Historic Douglas County, Inc.
Welcome to February in Douglas County! February is the shortest month of the year in terms of days, but it is a big month when it comes to activities and events of historical societies, museums and historic venues in Douglas County. February has two unique National holidays: Valentines Day and Preidents’ Day …plus, we have another inimitable day, Punxsutawney Phil slips out of his winter’s, subterranean Hole of Paradise to attempt to see his own, personal shadow. If the Ole Puxter doesn’t find his shadow, we’re likely in for more winter …which means we likely will have some more Brrr-s as well as some of the white stuff that make our high-country ski folks ecstatic! Time will tell; watch the date, Thursday, February 2. Then, we’ll know! However, meteorological records show that the Ole Puxster has been right only 39% of the time since he’s popped out of the ground. With that record, we might have better luck if the little fellow doesn’t see his shadow this year; i.e., if we looking for an early spring.
Before we get into this month, let’s do a quick recap of last month’s 2017 entrance. Cherokee Ranch & Castle had a myriad of tours and teas at the Castle as well as a couple of very elegant brunches, brunches as only the Castle can host. Even though January is traditionally slow month, number of events speaking, January held a number of really entertaining and educational events. Highlands Ranch Historical Society (HRHS) sponsored a couple of their well-known RTD entertainment tours featuring Star Wars costumes at the Denver Museum of Art and a Boulder Dinner Theater musical, Thorougly Modern Millie, as well as a very interesting program, An Insiders Peek into Cherokee Castle. HRHS is always busy educating and entertaining folks around the metropolitan area. Castle Rock Historical Society & Museum had a good month in Museum visitations and hosted Ed Weising for an entertaining and educating program of Hoaxes, Scams & Schemes …no folks, this was not a program about government operations! Roxborough Area Historical Society hosted an evening with Thomas Jefferson in the personage of Jack Van Ins. Cherokee Castle had the Lionel Young Band with Godspeed to the Greats and, down south of the Douglas County border, Jack Anthony took us back to A Tale of Two Husteds, a Palmer Lake Historical Society presentation held at the Western Museum of Industry and Mining.
January was also the time for the traditional National Western Stock Show. The National Western set a couple of first-time records this year. First, was the customary drive of the longhorn steers down Broadway. Mother Nature, in her unpredictable style, conjured a early January storm that cancelled the bovine parade for the first time in history …not for the fury of the storm, which was little, but for the safety of life and limb for such an event on the snowy, icy street. Secondly, fifteen year old Mikal Grady from the cattle rich State of Texas captured a record $135,000 bid for her Grand Champion Black Angus steer. Congratulations to Makal. The 2017 National Western came in with snow and went out with sunny, blue skies! ‘Twas a very successful event.
Of course, historical societal events in January were not the only historical game that took place across this Country. We had the inauguration of the forty-fifth President of the United States and the Denver Broncos anointed a new coach. Another earth-shaking event happened on January 26 when the HDC Players debuted at Roxborough Elementary in January, initiating the Player’s 2017 run for the year …more to come regarding the “Players” as the year progresses!
February comes at Cherokee Castle with Tours and Teas for your winter enjoyment in the warmth of the Castle. And, February is the time at the Castle with royal treatment of its guests during two magnificent brunches. This may be your year to treat your favorite person to scrumptious food and that majestic touch with a Valentine’s Brunch at the Castle. If you miss the Valentine’s Brunch on February 12, you can do brunch at the Castle with the Castle’s Sunday Brunch on February 26. You’ll find that these brunches at the Castle will be remembered for a long time …and, all the brunches include a guided tour of the Cherokee Castle, adorned with Tweet Kimball’s unique collectibles and fashion. Yep, you gotta do the Cherokee Castle.
Up north of the Douglas County border, Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society hosts The Goodnight Legacies, a Historical Douglas County, Inc. (HDC) educational program, on Saturday, February 4, at the Smoky Hill Library. See the HDC Events Calendar for clock time. The Goodnight Legacies focuses on the mid-nineteenth century man that made a significant impact on the development and growth of the cattle industry in the west as well as education and the development of enterprises in southern Colorado, becoming an icon of history in his own time. As a advertising plug of HDC, check out the Education Resources on the HDC website for all the programs that HDC offers, FREE to schools and non-profit organizations.
On February 9 at the Phillip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, Castle Rock Historical Society & Museum presents Dr. Rebecca Schwendler from Paleo West Archaeolgy in a program about the historic Civilian Conservation Corps Camp near Castle Rock. This program is at 7:00 PM after light refreshments that are served at 6:45 PM. The Civilian Conservation Corps , created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was a public work, relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the New Deal era.
On Saturday, February 11, Cherry Creek Valley Historical Society hosts an Open House at Arapahoe County’s 17 Mile House Farm Park. This 150 year old venue, off the west-side of Parker Road north of Parker (Arapahoe County), was a place of relaxation of immigrating pioneers traveling the old Smoky Hill Trail. The 17 Mile House is where the trail-weary folks could rest themselves and their animals and get a real. home-cooked meal. The 17 Mile House Farm Park is a fun place for the whole family and gives one the opportunity to travel back to a much different time and way of life.
Historic events-wise, the Valentine’s Day Brunch at the Castle on February 12 is the last event before Valentine’ Day. The next historic event is on February 16 …and, I will get to that in a moment. However and a word to all you males out in our reader’s audience, even if you don’t make the Valentine’d Brunch at the Castle, remember that Valentine’s Day is on February 14. Yes, we males always forget one thing or another from time to time. However, with everything you do or don’t do, remember that Valentine’s Day is February 14. DON’T FORGET IT!. Doing so will give you, at the very least, heartburn. At the worst, your life, as you know it, could be over! Remember, forgetting Valentine’s Day for us males could well be seriously hazardous to our health! Okay, with that early warning, let’s get on with the history related February history-related events that occur after V-Day…
Down South of our Douglas County border in Palmer Lake, Palmer Lake Historical Society members Sigi and Mike Walker are presenting the program John C. Osgood: Colorado Coal Baron. This program of the Walker’s is really good. For those of you who know Sigi and Mike, you know that their undying history love is that of the railroads. Well, this program they do on John Osgood will give you good insight that the Walkers go way beyond railroad history! The Osgood program is being presented on February 16 at the Palmer Lake Town Hall.
The Nation’s Presidents’ Day holiday is on February 20. On the evening of February 20, Highlands Ranch Historical Society, hosts Wayne Watson in Hail to the Chiefs: Presidential Quirks. Watson’s unique presentation addresses the quirks of some of the lesser known Presidents of the United States during the nineteenth century, covering the period of twenty-two presidents from Jefferson to McKinley. This program is bound to entertain and educate in one package. Don’t miss it …February 20 at the Southridge Recreation Center auditorium (upstairs). Check the Highlands Ranch Historical Society’s February 20 program on the Events Calendar for registration instructions.
So there you go; that’s what is happening history-event-wise in and around Douglas County, Colorado during this month February. As I always remind our reader’s, keep checking this website’s Events Calendar during the month. There always seems to be late announced events that appear during the month. To all of you, have a very Happy Valentine’s Day with that special someone in your life and enjoy the winter’s month of February in Douglas County. Before I finish, let’s talk sports…
DENVER BRONCOS: Welcome Coach Vance Joseph! Coach played at CU, and has been in the NFL for many years; he should bring some discipline and leadership to the Broncos. Coach has reached out to two former Bronco coaches: Mike McCoy as Offensive Coordinator and Bill Musgrave as QB coach. Hopefully, these two additions will help working with our two, young quarterbacks. There’s also a new “O” Line Coach; good luck on this project! Now all the talk is turning to: “Should John Elway bring Tony Romo to the Broncos for an instant Super Bowl push?” I say “NO”; use the $ 8-10 million $$$ to improve the “O” line and add another “D” linemen. Romo is “damaged goods,” especially with the current “O” line, and it would harm the progress of both Siemian and Lynch. Let’s get a running game and protect our quarterbacks. I’m not quite sure why the Denver Post’s Mark Kiszla is so “doom and gloom! We have two promising young quarterbacks and, with good coaching, they should succeed!
DENVER NUGGETS: The Nuggets appear to be the sports savior for this winter season! This young group is beginning to gel. Of late, they have won 7 of 9, and are showing consistent improvement. At this time they are 21 – 25, with a chance to possibly get to .500 in the next two weeks.
COLORADO AVALANCHE: The Av’s are a DISASTER! I don’t know if anyone within the organization can pinpoint why! This team will be dismembered in the offseason …which means a 2-3 year rebuild! Now we know why St. Patrick walked away!
COLORADO ROCKIES: Two major moves for the bullpen, Mike Dunn and Greg Holland, should help quite a bit. The challenge will be with the starting pitching. This season could be the best the Rockies have seen since 2007. The everyday batting order will be loaded again, especially with Trevor Story back. All in all, 2017 might be shaping up as a very good year …we’ll wait and see!
COLLEGE BASKETBALL It does not look like any of our front Range teams will make the NCAA Tournament in March. Looks like a down year for CU; they are barely above .500 and have a dreadful record in the PAC 12. Pretty much the same is true for CSU, Wyoming and Air Force. On the bright side, however, the DU Pioneer hockey team is ranked #1 in the country; we’ll look forward to the Frozen Four.
SUPER BOWL LI …not a lot of surprises! Atlanta is the best team in the NFC, and the Patriots are the best team in the AFC. This will be only the 2nd appearance by the Falcons. The first trip ended up in a 34-19 loss to the Denver Broncos in John Elway’s final NFL game. I think the Falcons might have a good chance on Sunday; they appear to have a fairly balanced team …which they’ll need to beat the Patriots. Old Man Brady just keeps on throwing to his fleet of receivers. The key will be: “Just how good is the Patriots defense against an offensive juggernaut like the Falcons? We’ll find out on Sunday …check this column in another week; I’ll have a follow-up to the Super Bowl LI battle.
Sincerely and Happy Valentine’s Day,