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 (Lakewood Campus).

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

If you’d like to join the email list to keep up with all the latest, sign up here.  Download and share the latest flier here.

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.


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.


Why Here? History and Archaeology at Fort Massachusetts, New Mexico Territory

–Macy Franken, Expedition Historian for Fort Massachusetts Archaeological Field School

Fort Massachusetts was the first US military post in what would become the state of Colorado, established in 1852 following the end of the Mexican-American War. Military officials who inspected the post in 1853 announced that the post was in entirely the wrong place, and the location has made even less sense to modern archaeologists. The fact is, Fort Massachusetts is in the middle of nowhere by almost anyone’s standards. So why put a fort here in the first place?


Clear Creek County Adventure Trails

–Ron Runoff, Charter member of Ghost Town Club of Colorado, Docent at Limon Heritage Museum

Clear Creek County, Colorado, where the first major gold discovery was made, is filled with history and some of Colorado’s grandest scenery. This PhotoMusical Adventure will cover what the county offers today, ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad, visit ghost towns and back-pack to alpine wilderness and explore the history behind each place.


Selling the City of Sunshine: Colorado Springs as America’s “Greatest Sanitarium”

–Leah Davis Witherow, Curator of History & Archivist for the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

From its founding in 1871, local boosters advertised Colorado Springs as a premier health destination for the treatment of consumption and “lung troubles,” among other maladies. Through photographs, pamphlets and a plethora of publications, they boasted of over 300 days of sunshine per year and “100% aseptic air.” The region’s greatest asset-turned-industry was its stunning scenery, abundant sunshine and mild climate. Come to this illustrated talk to learn more about how Colorado Springs marketed its scenery and climate so successfully.


Base Ball in the 18th and 19th Centuries: History of the Game and Challenges of Re-enacting for a Modern Audience

–Roger P Hadix, Author of Baseball in Colorado Springs; Player with Colorado Vintage Base Ball Association

Base ball, the Great American Pastime, dates back to at least the 1700s. It has had many names and versions but the game we associate with today was created by Abner Doubleday in 1839 from Rounders and Cricket. This session will explore the roots of the game into the Gilded Age.

We’ll also discuss the challenges that today’s re-creators face in presenting an historically accurate game that is engaging and entertaining for the fans.


Molly Brown – Myth Verses Reality

–Janet Kalstrom; Volunteer at Molly Brown House Museum

Who was the real Molly Brown?  Did she really float down the Colorado River and end up in Leadville?  Did she work in a saloon in Leadville as a piano playing girl?  Did she march for women’s and miners rights?  Did she really run for congress in Colorado three times?  Why was she considered a heroine of Titanic?  To find out – come listen to Margaret “Molly” Brown tell you herself.

Janet has been telling Margaret “Molly” Brown’s story locally and internationally over the last seven years.  She is passionate about the legend of Margaret “Molly” Brown and loves to tell her story from all aspects of her life.


A Stranger To It’s Laws: LGBT People and Laws of Colorado

–David Duffield; Coordinator and Co-founder of the Colorado LGBT History Project

This presentation will look at the history of sodomy, anti-cross dressing, anti-discrimination, and finally transgender laws in Colorado from 1860 to roughly 1980. We will overview the history of struggles for LGBT people in Colorado including statutes from Denver Municipal Code from 1886 to 1974, anti-sodomy laws and trials from 1924 – 1974, and finally anti-discrimination laws from 1980.


Live and Let Live: A Chicago Alderman comes West

–Stephanie Prochaska; Assistant Archivist at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Chicago Alderman “Bathhouse” John Coughlin was not only a notorious politician, but also a poet, rancher, minor league baseball team and race horse owner, and a proprietor of a zoo. For over a decade, Bathhouse John called the Pikes Peak Region his summer home and playground. He built a zoological and amusement park on his property which entertained thousands. His time in Colorado was filled with ambition, involved a little gambling, and a drunken elephant.