Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Local History, Local Historians

The thing that makes local history interesting is not just the stories that are told, but the people who tell them. This fall, GHM has been proud to welcome five local historians and collectors to talk with audiences at our new Live at Lunch lecture series. The series kicked off on September 29th with a presentation by local historians (and beloved community members) Lorraine Wagenbach and Betty Bloom. Together, they shared excerpts from their newly re-released book “A Woman’s Life in Golden.” The book—a project of the Golden Delphian Society and originally printed in 1980—features 27 stories by women who called Golden home between 1902 and 1980. Bloom and Wagenbach, the only two surviving contributors in Golden, read some of their favorite touching and humorous excerpts from the book to an audience of nearly 80 people.
The second week was a presentation by local historian and antique dealer, Heather Eckles, about the highly collectable Coors Pottery. She spoke at length about the many unique items that were made here in Golden, specifically the colorful and whimsical “Rosebud Pottery” that was prescient of the better known Fiesta Ware. Last Wednesday, historian and retired sheriff Dennis Potter (and also terrific storyteller) talked about the history of law enforcement in Jefferson County—an enormous and largely lawless territory. He went into great detail about a chilling string of murders that took place in Golden starting in 1868 and claimed nearly 11 lives. Evidence that Potter has collected points to a perpetrator who, although never caught or identified, might well have been the first documented serial killer in world history.
Two more lectures remain. Today, noted local historian Richard Gardener speaks about the popular Foss Ski Country decanters, a highly collectable series of whisky containers made in Golden. Our Live at Lunch lecture series some to a conclusion next week with
John Kellenbenz who will speak about the development of the Golden Fire Department—an indispensable force for any frontier community.
All lectures take place at the Golden History Center. Advance tickets on sale at the Golden History Center; $3 members, $6 nonmembers, includes free admission to museums. Please feel free to bring your own lunch. Reservations are not required, but we recommend purchasing tickets in advance due to limited seating.
We look forward to seeing you there!

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