Tag Archives: General William Palmer

Deck the Club Halls

As a self-employed freelance writer, my prospects for a holiday office party are fairly bleak. Writing by nature is a solitary undertaking. For that reason, writers often join associations and organizations in order to pool resources, exchange ideas,  and yes, party, with associates.


Denver Woman's Press Club

Recently, I attended a holiday gathering at the Denver Woman’s Press Club. Coincidentally, it is the 100th anniversary of the DWPC clubhouse, a charming little Victorian building surround by tall office buildings and parking lots not far from Colorado’s capitol building. It is always a pleasure to spend time in the little house and visit with the talented journalists who belong to the organization. DWPC is one of few, or possibly the only woman’s press club to own a building. The house is a historic treasure purchased by DWPC in 1924.

My next stop on the holiday party circuit was the Columbine Genealogical and Historical Society. This organization meets in a church, and the holiday party is always a bountiful pot luck lunch. Members bring out their best recipes and wear their finest red and green sweaters for the event. This group of serious genealogists has always been interested in and supportive of my writing, and I look forward to rejoining their board of directors for the coming year.

A writing mole can socialize only so much. I was not able to attend the Colorado Authors’ League holiday party this year. I recently attended one of their interesting seminar presentations about e-books at the mens’ Denver Press Club. This past spring, I was honored at the CAL annual banquet with their 2010 award for Best YA Nonfiction book for my biography, General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer.

Although my Women Writing the West group is spread throughout the nation, we stay in touch daily via a Listserv bulletin board. Once a year, the group gathers for a national conference in a different Western location. We often create friendships with fellow members who live nearby. I’ve enjoyed many outings and adventures with my publisher, Filter Press, my research partner, Christie, with whom I recently enjoyed a holiday lunch and history walk, and several others. Who says writers are isolated?

Groups and clubs perform an important function in our writing lives. They draw us out with opportunities to learn and socialize, and they provide fabulous opportunities to embellish our experience. Holiday parties are an especially nice way to enjoy our peers and associates.

Joyce Lohse, 12/15/10


Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Denver history, Writing Life


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Lost and Found

While attending a Denver Open Doors event, I found a bronze plaque commemorating General William J. Palmer in Union Station. In 1929, five of these plaques were installed in various key locations: Mexico City, Salt Lake City, Hampton Institute in Virginia, Colorado College in Colorado Springs, and Union Station in Denver. I looked high; I looked low. I never could find the Palmer plaque in the historic old Denver train station.

The bronze memorial must have been removed from the wall at some point, and put into storage. For this open house event, it was placed on an easel for all to see. They must have thought I was a little daft for getting so excited about it, but then, they graciously cleared a path so I could photograph it.

Something about this particular plaque did not look right to me. Students at Colorado College know the reason why. On test day, any student walking through Palmer Hall can acquire instant good luck by rubbing the dog’s nose on their Palmer memorial. As a result of many years of superstitious and cautious students passing by, the bronze dog in Palmer Hall has a brilliantly shiny nose.

To learn more about Palmer, see my book, General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer, a “Now You Know Bio” from Filter Press, 2009.
Joyce B. Lohse, 5/2/10

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Posted by on May 2, 2010 in Denver history


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In Like A Lion

Actually, the weather has taken a mild turn with the arrival of March. A road trip to the West Slope over the weekend was still mighty cold with a dusting of snow on the mountains, although a snowstorm threatened to block our way home over the Great Divide. Since then, a welcome whiff of spring has been riding in on the mountain breezes. Looks like winter might be winding down after all.

Book activities are roaring in like a lion. The March issue of True West magazine features my article, “General Palmer’s Baby Railroad”, about the arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande to the Rocky Mountain West. It is quite a thrill to have my piece featured in this nationally distributed publication. The magazine is great, and I’m honored that my work is part of the train issue.

Coming soon in Denver … on Wednesday, March 24, 5-7 p.m., I will have the pleasure of signing books at the Molly Brown House Museum, along with my colleague and friend, Debra Faulkner. The event is called “Meet the Women in Denver’s History”. The cost is $10, and it will be a great opportunity to visit the historic Molly Brown House Museum. Come by the gift shop and say Howdy!

In the meantime, work continues at a lively pace for Women Writing the West, and for my next book for “Now You Know Bios” for Filter Press. Library and internet searches are revealing many interesting pieces of history. A writer’s work is never done … and neither is the fun!

Joyce B. Lohse – 3/4/10


Posted by on March 4, 2010 in Denver history, Western history


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Book Launch Week

A book launch is a most exciting time for an author, and the reason for all we do. My new book, “General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer,” was delivered to me by my publisher, Filter Press, on Thursday, just before a Colorado spring blizzard socked Denver. Although an author open house I was scheduled to attend at a rural library was canceled on Saturday, the sun popped out and events carried on for Sunday and Tuesday. In the meantime, I had a couple of days to catch up on desk work and enjoy the presence of my new book, and the beautiful snow.

Sunday’s appearance was the 10th annual author open house at Englewood Library, which I’ve attended a few times in the past. As before, it was a classy and enjoyable event. I especially enjoyed visiting with other authors and seeing newly released book titles. Writing is a solitary activity. I relish getting out and spending time visiting with readers, fellow authors from Filter Press, other members of Women Writing the West, and making new friends in the book world.

Yesterday, my presentation at the Columbine Genealogical & Historical Society was “Lurking in Cemeteries: A Researcher’s Guide.” Once again, the subject returned to cemeteries. Rich stories abound there, and they provide unlimited possibilities. In addition, biographies are the perfect vehicle to preserve the stories of people who might otherwise be overlooked, or their voices lost to history and posterity. It was a large audience of savvy genealogists and cemetery enthusiasts. Afterwords, I signed a bunch of books, including my new Palmer title. It was a good, unsinkable day, and General Palmer is off to a good start.

Joyce B. Lohse, 4/22/09


Posted by on April 22, 2009 in Western history


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A Victorian Funeral


Folks might think it a little strange that I would voluntarily spend a springtime Saturday enjoying a funeral. We drove down to Colorado Springs to watch a Victorian funeral procession, escorted across town by police cars, as it entered Evergreen Cemetery. A hearse and carriages were hitched to draft horses, with antique cars at the end of the parade. Local history experts portrayed General William Palmer’s family and friends 100 years after the fact.

Some special friends of mine, fellow members of Women Writing the West, participated in the enactment. Doris McCraw arrived in a white carriage accompanied by “Buffalo Bill”. Way to go, Doris! Dianne Hartshorn was prim and proper as one of the mourners in a black dress with shoulder cape and short veil. Guests were encouraged to place evergreen fronds on the gravestone, as was done at the original funeral, 100 years ago.

Portions of the crowd later adjourned to the Pioneers Museum for a splendid presentation about Palmer by archivist Leah Davis Witherow. It was a memorable day of honoring Palmer, a pioneer who built railroads and cities in Colorado. My biography of Palmer is scheduled for publication in April. “Legends, Labors, and Loves” from Pikes Peak Library District, which includes my work, is sold out, but is scheduled for another print run next month.

Joyce Lohse, 3/22/09


Posted by on March 22, 2009 in Western history


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Spring Forward in Colorado

As we spring forward deep into March, daylight savings time looms. In spite of this change, with its annoying psychological adjustments, spring brings hope and optimism, and a full history calendar. The highlight of this spring has been the arrival of a small but mighty little baby named Cutler. All difficulties dim and recede with the arrival of a grandchild.

A birth of a different sort will take place next month with the publication of my next book, General William Palmer: Railroad Pioneer, a “Now You Know Bio” from Filter Press. This book will come on the heels of the Pikes Peak Library District’s symposium collection about William Palmer, to be introduced on March 13, with a chapter I wrote included in the text. “Women Out West” magazine is making a comeback with publication of its winter issue containing my piece about Molly Brown. Looks like a busy springtime in the Colorado publishing and history world.

My appearance and presentation schedule includes the following:
April 18 – Carbon Valley Library, Firestone, Author Open House and Presentation
April 19 – Englewood Public Library, Author Open House
April 21 – Columbine Genealogical & Historical Society presentation, “Lurking In Cemeteries: A Researcher’s Guide”
June 10 – Pikes Peak Genealogy Society, Penrose Library, Colorado Springs, “Family History: Truth & Mystery”

Joyce B. Lohse – 3/7/09

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Posted by on March 7, 2009 in Western history


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