help. Yes, Thomas is a lot of $$$$; but he’s the best wide receiver since the Super Bowl years …just ask Rod Smith!