Monthly Archives: October 2009

History In My Hands


History researchers in Denver beware and be aware. As of Oct. 31, the Colorado Historical Society is closing its library for the next two years while they move and reconstruct their museum. Yes, I said two YEARS!! Realization of this closure has thrown my research schedule for my next biography into panic mode. The subject for the next book is Elizabeth Tabor, known around Colorado as “Baby Doe”, the Silver Queen of Leadville.

Although my writing and research schedule has become somewhat tospy-turvy and compressed, I hit paydirt this week when I squeezed in a visit to CHS before the impending closure. The large volume of the Tabor holdings are a two edged sword. The good news is that there is much information to read, view and assimilate. The bad news is that it takes time and organization to sort through the inconsequential, sift down to the nitty-gritty, and identify the really good stuff.

Frustrations slip away when treasures fall into the researchers hands. Fortunately, those moments came and I was transported to a time long ago when our pioneer state was newly formed. A silver king named H.A.W. Tabor put aside his ego and business concerns to scribble words of love to “Lizzie”, the bold script fading but the intent still clear on thin scraps of paper. A voyeur into the past, I was able to interpret these items directly from the source. History was in my hands.

I will miss CHS while they regroup. However, when one door closes, two more usually open. The adventure is just beginning. I am almost grateful that I was forced to scramble into disjointed action. Almost.

Joyce Lohse, 10/23/09


Posted by on October 23, 2009 in Western history


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Save the Pioneers Museum!

After an exceptional week of book and history activity, I come away with troubling news. I am not often motivated to make a political statement. Although I choose my battles carefully, this situation calls for action.

Colorado Springs, my home for 18 years, is on the cusp of an election which will make or break the city’s future. Without a tax increase, one of the casualties will be the closure of the  Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. This important historical resource in the old county courthouse is the repository of the region’s history. The staff are exceptional caretakers, the displays significant, and the acquisitions critical to researchers, educators, historians, and authors. Without access to this amazing resource, my biography of General William Palmer would not be complete. Although I am grateful and fortunate that I was able to study Palmer’s historic photographs, letters and journals for my research, I cringe to think that others might not have access to this important repository and the capable guidance of the museum staff. The thought of this museum closing is truly heartbreaking.

If you would like further information about the affect of these ballot issues, please go to the following link:
If you lack the time or inclination to read the article, and you live in C. Springs, please vote YES on 2c, and NO on 300 in November, and encourage other residents to do so. Palmer founded this city on the premise that residents would benefit from an exceptional quality of life. The future of this beautiful city is at stake.

— Joyce B. Lohse, 10/4/09

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Posted by on October 4, 2009 in Western history


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