Tag Archives: Pioneers’ Museum

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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Justina Ford’s Story

February is Black History Month. Currently, I am preparing a presentation which will take place at the Colorado Springs Pioneers’ Museum on February 21, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. The subject is Justina Ford, Colorado’s first African American female doctor. During her career between 1902 when she arrived in Denver, and 1952 when she passed away, she delivered over 7,000 babies. “The Lady Doctor” turned nobody away. She made house calls when she was not allowed to practice in the hospital. This suited many of her clients just fine. After all, many of them could not be admitted to the hospital due to ethnicity or lack of funds. In addition, some did not speak English, or their culture made childbirth and medical treatment in their home preferable. Dr. Ford was extremely capable and determined to bring her patients the best care possible. She was also knowledgeable about preventing germs and infections. Calmly and deliberately, she practiced medicine and took care of her people. By the end of her career, she achieved recognition for her work during a half century as a doctor.

To learn more, read my award-winning book, “Justina Ford: Medical Pioneer”, part of the “Know You Know Bio” series from Filter Press. Order information can be found at,, and Also, the Black American West Museum is located in Dr. Ford’s home at 3091 California Street in Denver. For more information on the museum, visit

Joyce Lohse – 2/10/09

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Posted by on February 10, 2009 in Denver history


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