The Museletter is the monthly eNewsletter publication of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, delivered to your inbox the middle of every month. Occasional emails for upcoming events and Museum news also go out periodically. Sign up for our mailing list in the box on the right. Hard copies can be mailed upon request. Additional eBulletins go out an a regular basis to the Museum Volunteer Corps.
Most Recent Newsletter
Saturday, Dec. 21 | 1:30pm | White Glove Tour
Join us on the third Saturday of every month through April for a special behind-the-scenes look at our newest exhibit A Needle Pulling Thread: Selections form the CSPM Quilt Collection. FREE.
Saturday, Dec. 28 | 10:30am | Children’s HiSTORY Hour Join us for our monthly children’s program as we celebrate snow and learn about the fascinating history of photographing snow crystals with a reading of Snowflake Bentley and a fun snowflake craft! $1 suggested donation per child.
Saturday, Jan. 11 | 2pm | Pikes Peak Regional History Lecture Series
In conjunction with the exhibit From the Ashes: The Waldo Canyon Fire, join us as NewsChannel 13 Chief Meteorologist Matt Meister explores the weather conditions that preceded one of the most devastating natural disasters in the history of the region. $5 suggested donation at the door. Free for members.
Save the Date! Look for more upcoming programs on our website athttp://www.cspm.org/calendar-of-events/
Every Saturday | 12 noon | WINDOWS INTO HISTORY
Hear the stories of the Pikes Peak Region and tour the fascinating exhibits of CSPM on Saturdays at noon. Volunteer docents lead 30-minute tours every Saturday. No reservations required.
2013 YEAR IN REVIEW
What is the most significant, history making event for the Pikes Peak Region of 2013?
- Black Forest Fire
- Flooding in Region/Stormwater
- Recall of John Morse
- City for Champions State funding
Vote at cspm.org (scroll down to the bottom of the home page).
The collections and resources in the Starsmore Center for Local History (also known as the Museum Archives) were used extensively in 2013. Staff and volunteers facilitated over 1,500 research requests on a variety of topics related to the history and culture of the Pikes Peak Region. Additionally, five thousand historic photographs from our vast collections were scanned and are now available on the Museum’s website at http://www.cspm.org/research/. In June, former SCLH intern Rachel English (left) was hired through grant funds to help address our cataloging backlog and has completed work on 94 manuscript collections to date. We were also pleased to welcome four student interns from UCCS who received archival training and essential professional experience working on exhibit research projects and processing manuscript collections during the spring and fall semesters. Throughout the year we received an interesting variety of archival donations including: diaries, photograph albums, scrapbooks, books, maps and ephemera. All these materials help us document the personal, social, philanthropic and work lives of former and current residents of the Pikes Peak Region. If you are interested in viewing any of our collections, please contact our Archives Assistant Laura Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment. If you have objects or stories to share, please contact our Curator of History Leah Davis Witherow at email@example.com.
Early 2013 at CSPM was filled with “Space Saturdays” held in conjunction with our To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA exhibit, dozens of local students competing in the Henderson History Day, and young actors and historians who took part in the Young Chautauqua Experience. The CSPM education and programs staff along with several consultants and volunteers were also busy launching our new Hands on History Interactive Carts. The carts were debuted in June and the first of our volunteers to roll them out were 25 Junior Docents who interacted with hundreds of visiting summer camp participants, daycare groups, and members of the public throughout the summer. Our Adult Docents participated in cart trainings during the month of October and have since facilitated cart interactions with several self-guided school groups. In the several months since implementing the program, we have received very positive feedback about the hands-on experiences offered at the carts and are eager to supplement the carts to continually serve the needs of visiting schools and the public.
The weather was not in our favor for two of the Museum’s largest community events, as Colorado Day in August was rained out and Children’s Holiday Magic earlier this month occurred amidst a week of sub-zero wind chill temperatures. Nonetheless, hundreds of community members joined us as we celebrated Colorado statehood and the holiday season with live music, performances, crafts, and community partners.
Featured lecturers of this year’s monthly Pikes Peak Regional History Lecture Series have included several notable authors and scholars, a panel of three former astronauts, Executive Director of the Myron Stratton Home, and a local filmmaker, among others. Our monthly children’s program, Children’s HiSTORY Hour, has continually attracted dozens of children and families to the Museum for story time, crafts, and family-friendly tours of exhibits. We continue to offer weekly 30-45 minute Windows into History tours every Saturday, which feature several of our docents’ favorite exhibits. Finally, the CSPM offers several options for visiting families, school groups, and adult visitors. From self-guided handouts to guided tours with trained docents and Hands on History activities to “Museum Picture Hunts,” the CSPM has something to offer every one of our visitors who pass through our doors.
None of the Museum’s programs would be possible without the passionate service of the members of our Volunteer Corps. From our youngest Junior Docent who started 6th grade this fall to our most seasoned volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to fulfilling our mission for decades, the invaluable work of our volunteers is essential to the programming and other opportunities we are able to offer to the community.
The museum has acquired a number of exciting objects this year. Acquisitions include objects that tell the story of .Spencer Penrose, the family of Helen Hunt Jackson, the Myron Stratton Home, Van Briggle, Ray Heins, the Banning Lewis Ranch and the Manitou Springs Incline.
We learned more about how Spencer Penrose traveled when his valise was donated to the museum; the valise includes passport covers, playing cards, monogrammed silver cups, and flasks.
- Two Herndon Davis paintings of the Helen Hunt Jackson house were donated to the museum along with an early 19th century exercise chair and a Spanish leather bench used by the Jackson family.
- A mantel clock once used at the Myron Stratton home is now on exhibit at the museum.
- Our Van Briggle collection was enhanced by a 1902, design #62, vase.
- Ray Heins, a sign maker in the Pikes Peak region for over 50 years, donated tools and signs from his shop.
- A collection of over 200 winning ribbons awarded to the Banning Lewis Ranch was donated to the museum.
- When the Incline in Manitou Springs became legal, the “No Trespassing” sign was removed from the trail and is now part of our collection.
All of these objects will help us to preserve and share the cultural history of the Pikes Peak region.
As 2013 draws to a close, we can reflect on the many changes that took place throughout the museum; the obvious and the not so obvious. Naturally, the big changes that grab the visitor’s attention are the exhibits. In the spring Rocks, Minerals and Man was replaced by Stories in Stone in the Museum Experience gallery. Shortly thereafter, Snoopy Soars with NASA took flight (pardon the pun) in exchange for the brushstrokes of the International Watermedia 2013 Legacy Exhibition, guest curated by the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society. Unfortunately, as yet another fire raged in our community, From the Ashes: The Waldo Canyon Fire opened to commemorate the disaster from the previous summer. An anniversary of a different sort was recognized with the exhibit Caring for Those Less Fortunate: Celebrating 100 Years of the Myron Stratton Home in the space where Pedal Power: Cycling in Colorado Springs had been. Pedal Power was so popular that we decided to keep two bicycles in the main lobby area – an ordinary that is said to be the first in Colorado Springs and that of the “bicycle lady” Helen Jackson, great-niece of Helen Hunt Jackson. September saw the close of the watercolor show and the cool breezes of fall were aptly warmed by A Needle Pulling Thread: A Selection of Quilts from the CSPM Collection.
Although much of the year is spent on the installation of the aforementioned exhibits, a lot of time is dedicated to what the public will experience in 2014. The exhibit team is currently working on the new children’s exhibit, Journey to Pikes Peak and the next Museum Experience Memories of a Massacre: Perspectives on Ludlow; both set to open in the spring.
In an effort to update, finesse and efficiently utilize this lovely space we are so fortunate to inhabit, small changes are constantly being made. We have found through trial and error that many ideas work in theory but not necessarily in practice. In an effort to allow the visitor to feel more closely connected to original objects we experimented with not placing all artifacts in cases. Unfortunately, the absence of a barrier is often misinterpreted as a green light for touching. Since preservation is key, we have added clear acrylic walls to Helen Jackson’s bicycle and the American Indian clothing in Cultural Crossroads. In addition to moving the carriages on the third floor, we have added new stanchions as a barrier. They not only lend themselves to the “updating” referred to earlier, but also allow the visitor to see the artifacts more clearly as they blend into the environment more readily than the previous ones. We are currently in the process of placing new stanchions around the open objects in A Needle Pulling Thread as well. Interpretive areas in the exhibits are assessed on a regular basis as to whether they continue to be effective and in good working order; changes are made accordingly.
These are but a few of the tweaks that have been put in place throughout the year. As it is our goal to continually provide the best experience that we possibly can to the visitor, there’s a pretty good chance that each time you visit, you’ll find both something big and small that’s been installed or moved….we look forward to seeing you in 2014!
Join us, by making a gift today, to help us better embrace all of the significant stories in our community and engage the public in more unique and meaningful ways. As a free, community museum, your generosity makes community storytelling possible.