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Park County Historical Society

July 2022

Bailey Days

June 2022
Each year Bailey Day gets better and better.  And, this year was no exception!

Two days of festivities!
In addition to dozens of venders offering Colorado wares, there were festivities planned for all ages, including many activities at McGraw Memorial Park.

All the historic structures at McGraw Park were open for visitors and there were bands, games, and events to please everyone.

The success of Bailey Days at McGraw Park doesn't just happen on its own. It takes a lot of hard work and support of many volunteers and contributors.

Following are a few that deserve our gratitude.

A heartfelt thanks to:
  • Tom Cordas for bringing history artifacts from battles of 150 years ago.  He is a perfect addition to our event.  
  • Tom and Denise Klinger for bringing narrow gauge railroad history to us.  They will return for a railroad history presentation in August.  
  • Harv Hisgen for the years of work bringing the incredible survey work of Zebulon Montgomery Pike to our attention.  His survey during the harsh winter of 1806 got to Hartsel and even close to the future site of Fairplay.  These sites deserve designation as a National Historic Trail.  
  • Erin Pulsifer and Alison Zan from South Park City.  They preserve a whole historic town in Fairplay that you really want to visit.  
  • Ridge Runners Square Dance Club. Keeping down home dancing alive. 
  • Ten members of the Peak Dance Academy performed their new Aerial Dance for us. Their athletics and artistry amazed the crowd. 
  • Joe Landini for the enormous work he donated to turn the Annex (walk-in closet) into the Heritage Center (presentation venue).
Our Sponsors:
  • Ed and Peg Hayslett from the Hayslett group sponsored the professional Paul Walker Band.   
  • Dr. Sheila Rice Watkins from Crow Hill Vet sponsored both Hillbilly Aliens and Randall McKinnon.  Both fit perfectly with our history theme.
  • Jeff Shippen and Kim from Chill Squirrel (our neighbor), sponsored the Kids History Treasure Hunt.
And, the success of Bailey Days at McGraw Park could not have been achieved without the planning and organizational skills of Board Member, Jim Glenn. Thanks for all your hard work Jim!

If you were able to attend, you have a fun-filled day. If you were not able to attend, here are a few short videos of what you missed:

Start McGraw Park Bailey Days 2022 with a bang
Hillbilly Aliens Gospel song
Paul Harlan Cowboy Poet - Can you pick up a bra
Hillbilly Aliens singing some Gospel on Sunday
Ridge Runners - Square Dancing
Peak Dance Academy-Aerial Dance

The Park County Historical Society is planning another gold panning trip in August.

What is your preference?
We could return to the Fairplay Beach for a $10 one day entry fee, Or, go to Gold Prospectors of Colorado Beaver Creek claims for $25 single and $35 per couple for a one year membership and be able to come back for a whole year.

Let us know your preference and we will try to accommodate the majority.
Saturday, July 16, 2022

Tour of Paris Mill & Buckskin Joe
Saturday, July 23, 2022
PCHS Heritage Center
39 CR 68
Bailey CO 80421
Colorado Great Depression Gold Rush
The Oliver Twist Tunnel
V. Larry Frank Jr.
The year was 1931. The Great Depression was settling in for a prolonged stay while Leadville's mining district struggled to stay afloat. A few courageous local investors saw a ray of hope in the old gold mines high atop Mosquito Pass, and bet that they could make the old workings pay. George and Robert Elder were two of those investors, and this is the story of their role in Colorado's Great Depression gold rush. The father and son team put their savings and their sweat into the London Mountain Gold Mining 
Company, working devotedly to coax a bonanza from the old Oliver Twist Tunnel. They, and the men who worked for them, endured violence, bank closures, mine accidents, and the forbidding conditions of 13,185 foot high Mosquito Pass. Robert Elder's original photographs bring the story of a small, hard-working mining company in the Great Depression to life.
This will be our first presentation in our new Heritage Center.  We are very proud of the new facility and look forward to showing it off.  However, we are only able to seat about 45 guests. So, please try to arrive early to reserve your seat.
Purchase your tickets on-line with PayPal or credit card.

We have even more great events planned just for YOU!

August 27 -- Tom Klinger  Railroads in Bailey and South Park Area. There is simply no one better informed to speak about railroading in Park County

September 24 -- Erin Pulsipher  Curator of South Park City. There are so many topics Erin could speak on. We are looking forward to having her back

October 22 — Costumed speaker  Details are in the works. Stay tuned.

All events are scheduled for 3:00pm so that our guests can get home at a reasonable hour.

We have a new publication in the works!
Shawnee Historic District
This publication is long overdue. It is a compilation of several sources that tell the historic story of Shawnee, Colorado. Sources include:
  • The Colorado Cultural Survey, OAHP1403 - Revision 9, 1998
  • Azel Slaght Timeline  by Jane Gilsinger, Park County Local History Archives
  • Slaghts by Jane Gilsinger, Park County Local History Archive
  • History of Charles Tyler Homestead by Rhonda Dusatko
  • Images from the Park County Local History Archives and private collections.
Currently, this publication is in the final stages of review by members of "History Shawnee" and other community residents.  Once the review is complete we will publish and make it available on our on-line store.

Caboose 10600
Platform Repair
The 10600 Caboose has been a cornerstone of McGraw Memorial Park for nearly fifty years. It is a popular attraction for both the young and the not so young.

While under our care, much has been accomplished. Repairs have been made, paint scraped and repainted, seats recovered and many more tasks, both large and small, have been completed. However, one major task has eluded our attention for decades - repair of the end platforms.

These platforms were already damaged when we received the caboose in 1973. Recently, with the help of several volunteers, one end platform has been repaired. Only one more to go.

Beginning this month we will begin working on the remaining platform. It is no easy task and will likely take most of this season to complete. But, once completed, we will be able to take this off our "To Do" list......finally!
We could not accomplish the things we do without the support of our volunteers.

This season is no different from years past and do we have a job for you!
Sprinkler System for the Park

Installing a sprinkler system at the Park has been on our "To Do" list for a long time.  Perhaps you can help accomplish our goals.

We are working up a bid to do the technical stuff (valves, valve boxes and PVC).  We need volunteers to do trenching for our contractor to come in to install the lines.  Volunteers would dig, backfill and tamp down the lines.  We don't think the trenches need to be very deep.  Just deep enough for the sprinkler heads.

We would love to get some volunteer trenchers to keep costs down. The goal is to install enough sprinkler system to water the center area just enough to allow the native grasses (wheat grass, oat grass) to recuperate from the foot traffic it gets. 

Say goodbye to the Willows

We have received permission from Denver Water to cut down the willows along the river at the Park.  We believe making the river visible will greatly enhance the setting for our visitors.

There are a couple conditions.  The slash has to be removed. It can not be put in the river.  Ideally, it could be chipped up for use in the Park. Otherwise, it will have to be hauled away. We also need to inform Denver Water when the work begins.

So, if you are willing and able to help with this task, drop us a note.
I would like to volunteer
Join or renew your PCHS annual membership now.
Aside from periodic fundraisers and donations, the primary source of our funding is our membership program. The funds raised are used to pay our utility expenses, maintain and supply our public restrooms, make repairs to our historic buildings, landscaping, trail maintenance, insurance, tax preparation, website, and fees to maintain our tax exempt status.  Needless to say, the term "non-profit" applies to our organization in every way. We need your help.

There are several yearly membership plans available to fit your needs. They are:
Student K-12
Senior Individual
You may join or renew on-line using your PayPal account or credit card.
Join or renew you membership on-line
Or, you may select your membership plan and make payment by check.
Join or renew your membership by check.
Or, if you are already a member and still want to help, you can always make a donation.
Donate to support the PCHS

Meet an Artifact
Just what is an "Artifact"?

"An artifact is an object made by a human being. Artifacts include art, tools, and clothing made by people of any time and place. The term can also be used to refer to the remains of an object, such as a shard of broken pottery or glassware. Artifacts are immensely useful to scholars who want to learn about a culture."

The Society is honored to serve as custodian of numerous artifacts that relate to the history and heritage of Park County. Some may be a scrap of wood, a weathered sign, a craftsman's tool, and - even though not man-made - the remains of a 10,000-year-old Columbian Mammoth.

Beginning with this issue, we will highlight just a few items we have in our archives.  We will begin with one of our prize possessions, the Bailey Blue Star Banner.
While many will know what a Blue Star Banner is, some may need a reminder.
Blue Star Banner
It is an American tradition to display a Blue Star Service Banner in the window of a home when a loved one is proudly serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. As Americans support troops deployed overseas, the Blue Star Service Banner is a reminder that war touches every neighborhood.
This "Bailey Blue Star Banner" hung in the Entriken Cabin for a couple decades.  It is worn, stained, wrinkled, and dirty with age. A small corner has been torn off. Perhaps as a memento or more likely by someone who just needed a little rag. Regardless of its "warts" it has special meaning to the Bailey community.

It has eleven blue stars, each bering the name of a service member. The gold star, signifying the death of a service member is blank. Perhaps the gold star is symbolic to remember all veterans who gave all in service of their country. Or, perhaps it is in remembrance of one who gave all.

So, who are these service members? I am sure some will recognize some of these veterans. Perhaps some are family members. If so, we should like to hear from you.
The photo on the left shows the banner at the soda fountain in McGraw store. (c. early 1900) Helen (with doll) and Charles, children of Lance & Jane McGraw. (Photo courtesy Park County Local History Archives)

The World War I service banner was made by Mrs. Alanson (Jane) McGraw, Mrs. Charles Fitzsimmons ( Emma) Fitzsimmons.

The names written on each star beginning at top then left to right are:
  • Bennie Tyler (Shawnee) 
  • Howard Bannon (Bailey) 
  • Clarence Wilson (Bailey) 
  • Marion Campbell (Deer Creek) (missing from our banner)
  • Edwin Proctor (Bailey) 
  • James S. Proctor Jr. (Bailey) 
  • Archie Price (Shawnee) 
  • David H.M. Strong 
  • A. Lynn McArthur (Shawnee) 
  • Elmer D. Knox 
  • George Andrist (Pine) 
  • Perry Fitzsimmons (Bailey) 
You will notice that two stars are missing from the banner. Reasons why are unknown. Perhaps our banner predated the one shown in the early 1900s image. Also, our banner includes one gold star. Perhaps this gold star is in remembrance of Marion Cambell, whose name is missing from our banner.
We want to preserve this banner in a manner to keep it for generations to come. We could use your support.

There are many ways to preserve this banner, some more expensive than others. If framed properly, we would like to display it in our Heritage Center in remembrance of all who served.

To frame it properly in a "shadow box" we estimate the cost would be $600-700. Obviously, we can not afford such a project on our own.

If you would like to help preserve this piece of Bailey history, consider a restricted donation.

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Park County Historical Society
Box 43
Bailey, CO  80421

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Park County Historical Society · Box 43 · Bailey, CO 80421 · USA

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