Letter from The President
The first in-person meeting of the Ghost Town Club at Grace United Methodist Church since March of 2020 went very well. Many thanks to Ethan Knightchilde for handling the intricacies of setting up the Zoom meeting for members unable to attend in person. This was the first attempt at having a remote broadcast at a live meeting and except for a few glitches with a screaming microphone, I believe it went very well. We’re going through a learning curve of what works and what doesn’t. I’m sure it will just get better and better.
At the November meeting and all consecutive meetings, we will have a church-required sign-in sheet along with our regular sign-in book. For members that have not already filled out the church-required waivers, there will be more waiver forms available to sign. We will continue with the protocol that the church is mandating for our continued attendance: masks, set up your own chair, sanitize and replace your chair at the end of the meeting, bring your own snacks, water will be provided, and pack out any trash.
November is our annual meeting when we will be taking nominations and voting in new officers for 2022. The positions up for re-election are President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, and two members of the Board of Directors—each for a two year term. We will need some volunteers for the banquet, greeting and refreshment committees as well as other Committee Chairs. I will be serving a two year term on the Board and chairing the Banquet Committee as part of the duties of the exiting President, and I will be helping Jane Elliott with refreshments when we return to having them in 2022. Now is the time to get more involved by serving on a Committee and have a voice in the future of our Club.
It has been a rewarding and great learning experience for me by serving in the positions as President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Membership Secretary, Board Member and serving on various committees over the past 25 years. I encourage everyone to step up and share your unique talents. It’s been fun. So let’s do this!
~ Shirley Miller, President
From Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Matters by Shanna Lewis with CPR’s Ryan Warner
October 2018 – There Are 700 Ghost Towns In Colorado, And Ron Ruhoff Has Visited Many Of Them
What do we do?
The Ghost Town Club of Colorado was founded in 1958 by two Denver teachers, Jack Morison and Bob Brown. Together with several other people who shared an interest in Colorado history and historic preservation, they created a group focused specifically on ghost towns – their history and preservation.
Ghost Town Club of Colorado (GTC) holds monthly meetings featuring guest speakers on a variety of topics related to western history, ghost towns, Colorado history and relevant historic subjects. Past presentation topics include: the adventure, danger and romance of Colorado’s railroads, Denver’s great mansions and the people who inhabited them, and the unusual opportunities and challenges of living in a fire observation tower. There is something for everyone in this group of enthusiastic lovers of Colorado history!
Members also plan, organize, and lead many field trips to ghost towns and/or historic sites. These include day-trips to local sites such as old Fort Lupton to learn about and observe reconstruction of the fort, as well as to the ghost town of Dearfield to explore a hundred-year-old African American agricultural community on the arid high plains. Our excursions may include leisure driving, four-wheel driving, and/or hiking to our destinations.
Our field trips also include weekend excursions such as a motorcoach tour to Nebraska and the Lincoln County Historical Museum depicting a WWII canteen serving more than six million soldiers traveling by train through North Platte.
We also organize longer tours traveling to several states and parts of Canada, visiting significant historical sites and monuments, national parks, and local historians along the way.
And lets not forget about historic preservation. The club collects money throughout the year in a preservation fund to distribute at the end of the year to nonprofit historic sites in need of finacial support. Also, we will often help by doing actual preservation work with hands-on labor.
Who are we?
We are a diverse and active group of people with a shared sense of and reverence for history. We honor the significant contributions of many people through our strong desire to study, learn from, and preserve ghost towns and the memory of the people who built and lived in them. Perhaps most importantly, we are a group of friendly people who enjoy getting out, socializing, learning, and having a lot of fun.
How do we operate?
We are a volunteer-run organization. Our board of directors consists of six members who are elected to two-year terms. The president and other officers are elected for a yearly term. Subcommittees plan and execute special projects such as the yearly banquet, preservation fund awards, volunteer coordination, or outreach activities, to name a few.
Snapshot of GTC History
During the first three meetings of the Club back in 1958 when organizers were trying to decide on a name for the club, one lone stranger kept insisting that “toll roads” be added to the name. Finally Ghost Town Club of Colorado was “railroaded” through. In December 1963, the Club was legally incorporated with the Secretary of State.
First dues for the Club were $1 a year. In 1979, dues were $5 a year. Slowly postage, printing, insurance and rent have caused minimal increases. It’s been many a year since we had to raise the dues, and as Dick Ramsey says, “It’s still the best bargain in town.”