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Westminster Area Museum and Historical Society

In 1962, we became keepers of the past and preservationists for the future, saving and sharing our local history. We are all volunteers. Our history is the story of us. It shows how those before us built on a solid foundation and how we add stories to that foundation every day, with your help.

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Collection and Preservation

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified

Description

Westminster Historical Society is committed to the collection and preservation of artifacts about the area. Donated/acquired items are reviewed by the Collection Committee to determine if they are appropriate for our organization. Volunteers enter information about the items into the computer via PastPerfect software. Other volunteers plan and construct displays to feature some of our artifacts or insure that items are properly stored. Part of the cost of running our WHS is in software we have to purchase and keep upgrading for people to do their research. We appreciate your help!

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We have heard from clients that our on-line version of PastPerfect has been instrumental in their research.

Hometown Christmas

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Families
Single Parents

Description

This community celebration began in 1923 when Westminster pioneers, the Shipman's, planted a living Christmas tree in Russell Park and the Fortnightly Club decorated it with strings of popcorn and cranberries. That tradition continued until "blackout" laws imposed during World War II halted the annual festivities. In 1987 the Westminster Historical Society restored the tradition, now called Hometown Christmas. The Westminster Fire Department decorates the tree as it now stands 65' tall. 2018 will be 100 years for our tree. A local choir sings carols and a longtime resident is selected to light the tree. Santa Clause arrives on a vintage fire truck and greets children across the street in the Westminster Grange. Tahosa Lodge Order of the Arrow Boy Scouts prepare hot chocolate and hot dogs and the Westminster Historical Society hosts a bake sale in the Grange. Date for 2020 is December 3, at 6:00 pm. 73rd and Bradburn next to the Fire Station 1.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We enjoyed an unexpected community choir during the 2017 Hometown Christmas event and we received many wonderful comments. We think we will make that an annual event! We have seen an increase in sales of Santa pictures taken inside the Grange -- the kids love to sit on Santa's lap and whisper their wishes. We love the tree lighting of Colorado's home grown tree and is one of the tallest Living Christmas Trees.

Bowles House Museum

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Families
General population

Description

In 1871 Edward Bowles married Elizabeth Longan and homesteaded property in what became Westminster. He and his wife raised 9 children in their large red brick home which today serves as the Westminster Historical Society's Bowles House Museum. The Society maintains a collection of pictures and artifacts that tells the story of Westminster's early days. Dec. 5, 2020 at 10 am will be the Victorian Christmas Celebration at 72nd and Newton.

Call to schedule a tour or stop by on the 1st and 2nd Saturday's 12-2pm. We are always looking for Volunteers so we can be open more Saturday's!

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Our Victorian Open House has welcomed a storyteller provided by the Friends of the Westminster Public Library. Our sign in sheets indicate an increase in attendance. We always have a school come in and decorate the trees.

Vintage Baseball

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Families
Homeless
Single Parents
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Vintage baseball is a tradition that the Historical Society sponsors each year. Our local Westminster Lightning Bolts challenge a team from the Colorado Vintage Baseball Association -- this game is played with the rules of 1870: when you score you have to ring the bell at the score keepers table or your run does not count; between innings women are known to go out on the field and picket for their right to vote. Boy Scouts from Tahosa Lodge Order of the Arrow cook brats and hot dogs as well as sell peanuts to the crowd.
This event is for all ages and so much fun your face will be hurting when you leave!

July 11, 2020 9:30-1:30 at Wolff Run at 76th and Wolff in Westminster, CO. Had to be cancelled with COVID

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We monitor comments at the event and the response we see on social media this year. We had (182) in attendance and we had young people helping the Suffragettes protest for their right to vote this year! 2019

Grandmother's Trunk

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)
Families
Single Parents

Description

Grandmother Em shares items in her trunk in this interactive program for both the young and the young at heart. She discusses how items were used and how life in the early 1900's is the same and different from today's life. Children and adults love to see what items are shared at these events!

We also have a portable version (Grandmother Em's Traveling Bag) which allows Grandmother Em to visit locations to tell her story about her trip on the Interurban or growing up in Westminster.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We gather attendance information and repeat performance statistics.

Patriot Trunk

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

General Public/Unspecified
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)

Description

Experience what it was like to be a soldier or a child during the American Revolutionary War era with this free interactive program. Participants will gain a unique perspective on life as it was back then as they get a chance to actually touch and feel items from the era!
Students love this presentation.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

We have made presentations of Patriot's trunk to school and community groups. We gather statistics of these presentations made at both the Westminster History Center and at other community sites. We also ask for written feedback of our presentations.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.