Letter from The President
This year we are celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the Ghost Town Club of Colorado. It is quite amazing to me that this Club has been in existence for that long. I was thinking of all the reasons for this record of longevity. My thoughts turned to the wonderful people I’ve met and interacted with over the years, the places we’ve visited and helped to preserve, the history I’ve learned, and the many life-long friendships that have developed.
This all volunteer organization has survived because of the enthusiasm and generous sharing of our members. Each of us has talents, some overt and some latent that have contributed to this continuity. Some members are great at speaking or writing, others have technological skills which are very useful in setting up audio-visual equipment and maintaining the website. We also have individuals that have the business acumen to operate the finances of the Club. Then there are so many others that volunteer to serve on committees, great cooks and bakers that provide refreshments, and friendly people to greet. People that come to us that just want to be entertained and with the attitude of “what’s in it for me?” have been very disappointed and don’t stay. (Thank goodness).
Each of you has something to share and you can choose any number of ways to do so. Over the years I have become more confident in my abilities and have found great joy and satisfaction in volunteering for many jobs that I had previous thought I was not capable of handling (including this one). My time with the Club has been an experience not only in learning about history, preservation and adventures to special places, but also growing in confidence and developing social skills.
The Gazette is a platform for any of you who want to share your thoughts, experiences and ideas with the Club and also for us to get to know you better. Joanie has made it very easy for anyone to participate. She can cut, paste and reformat your contribution to fit into the Gazette. Just send it to her in an e-mail by the 20th of the month, she will work her magic and we can all enjoy your posts.
~ Shirley Miller, President
From Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Matters by Shanna Lewis with CPR’s Ryan Warner
October 31, 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.”