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Park County Historical Society

January 2023
Happy New Year everyone!
All of us at the Historical Society wish you and yours the very best for the coming year and beyond.  
For many, the New Year begins January 1st. However, the Chinese New Year begins January 22nd. This year is known as the year of the Rabbit.  

On January 22, 2023, the Asian community will celebrate the Lunar New Year, 4721 on the Chinese calendars, which is the Year of the Rabbit.

The rabbit is the fourth animal of the Chinese Zodiac. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are gentle and approachable. They have a modest attitude and maintain a pleasant relationship with others. They do not irritate easily, and they also avoid quarrels as much as possible. They have a decent, noble, and elegant manner.

A couple things come to mind.  While we cherish our history and heritage, it pales in comparison to the history and heritage of others. Secondly, the qualities of the Year of the Rabbit are qualities to strive for.

Happy 2023 to all of Park County Historical Society Members, both past and present. 

As an update I wanted to share with all of you our mission on preservation for McGraw Park. 

This is on going as our 100 plus year old buildings in the Park always are in need of repairs. 

Over the Covid Years we have continued trying to increase our memberships and we have offered presentations from very talented speakers to bring more interest and revenue into McGraw Park. This along with being the only public restroom in Bailey proper has brought serious challenges. Our water bill alone costs us thousands per year then we add electric and supplies. We are struggling to continue to serve our public with basic needs. 

We continue looking for grants and asking our local businesses and chamber for help finding solutions. 

If you have let your membership lapse please consider rejoining the Park County Historical Society again or help us with any contributions you may be able to donate. 

We are all volunteers and we take care of our Park and buildings along with watering and planting in spring and summer. Please come and enjoy McGraw Park and remember this beauty exists because of your generosity. Our members are our prized possessions. 

Have a wonderful 2023 

Linda Watson
President, Park County Historical Society

We have been busy publishing the history and heritage of Park County.
Over the past few months, we have published about 25 books on Park County's historical landmarks and districts. The primary purpose of the effort is to get the research and historical surveys out of the file cabinets and into the hands of those who cherish the history and heritage of Park county.  

Secondly, we offer these publications for sale at cost plus a small profit that goes to support the ongoing expenses and projects of the Society.

If you love history and want to support our mission, all the publications are available to order on our website. Just click on the following button.
Park County History Publications
Titles Include

Shawnee Historic District
Life and Times of Harold Warren
Historic Cemeteries - Park County
History of Ranching in South Park
Tourist Handbook - 1898
Historic Stories and Legends
Mary and James Lamping
Tarryall Road - Park County
Remembrances of South Park
Memories of Whistles & Smoke
Kiowa Lodge

South Park City
KG Ranch
The Snowstorm
Deatherage/Gibbs Place
Fairplay Hotel
Como Cemetery
The Fairplay Cook Book
Trout Creek Ranch
Tarryall Rural Historic District
Guiraud-McDowell Ranch
Bailey, Colorado
Colorado Mining Industry

And more....
About the process:

We publish these books using an on-line publishing service, Why?

We use an on-line service because we don't have to maintain a costly inventory. We only have to purchase one copy to make the publication available from the publisher.  All publication sales are made directly from the publisher. This works great for us as we don't have to get involved maintaining an inventory, shipping and collecting sales tax.

However, we understand that not everyone has the ability or desire to order on-line. With that in mind, we will have 2-3 copies of each publication available next Spring at the Heritage Center for purchase.  
We really do love our volunteers!

They are the backbone of all that we do. We couldn't begin to accomplish our goals without them, We are forever grateful for their support.
This Spring, probably sometime in May, we will host our annual "Volunteer Appreciation Day". This is our opportunity to thank all those who have given freely of their time and energy. And, perhaps recruit a few more volunteers.

In addition to food and refreshments, we plan to add some new events. We have not finalized the plans yet, but here is what we are thinking.
  • Food - Oh yes, there will be "all you can eat".
  • Tours of all our historic buildings including the Heritage Center.
  • Perhaps some music to lighten the mood.
  • A silent auction of items we no longer need.
  • Book sale of all our publications.
Existing or future volunteer, we hope to see your there! All are welcome.

We suspect everyone has a list of projects that need doin'. For us, our list is never ending. Our ability to complete our projects is dependent on resources and funding. Priority is often given to safety issues and the preservation of our historic structures.

Last year we were able to complete several projects. Some projects, however, were interrupted with the weather. 

We made good progress restoring the bumper on the Caboose.  It was disassemble, a task in itself. The parts were taken off-site and they will be restored and painted to be ready to install come Spring.

We replaced several pieces of decking on the Keystone Bridge. This was an important project because it created a safety hazard for our many visitors. Due to the cold weather we were unable to complete the sealing of the decking. That will be done when the weather warms up in the Spring.

After years of delay, we were able to begin the installation of a sprinkler system. The trenches were dug and the piping and sprinkler heads were installed.  But, once again, Mother Nature brought the project to a halt.  We will complete the project in the Spring.

Our plan is to maintain the small grassy area in the center of McGraw Park. This area is used by our many visitors and is the prime location for festivities, including Bailey Days and other community events. 

While the sprinkler system will be a great enhancement to the Park, it remains to be seen if we can afford the expense.  Our utility expenses are already at unbearable levels. This project may cause us to cut expenses or find additional sources of funding.

One project we were able to complete - removal of five dead or dying Cottonwood trees.  These trees posed a safety hazard for our visitors and historic structures.  While we would have liked to take care of this task ourselves, we quickly determined that it was best to hire a professional.

We hired Emery's Tree Service for the task.  They were quick and efficient and got the trees down, mulched, and cleaned up in just a few hours.  Highly recommend them for any tree work you may need.
Projects in the works
As many know, the Society operates and maintains the only public restroom in Bailey...and beyond.

Unfortunately, we have to close the restrooms in the winter months because they are not heated.  A project for this year is to secure funding to provide heat to both restrooms and our utility room.  Hopefully, we can secure funding before the 2023 winter season arrives.
The Heritage Center is also unheated. Well, that's not quite true. It has one electric baseboard heater that we set just high enough to keep the room from freezing. It really isn't sufficient to heat the room and is too expensive to operate.
We have secured a 100 gallon used propane tank and plan to install a wall mounted radiant heater. It should be sufficient to comfortably heat the space so we can continue having meetings during the winter months.  

Wouldn't it be great if we were able to commit our limited funds toward advancing our mission instead of utility and maintemence expenses? 


A person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.
Last year we were able to implement a long standing goal - opening our historic buildings in McGraw Park on a regular basis.

This accomplishment was made possible by volunteers who scheduled their time to be able to open the buildings two days a month. We are forever grateful for their support.

So, what does a docent do? First and foremost, be available to answer any questions our visitors may have related to the historic buildings in the Park and the history and heritage of Park County.

This summer, we hope to expand the program by recruiting more volunteers and having the buildings open more often. But, that greatly depends on you.

If you can afford to serve as a docent for one day a month, we want to hear from you. The pay is terrible, but the rewards are great.

Don't worry about your knowledge of the buildings in the Park. We will supply you with all the information you will need. And, of course, you will get your very own Docent Badge.

If you are interested in seeing as a docent please contact Board member Jim Glenn.

There are more ways to help.

What does the Park County Historical Society do other than open the doors to the buildings occasionally?

We are all volunteers who give our time and resources to make McGraw Park welcoming and educational. We  have big dreams for the perfect property that has been passed down to us for care.

We like to have fun sharing the historic buildings and history of the amazing people who came before us. We share with all generations our appreciation for the extremely brave and adventurous pioneers that made this their home.

Our small group needs volunteers interested in parks and history. 

We welcome all the talents you may have to offer. You can decide the days and hours you want to offer your assistance. We are happy if you can help us out 1-2 hours weekly or monthly according to your convenience and desires. 

Thanks for considering enjoying time near the river, at the best location in Bailey, to help beautify our community and maintain the treasures we share from our history. Donations of time, money and grants are the only way we can keep McGraw Park open.  

Here are a few ways you can help! 

  • Gardening: planting, weeding, deadheading, pruning, watering, and mowing 
    • This is a great opportunity to learn from our Master Gardener, Jim Glenn.  He knows what does best at our elevation.
  • Donations of topsoil, grass seed or sod, mulch, plants, garden tools
  • Organizing paperwork and files
  • Maintenance of all kinds, inside and outside
  • Cleaning 
  • Displays and photo arrangements 
  • Preserving or repairing furniture
  • Window washing
  • Cleaning restrooms and keeping them supplied
  • Paint/Painting interior and exterior 
  • Social networking 
  • Costumes from the 1800s-early 1900s for docents
  • Publicity to spread the word of where we are and what we offer to Park County 
  • Coordinating with businesses, schools, churches, and other Historical Societies
  • Music, stories, songs, poems, etc.
  • Historical classes or demonstrations of "how we did it in the good old days." 
If you are interested in helping please contact Board member Jim Glenn or click on the button below.
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

Mystery Native American
This handsome Native American bust has been in our care for several decades. Apparently, long before we began keeping good records of donations. There is much we don't know about it.
  • Where did it come from?
  • Who donated it?
  • Who does it represent?
Efforts to find information have been fruitless. However, a couple good leads produced the following:
  • The Raymond Library in Connecticut has one but they have no information.  However, they have heard the Native American is Mohegan Tribe and suggested we contact the Tantaquidgeon Museum.
  • An inquiry to the Tantaquidgeon Museum Director produce no additional information except: "My mother had one in the 90s and suspected it was mass produced."
  • A search of Google Lens revealed there is a colored chalk version available. 
  • An inquiry to the Collectors Weekly website produced: They are better known as "Cigar Bust". They are marked "Copyright 1900, The Bailey Co." on the back.
  • A search of past auctions revealed that a painted chalk version sold in November 2011 for $450.
The Native American bust is located in the Entriken Cabin. Perhaps as a reminder of Chief Colorow, who visited Elizabeth often, especially when there were hot biscuits to be had.

So, that is what we know. Hopefully, one of you will help with additional information.

Here is the colored chalk ware version. Perhaps the coloring of the sash will lead to an identification of the tribe.
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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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