Celebrating Our COS@150 Collaborators - CSPM

Celebrating Our COS@150 Collaborators

Leah Davis Witherow, CSPM Curator of History

After months of intense work, the CSPM staff is proud to share the COS@150 exhibit with the public, both in person and through the virtual exhibit on our website. To say the least, this exhibit was a challenge to research, plan, and develop. Additionally, we opened the gallery six months early, which allows the public to immediately begin exploring Colorado Springs’ rich history prior to the sesquicentennial anniversary on July 31, 2021.

To encourage visitors to make their way through 150 years of history from 1871 to 2021 – we devised an innovative approach: using 150 objects to examine 150 stories illuminating 150 years of history. Objects are grouped together by decade, with roughly ten assembled for each ten years, but not necessarily one for every year of our history. After examining our archival and artifact collections, we held a series of discussions to narrow down the topics and objects, and solicited input from the public.

To be honest, it was extremely hard to narrow our complex history into 150 stories. Nearly impossible in fact. However, as historians we make choices on what to include in every exhibit based on a close reading of primary sources, secondary literature, our collections, and a deep understanding of our community, state, and national history. We also build partnerships with local individuals and organizations who are always willing to lend their expertise.

Every object in the gallery is accompanied by an 85 (or so) word story written by the Curator. This short-form story connects the object to our history and explains why it matters. Additionally, community contributors submitted longer 450 (or so) word narratives which appear on the COS@150 exhibit webpages. We cannot thank these contributors enough! They worked hard to ensure that every object and story was accompanied by a longer explanation, and conducted original research to complete their narratives and supply them to the museum under tight deadlines.

Additionally, many individuals in the community were willing to be interviewed for this exhibit, or to supply photographs, archival materials, and objects to help fill both the gallery and our online exhibit. The COS@150 was truly a community endeavor. And this is exactly how it should be as our community’s history belongs to all of us! We hope you enjoy visiting the COS@150 exhibit in-person or online and Happy Sesquicentennial to everyone!

List of contributors to the "COS@150" Exhibit:

Cynthia Aki
Councilmember Yolanda Avila
Raymond Alvarado
Alex Archuleta
The Archuleta Family
Daniel Benson
Jeff Bieri
Barry Binder
Cate Noyes Boddington
Tim Boddington
Gary Bradley
Amanda Bristol
Tanja Britton
Linda Broker
Vince Bzdek
Colorado College, Office of Communications
Susan Davies
Bertram Hayes Davis
Gregg Deal
Brad Doer
Susan Edmonson
Rachel English
Marjorie Swearingen Erickson
Kay Esmiol
Gabrielle Friesen
Gregory Friesen
Goose Gossage

John Harner
Elizabeth Harper
Dwight Haverkorn
Rachel English
John Hazlehurst
Lyda Hill
David Isbell
Chauncey and Charles Johnson
Patience Kabwasa
Helene Knapp
Patrick Lee
Brett Lobello
Gary Loo
McAllister House Museum
Candice McKnight
Guy McPherson
Franklin Macon
Mary Mashburn
Matt Mayberry
Pat Musick
Cara Nakata
Chris Nicholl
Harlan Ochs
Cathy Ochs
The Ornelas Family
Jo Orsborn
John Orsborn

Laszlo Palos
Andy Phelps
Heather Poll
James Proby
Ed Ragain
Nick Ragain
Ralph Routon
Jo Ruth
Joyce Salazar
Jim Sciegel
Caitlin Sharpe
Richard Skorman
Brianne Smith
Alan Steiner
Katherine Scott Sturdevant
Rick Sturdevant
Eric Swab
Claire Swinford
LaVonne Taylor
Darryl Thatcher
Deborah Thornton
James Tucker
Christian Valvano
Jim Wahl
Melissa Walker
Sarah Woods

COS@150 Virtual Exhibit

Explore the 150 stories and 150 objects online.