Letter from The President
If you were unable to join us on Zoom for the June Ghost Town Club meeting, you missed a very special and unprecedented program. Kudos to Josh Robinson for stepping up at the last minute because of the schedule change to present the awesome, drone-produced, 8 minute video of a trip to Buckskin Joe. The views were something that we have never experienced in our many ghost town trips. Isn’t all this new technology wonderful!
I continue to be amazed and grateful for our technically astute members that have invested so much time and expertise to bring us these new and wonderful adventures. Ditto for all of the members who have volunteered in many ways to contribute to the life blood of the Ghost Town Club and have kept it going for all these decades. I especially appreciate that the upcoming suggested field trips are being planned with alternative events included for less active members. Thank you all for your caring and sharing.
I have a few safety concerns about these upcoming trips and meetings. Even though I believe that most of us have been vaccinated, there may be some individuals that have under-active immune systems and are unable to make antibodies against the virus in spite of receiving the injections. The vaccines have been reported to be 90% effective and it is the other 10% that needs to be addressed. Every time the virus reproduces, there is a chance of a mutation event, and these more infectious mutants may not be covered by the current vaccines. We can’t just throw caution to the wind and feel that everything can go back to normal. When and if we get back to indoor meetings, the church may have some mandates that we need to follow before we can resume our meetings. We are all responsible for each other’s wellbeing.
Thank you for your cooperation,
~ 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.”