If you’re a history lover, History Camp is for you. It’s a unique opportunity to spend a day with people from all walks of life who have a passion for history, from authors, teachers, genealogists, and students, to park rangers, museum volunteers, librarians, and individuals from other professions and backgrounds. Come join us to learn, connect and engage.

History Camp made it’s Colorado debut last year with over 100 people in attendance, selling out two weeks in advance. This year History Camp will be held on October 7, 2017 at Red Rocks Community College.

If you’re interested in presenting, sign up here.

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Have questions?  Email me here.

Stay tuned for more info and details on registration.


I Am Not a Savage: Lakota Performers in Wild West Shows

–Steve Friesen, Director, Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave. Author of several books including “Buffalo Bill: Scout, Showman, Visionary” and most recently “Lakota Performers in Europe: Their Culture and the Artifacts They Left Behind.”

In the latter 19th and early 20th century, US government policy was aimed at eliminating the Lakota Indian culture. The concept was “kill the Indian, save the man.” Wild west shows like that of Buffalo Bill offered an alternative way, where the Lakotas could show off and preserve their culture, demonstrating that it was valid and they were not “savages.” This presentation will examine that culture and the lives of the “oskate wicasa,” those who performed.


Passes and Peaks of Colorado’s Continental Divide

–Leo Wertin, retired Jeffco school teacher and librarian. Leo began researching and writing about the Continental Divide after discovering that textbooks only scratched the surface.

Colorado’s Continental Divide is the spine of mountains running north to south dividing our state and its major watersheds. Current day travelers, like the earliest Native Americans, have made their passages through these Rockies finding some routes easier to navigate than others. Traditionally used routes became officially and unofficially named passes that cross the string of mountain peaks making up the Great Divide.


Serving America while Serving Time

–Kori Thompson, adjunct US History professor at two community colleges in Kansas

As the U.S. came closer to entering World War I, men volunteered for service, including six inmates from the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory. Many people questioned their morality and ability to serve. This presentation tells the story of these men and why, in 1918, the Kansas adjutant general instructed the draft boards and recruitment offices to induct them into service. Nearly 250 inmates and former inmates were either drafted or enlisted and served in some capacity during World War I, and some even died in combat.


American Expeditionary Force, 1917

–Stuart Lawrence, Retired US Army officer, military historian and re-enactor, and adjunct instructor at Red Rocks.

The U.S. created the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to send to France in 1917. This presentation looks at the make-up of the AEF, the enormous political and social problems of creating such a military force, some of the leading individuals, original items from the period, and the legacy that the AEF passed on to the modern US military system.


Saving Our Vanishing Railroad Heritage

–James Jordan, President, Rocky Mountain Railroad Heritage Society

The RMRHS is working to save over 20 endangered structures (in Colorado), rolling stock, and misc. railroad items of a historic nature from destruction in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. Among them are the depots in Calhan, Las Animas, Craig, Loveland, Trinchere, the pump house in Kit Carson, the freight house/scale house in Brighton, Julesburg’s original depot, Daly’s Depot, the section house in Sargent, what’s left of the depot in Jarasso, and many other locations in the state. With the strong support of more than 20 other in-kind associations, we are the vanguard in North America working to rescue these valued icons.


Sisters of Courage: The Impact of Historical Events in the 19th Century on the Harbison Family

–Dave Lively, Local historian and Certified tour guide and operator of Lively Tours and Talks   

“Sisters of Courage” follows the Harbison family through the turmoil of the last half of the 19th century. The Civil War, Westward Expansion, the Panic of 1893 are all well known historical events that take on new meaning with this story of their impact on a single family. Buffeted by the winds of national events, the family starts their life over yet again as the daughters homesteaded together in a peaceful mountain valley. Walk with them from Denver as they chose to operate a dairy ranch to supply fresh milk to the expanding Grand Lake population. Discover how their ranch becomes the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.


La Santa Muerte: A Mexican Saint of Lost Causes

–Christine Whittington, Academic librarian at Colorado Mountain College Leadville Campus

Santa Muerte is a Mexican folk saint represented by a female skeletal figure, often holding a globe, scythe, and scale. Santa Muerte has become ubiquitous in Mexico and increasingly common among Mexican immigrants in the United States.  Followers petition Santa Muerte for protection in difficult situations and for assistance in securing love, economic success, and health. Followers of Santa Muerte have also been associated, especially by the media, with drug cartels and individuals on the margins of society.


Skiing Off to War

–Thomas Duhs, Retired Colonel of Marines-30 years of service 1977-2008. Extensive cold weather and mountain operations experience.

The 10th Mountain Division trained at Camp Hale, near Leadville Colorado from Nov 1942 to June 1944. The only mountain division was unique in how the men were recruited, trained, and employed in Italy to end the war in May 1945. After the war these troops had an effect on skiing as well.


Auschwitz #34207: The Joe Rubinstein Story

–Nancy Sprowell Geise, Author and speaker

From the ashes of his life, Joe Rubinstein would find a way rise above the atrocities that occurred to him. Barefooted when he was taken by the Nazis, he would become one of New York’s’ leading shoe designers. While the Nazis took everything else, they were unable to take Joe’s love of life, his affection for others, and his unassailable joy. His is a story of unconquerable courage and discovering light in the darkest of places.


General Iron Works, Englewood, CO

–Doug Cohn, Member of Englewood Historic Preservation Society & Rocky Mountain Railroad Heritage Society

Five engineering companies decided to create a foundry that could make things for all five companies. The first decision was to have the employees own the company. Every time they got a pay check, they got shares of stock. The had more than 300 patents during their lifetime and created many amazing things we still use today. Stearns Roger was the main engineering company. They did fresh water drilling, oil and gas, metal and coal mining, agriculture, fresh and waste water treatment, and electric plant construction. One tease: In 1928 a Middle Eastern country needed more fresh water. They had lots of ocean, not enough fresh water. Could fresh water be extracted from the ocean? General Iron invented the large scale desalination technology and built plants in several places.