post (c) Doris McCraw
I had the privilege to attend the 14th annual Pikes Peak Library District’s History Symposium. The topic this year was “Enduring Legacies and Forgotten Landmarks, the Built Environment of the Pikes Peak Region”. You can view a portion of it on face book here: https://www.facebook.com/PikesPeakLibraryDistrict
As I sat and listened, along with timing the speakers, I realized that despite my love and research into history, there was so much I didn’t know. I spend a lot of time focusing on the lives and stories of people, but the day brought home how much our environment is a part of that story.
As I listened to how architects saw and shaped the buildings in our world, I thought of how we as authors shape the world we see through our words. As the day wore on, it became apparent that sometimes the built environment is the marker of our past. The Santa Fe Trail, which became a railroad then highway and how those changes brought a difference to the area. The building of NORAD, the Western Federation of Miners building, which was the touchstone for those who wanted better wages and working conditions, all are there for us to learn from.
Sometimes the environment creates the people who live there, as is the case of “Salt Creek” in Pueblo, Colorado. The area helped to build the lives of those who made it their home.
The end of the day was a look at the Rural Cemetery movement and our own Evergreen Cemetery. As the speaker said, cemeteries are not the end of history, but the beginning. So as you walk, drive and ride through this world, take a moment to think about and honor the built environment around you. Think about it as you write the words that are in your heart and mind, and let their auras seep into your life.
Doris Gardner-McCraw writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History