Get Involved

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We can all do something to help the club. Get involved! The efforts of each club member contribute to our success and frankly just makes participating so much more fun.

Sign up and make a difference! You’ll get better acquainted and it will make you feel good to know you’re contributing to the well being and longevity of the club.

Collectively we can contribute to make the club vibrant, healthy, and active!

We NEED Volunteers!

Thank you to the entire Martinez clan and Barbara Dillavou for taking care of refreshments in March. And, thank you to club members for your generous donations to the kitty which amounted to $64 for preservation fund and of course supplies!
May refreshments are meat, cheese and cracker trays. We have 1 volunteer and need 4 more. Please call me at 303.918.4883 or let me know at the banquet if you can contribute. Many thanks! – Jane Elliott

We NEED Greeters!

Many thanks to those who served as January’s greeters. June Wilkin volunteered for the February meeting, but we need another person or two to help out.

If you want to be a Greeter, call Betty Davee at 303.466.2211. Greeting is easy, fun, and gives you a chance to meet new people and chat with old friends!


Thank you from the Saguache County Historical Museum

September 2018

Saguache County Historical Museum and Colorado Ghost Town Club both celebrated 60th birthdays this year. The Preservation Fund made a donation to the Saguache Museum this year. A recent issue of the Saguache Crescent newspaper included a thank you to GTC for the donation from our Preservation Fund.

The Saguache Crescent was started by Otto Mears in 1867. The Saguache Crescent was purchased by the Coombs family in 1917 and it has been in the family for three generations. Publisher Dean Coombs is the paper’s entire staff. He still uses a 1921 linotype machine to set the print, and a 1921 printing press. It features a decorative masthead, no photos, sells for 35 cents a copy, and publishes “all the good news fit to print”; Coombs refuses to print bad news. He says that his mother set that policy and it is non-negotiable. The only task that Coombs does not handle himself is that of reporter — Saguache residents bring the news to him.

When a Building Dies

By Jack C. Porter, July 4, 2007

What are we to do when a building dies? Some weep from sorrow and others gloat over their power to destroy. So much can be lost when a building dies. Memories of good times long gone such as baptisms, weddings, funerals or deals struck, policies made – our historic record buried in a land fill to be forgotten for all time.

What I miss most are the crafts. Brick, wood, stained glass and pencil. Creative minds draw upon past ideas or experiment to build not just an edifice but also a space where dreams are made – or broken. A place where we as a people conduct our daily lives and build relationships – create and form our social being. I have heard it said that a church is just a building – well, I suppose that is true – but it’s also where we are born, live and finally say goodbye for eternity. But even beyond just the sanctuary is the skill of workers long forgotten who with their hands, tools and skills made basic items like stone, wood, glass, clay, paper, paint and a multitude of other materials into works of art. Look around and take a minute to appreciate the sweat, craft and effort.

My reflection does not begin or end with a church, but expands to our homes, our offices, our…yes, even those wonderful barns and cribs – from farm to main street – architecture and craftsmanship enrich our lives. So sad to see it all gone under a bulldozer’s tread.

Preservation Funds

Nominations for Preservation Funds It’s time to think about making nominations for worthy sites to receive Preservation Funds. If you want to nominate a worthy site, please contact Jim or Jo Bell for a nomination form. Call them at 303.772.5454 or send them an email. Grants will be made soon!

Want to know what we’ve done in the last six years? We’ve donated $16,400.00!

The money has been donated to the following: Arvada Flour Mill – 2 times; Boggsville Historical Site; Breckenridge Heritage Alliance; Carousel in Nederland; Cumbres & Toltec Railroad; Elitch Gardens Theater; First Congregational Church, Silverton; Fort Logan; Galloping Goose, Dolores; Granada Relocation Camp; Humphrey Memorial Park & Museum -Evergreen; Kauffman House, Grand Lake; Lake County Civic Center; Mayan Theater, Denver; Saguache County Museum; San Juan Historical Society-2 times; South Platte Valley Historical Society- 5 times; Steelworks Museum of Industry & Culture-, Pueblo-2 times; Summit County Historical Society; Walk Through History Park, Fraser. Out of State: Austin, Nevada Historical Society; Caliente Box Car Museum, Caliente, Nevada; Grand Encampment Museum, WY; Shakespeare NM Ghost Town-4 times; St. Stephens Indian Heritage Center, Wyo.  QUITE IMPRESSIVE!

What is the Ghost Town Club of Colorado’s Preservation Fund and how can I help?

The Ghost Town Club of Colorado is dedicated to the preservation and maintenance of ghost towns, mining camps and historic sites. To accomplish this goal, the club created a Preservation Fund to help support numerous preservation projects. Because we are a non-profit organization, we are able to earmark 100 percent of all donations directly to qualified projects protected by a non-profit preservation society.

The Ghost Town Club of Colorado also contributes to the preservation of historical sites by direct involvement in work days. All members who are interested in working on preservation projects have the opportunity to have a “hands on” experience by volunteering their time and labor to help preserve historic sites.

If you’re interested in making a donation to the Ghost Town Club of Colorado Preservation Fund, please email us.

Colorado Preservation Inc. nominated four sites for 2018

Three sites and one statewide resource were selected in 2018 that represent local landmarks, places of community and opportunity for revitalization.  The sites include two early 20th century ranches, one pioneering settlement and cemetery, and the once ubiquitous below sidewalk grade entrances and storefronts to downtown buildings in Colorado.  The 2018 sites are the Doyle Settlement, Elk Creek Octagon & Barn at Shaffer’s Crossing, Tarryall-Cline Ranch, and Downtown Underground.

Want more info? Check out the Colorado Preservation website with links to more information and photos of sites.

The Underground Entrances to Lower Levels of Historic Commercial Buildings

Through placement on the Endangered Places List, preservationists hope to highlight the uniqueness of the lower grade or underground entrances and tunnels that were often entries to businesses on lower levels of historic commercial buildings. It is hoped the nomination will heighten awareness of their existence and potential for creative use.

The Doyle Settlement

Located in Pueblo County. The Doyle Settlement was established by Joseph Doyle in 1859 when he purchased 1200 acres of land along two miles of the Huerfano River from the Vigil and St. Vrain Land Grant. Doyle was born in 1817 and came west as a young man. He was one of the builders of Fort Pueblo in 1842. He was a trapper and trader before becoming a pioneer agriculturalist, businessman and territorial lawmaker. He died suddenly in 1864 leaving the property to his wife, Maria De La Cruz Suaso, whom he married in 1844. The property remained in the family for decades and represents Colorado’s multicultural pioneer heritage. Today the Doyle Settlement retains the cemetery and school building. The cemetery is one of the oldest burial grounds in Colorado. The Settlement is recognized as a significant local historical site by people throughout southern Colorado. It is threatened by demolition by neglect and vandalism. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and owned by Pueblo County.

Elk Creek Barn and Octagon at Shaffers Crossing

Located in Jefferson County. The family of Samuel and Sarah Shaffer settled on 35 acres of land along Elk Creek where the stage coach route crossed, about 35 miles southwest of Denver. The family was involved in many enterprises including a store and dance pavilion which became known as Shaffers Crossing. The Octagon building is unique with its steeply pitched roof, its 35-40 foot tall pole in the middle and the remnants of interior handpainted wildflowers and wildlife on ceiling panels. The building was used for many purposes ranging from a school house, grange hall, community center, church and sheep barn. Staunton State Park is nearby and the Archdiocese of Denver purchased 250 acres of meadow land in 2015 for a retreat center. Shaffer family descendants, Jefferson County Historical Commission are both supportive in protecting the Barn and Octagon from demolition by neglect, vandalism and abandonment.

Tarryall-Cline Ranch

Located in Park County. The ranch and its main building are on the west side of Highway 285 between Jefferson and Como. The large two story main ranch house was built in 1928 by Foster Cline, a prominent Denver attorney and the ranch owner. Anyone who drives along U.S. 285 can’t help but notice the unique and imposing building. Park County recently purchased 1,635 acres of the ranch, which includes the main buildings. The ranch house is in extremely poor condition, both inside and outside, due to age, poor drainage, extreme weather elements, lack of occupation and maintenance since its abandonment. With the nomination South Park National Heritage Area hopes to raise awareness concerning the need for restoration as this ranch is an important part of Park County history. It is hoped that the buildings can become a key part of the South Park National Heritage Area and the Cline Ranch State Wildlife area.