Tuesday, June 9, 2020


Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Sun setting over the hill in Colorado Springs
photo property of the author
..., not a sound has broken the stillness, and the fleecy clouds have seemed to come down closer and closer until they look like thin veils around bending faces.

Do they take note, now and then, of their graves, I wonder, the old worthies and unworthies who have passed on?
Helen Hunt Jackson

Headstone in one of the local cemeteries
photo property of the author
I have taken many a walk through the local cemeteries during the past three months. There are so many stories behind the stones. What I find most interesting is the research that those stones inspire. With more and more resources online it is easier to follow the trail of the lives these people lived.

Add to that the museums, videos, webinars that add to the knowledge of the time they lived, and you, if you are like me, are in research heaven.

So here in Pikes Peak Region, I thought I'd share some of the museums and other resources for 'digging' out the stories.

If it is general history, the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum is a great place to start. Along with the Special Collections section of the Penrose Public Library and Colorado College's Tutt Library you have a treasure trove of information.

McAllister House Museum
Photo property of the author
The McAllister House Museum, in Colorado Springs, gives you an overview of the life of the early founders of the city. This is in addition to a well preserved first house of substance built in Colorado Springs.

The Pikes Peak Historical Railway Museum in Colorado Springs along with Pueblo Railway Museum and you can get a feel for the history and importance that the railroads played in the growth of the region. If your really ambitious The Colorado Train Museum in Golden is worth the trip.

There are a number of small and large museums in the Pikes Peak Region. Some are listed below:

The Old Colorado City History Center
Miramount Castle
Glen Eyrie Castle
Fountain Valley Historical Society and Museum
Old Homestead House in Cripple Creek ( brothel)
Jail Museum in Cripple Creek
Cripple Creek District Museum
Lowell Thomas Museum in Victor 
Museum of Colorado Prisons in Canon City
Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center
Florence Museum in Florence

There are a few more but that is just a start of what can be a wonderland of research. For those who wonder, I've visited most of them.

Additionally, some have been offering online speakers. If anyone wants to give them a look, below are links to some of the offerings:

So keep on writing, researching, and enjoying life. Me, I'll be out on the trails or deep in some piece of research. I spent many an hour going through old records, newspapers, and old books to bring Colorado to life in my novel, "The Outlaw's Letter". Below is just a short excerpt showcasing some of what made it into the book.

      "I'd like to check the train schedule when we get into town," Hetty said. "Without Odysseus, train travel would probably be the safest way to head back to Kiowa Wells."
     "Station's near the edge o' town," Clover added from the front seat.
     "You know you can visit me any time," Hetty offered to Maude and Clover.
     Maude gave Hetty a sad smile. Hetty knew Maude didn't think she'd be welcomed, but Hetty knew everyone would love the woman. Before Maude could reply, Hetty saw a new three-story brick building going up.
     "What's that?" Hetty asked.
     A passerby hearing the question, shouting the answer, pride in his voice, "That's the new school, and we have a military academy being built also."
     "It looks beautiful," Hetty called back, "you have a right to be proud." Looking over at Maude, Hetty caught a look of want and sadness. It gave her an idea.
     "Maude, is there a bank?"

The Outlaw's Letter (Lockets and Lace Book 15) by [Angela Raines, Sweet Americana]
Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


Julie Lence said...

What a great list of local museums! I really have to get out more. Hugs, Doris!

Renaissance Women said...

Julie, I confess, even if it weren't part of my job, I'd still be 'haunting' those places. (Smile). I usually find something that sparks my imagination each time I visit. Doris

Andrea Downing said...

I love research...only it's soooooo time-consuming! You get so involved and before you know it, you're off into a whole new world.

Renaissance Women said...

Andrea, so true! Yet, the time I spend doing research is so precious and ultimately or hopefully makes me a better writer and storyteller.

Your passion does show up in your work and I think it enhances the stories you are telling Andrea. Doris