vol. 6 | July 27, 2020
“Old God sure was in a good mood when he made this place.”
― Hunter S. Thompson
Here is the sixth edition of history at home. During this unusual summer, we have been continually reminded of the value of community and the power of place. While visiting and experiencing places in person is not as easy to do these days, discovering the history of an area is still possible, from anywhere! Thanks to museums, archives, historic preservation efforts, and perhaps most importantly, technology, important places are more accessible than ever before.

In this issue we highlight a handful of special places, from local attractions to regional landmarks to national place-based history initiatives. As we look towards the next few months, we are brainstorming and planning creative opportunities to explore the upper Roaring Fork Valley's memorable places and stories, virtually . In the meantime, we hope you enjoy this issue of History at Home.
We'd love to hear from you, too! Please share your #historyathome moments on social media and tag @historyaspen.
RESOURCES: discover women's history
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is hosting a crowd-sourced initiative to highlight places around the country where woman "contributed to American history and culture." In honor of this year's 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the project's goal is to "discover discover 1,000 places connected to women’s history, and elevate their stories for everyone to learn and celebrate."

Aspen Historical Society submitted stories for Eve Homeyer, Aspen's first female mayor, as well as the "Maroon Belles" Joy Caudill, Dottie Fox, and Connie Harvey. The tireless trio advocated for expanded protection for the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area after only 70,000 acres directly adjacent to the peaks were protected when the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964. Their lobbying more than doubled the designation to 180,000 acres and they also helped secure protection for the Hunter-Fryingpan, Collegiate Peaks, Ragged Mountains and the West Elk Wilderness.

These are just two stories of women making history locally; read more about them and discover many other places where women shaped this nation, here .
Dearfield, CO Documentary: watch online
The Black American West Museum & Heritage Center , based in Denver, CO, recently acquired the historic core townsite of Dearfield, CO, "one of the last standing towns started by Black homesteaders in the Great Plains." The purchase ensures the protection and preservation of the area, which was facing threats of development. According to this story by KUNC, "Dearfield is  one of many  farming colonies in the West founded by Black homesteaders, a movement the National Park Service called an “epic tale of African American achievement” that was “nearly lost” but for the efforts of groups like the Denver-based Black American West Museum & Heritage Center. Only two sites, including Dearfield, still have original buildings standing."

Learn more about the area in the below documentary by Charles Nuckolls , which premiered in January on Rocky Mountain PBS.

FROM FRIENDS: explore special places
Redstone Historical Society was gifted a set of original architectural drawings for Redstone Castle by the great nephew of Crystal Valley entrepreneur John Osgood, who built the landmark lodge. Thanks to the support of donors, RHS restored and archived the set, comprising six pages approximately 50" x 36" each, now archived in the Western History Collection of the Denver Public Library. Click here to view the drawings and to read more about the artifacts. Reproductions are also on view as part of the RHS display at the Redstone Castle.

In this article from today's (July 27th) issue of The Aspen Times, Scott Condon offers more insight into the artifacts.
redstone historical society redstone castle drawing
Redstone Castle Architectural Plan featuring the South and North elevations, (Redstone Historical Society, restored and archived at the Denver Public Library)

If you’re missing air travel and need a Denver International Airport fix, you can get it in this 2017 "Urban Legends" article. Thrillist explores the rumors and conspiracies that have surrounded DIA since it opened in 1995."
This article from the National Trust for Historic Preservation tells the story of Ann Pamela Cunningham, a woman from Charleston, South Carolina, who launched "America’s first nationwide preservation campaign" when she wrote an open letter "to the Ladies of the South" to help save George Washington's home Mount Vernon in 1853. Her efforts are now acknowledged as the birth of America's historic preservation movement.
QUARANTINE STORIES: listen to the stories
The public can now listen to the recorded submissions for "Quarantine Stories: Recording History" the community-sourced oral history project in partnership with Aspen Public Radio . The project aims to to capture history as it happens during the COVID-19 crisis by asking co mmunity members in the Roaring Fork Valley to  submit recorded stories, interviews, and reflections about their experience of the pandemic to be cataloged in a publicly accessible library by APR and archived for posterity by AHS. 

Preserve your part in this historic time.  For more information about the project, or to submit your recording, click  here .

Click here to listen to the submissions thus far , such as the below from AHS Board Member Tony Vagneur:
ARMCHAIR ADVENTURES: visit from home

The Takacs family recently shared the below video with AHS, featuring their visit to Independence Ghost Town last summer. We love the video and always appreciate kind words from guests who enjoyed our sites.

Watch below for a "visit" to Independence, the first mining site in the Roaring Fork Valley! Legend has it that prospectors discovered the Independence Gold Lode at the site on July 4, 1879. Today, Independence is an archaeological preserve, featuring interpretive stations that tell of the characters, enterprises, and structures that make it an integral part of area history. Located just below the continental Divide 16 miles east of Aspen on Highway 82, the ghost town is a “don’t-miss stop” on Independence Pass along the Top of the Rockies’ Scenic Byway.
ARCHIVEASPEN.ORG: find Aspen maps
You can browse many of the myriad maps in the AHS Collection online at archiveaspen.org ! From early land surveys to mining claim maps to trail maps and more, the AHS Collection includes maps of all types that are not only functional (and often beautiful) works of art, but also show the evolution of an area.
This is a 1956 trail map of Aspen and the surrounding area, produced by Aspen Park Cabins, located just below Difficult Campground. (This map is featured in  Maps Through the Decades , the new display in the AHS Community Gallery. The display is open during Archives Building hours, Monday through Friday from 9a a.m. - 4:30 p.m., however it is best to call ahead to confirm access to the multi-use space, 970.925.3721.) 

The critically acclaimed and Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton: An American Musical” is streaming on Disney+ , much to the delight of at-home viewers.

The New York Times fact checks the historical truths in this piece published on July 6, 2020.

In our view, it's more than worth the watch!
In this interview conducted on April 7, 2020 for the Washington Post Magazine, Secretary Lonny Bunch delivers the message that history should give today's citizens hope. Bunch was founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Stay tuned for more History at Home...
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