2018 Jefferson County Historical Commission Historic Preservation Symposium – “Building Community: A Historical Perspective”

The Jefferson County Historical Commission (JCHC) held its 2018 Historic Preservation Symposium on May 19th at the Lakewood Heritage Center.  This year’s theme was “Building Communities: a Historical Perspective.”

John Steinle, a member of the JCHC, spoke about “How Volunteers Create Communities.”  His presentation included interesting facts about the roles that various local volunteer groups have played in preserving the rich history of our state.  One example is PLAN Jeffco.  PLAN Jeffco was created by a group of volunteers in 1972.  Working with the League of Women Voters, PLAN Jeffco put an initiative on the ballot to create a tax funded county open space program to buy and preserve natural and cultural areas of value.  The present-day result is seen in the Jefferson County Open Space parks that many of us enjoy including Apex, Elk Meadow, Matthews-Winter and Deer Creek Canyon parks.  A copy of John Steinle’s outline for his talk can be accessed here: Steinle Outline Volunteers Talk

Husband and wife team Bonnie and Richard Scudder, both JCHC members, spoke about “Saving the Historic Octagon & Barn at Shaffer’s Crossing: The Power of Community.”  This presentation focused on efforts to save an historic Octagonal building at Shaffer’s Crossing near Staunton State Park that has stood since 1900, and has had a myriad of uses, including a facility for barn dances, the Urmston School, a grange hall, community center, horse barn, sheep barn, and church.  The Octagon at Shaffer’s Crossing is currently owned by the Archdiocese of Denver.  The building was selected this year for inclusion on Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Most Endangered Places List. http://coloradopreservation.org/programs/endangered-places/.  For more information about the ongoing efforts to save the Octagonal building click here: Saving the historic Octagon and barnfinalJeffco presentation; Looking ForwardHow Volunteers Create

Holly Boehm, Principal Planner, City of Lakewood spoke about “Growing Community Interest in Preservation through Cultural Resource Surveys.”

Finally, Caitlin Lewis, Museum Curator at the Lakewood Heritage Center spoke about “Looking Forward While Valuing the Past.”  Ms. Lewis discussed some of Lakewood’s history, the genesis of the Lakewood Heritage Center and ongoing community involvement in preserving Lakewood’s history.

The Lakewood Heritage Center is housed on several acres of open space land.  It boasts a collect of over 30,000 artifacts and is home to ten historic structures including the 1869 schoolhouse where the Symposium was held.  You can learn more about the Lakewood Heritage Center here: www.lakewood.org/heritagecenter/

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