It’s About Time column: Recognizing Glenwood’s History Heroes
It’s About Time
As 2019 is now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to acknowledge those folks who have contributed to preserving our local history.
One of the more fun and important parts of my job as executive director is making recommendations to the Glenwood Springs Historical Society’s board of directors as to who should receive our History Hero award.
This year we are giving four awards.
The first category is for outstanding individual achievement and goes to Dan Coffey, for providing high-resolution scanning of the Frontier Museum photographs and negatives from the John Schutte Collection. The Schutte photographs are one of our most prized archives. Dan invested 1,200 hours in this job as a pure labor of love. By performing this time-consuming task, Dan has provided a digital backup of hundreds of important frozen-in-time scenes from Glenwood’s past.
Born in 1891, John Schutte was the postmaster of Glenwood Springs, who in his spare time became a prolific photographer capturing the everyday lives of people and outdoor scenes throughout the valley for over 40 years.
Thanks to John’s grandson Terry Wilson, who donated the Schutte Collection to the historical society, some of John’s photos are on special display at the Frontier Museum.
The next award goes to Bill, Jan, Jill and Roger of the Bullock family for providing space and support for the Doc Holliday Collection in the basement of their store at Ninth and Grand.
With Bullocks’ team of Betty, Bethany, Lyndsay Jo, Tyler and Zee, we are able to keep the collection open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., seven days a week.
Bullocks is the perfect location for highlighting Holliday’s life and legend since Doc spent the last six months of his life on the third floor of what was then the Glenwood Hotel, which burned to the ground in 1945. Doc passed in 1887.
The Glenwood Springs Garden Club has been serving the community for 80 years. To commemorate this milestone the members honored the historical society by placing a metal bench in the front yard of the Frontier Museum at 1001 Colorado Ave.
What most people don’t know is the members also put in an herb garden in the museum’s backyard, and they also keep the museum grounds in great shape. The beautiful tulips and columbines they have planted are a delight to our spring and summer visitors.
It’s time they were recognized for their service.
Last but certainly not least, the society is honoring April and Steve Carver, owners of the historic Hotel Denver. For the past 19 months they have contributed to the historic preservation work of the society through their guest checkout program.
When guests checked into the Hotel Denver they were presented with two free tickets to the Frontier Museum, placed along with their key in a well-designed and historically themed pocket-sized folder.
At check out, guests could opt to donate $2 for each night’s stay to a historic preservation fund that benefited the historical society. This revenue stream resulted in $11,500 to benefit the historical society’s general fund, helping to keep the bills paid and the museum doors open.
What motivates and inspires some people to make a difference in their community when it comes to helping out with nonprofits like our historical society? It’s the difference between saying “I’ve always wanted to help out with the Ghost Walk you do every year,” and making a volunteer commitment.
It’s the difference between thinking about becoming a member of the historical society and actually writing a check for membership.
As we enter this New Year and begin our membership drive, you, too, can play a part in helping preserve our area’s rich history.
Who knows? You might get so involved that you become a History Hero, too.
Bill Kight is the executive director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society and writes a monthly column about history. He can be reached at 970-945-4448.
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The Glenwood Springs-Rifle sports rivalry goes way back for GSHS baseball coach and former Demons multi-sport student-athlete Eric Nieslanik.