History’s Value

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.

Santa Fe 253
Hospital in Santa Fe, refitted as a hotel

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

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here





11 thoughts on “History’s Value

  1. I always wanted to go to this retreat and now I know I will someday. I’ve always loved walking through old cemeteries for the very same reason; they tell a story. Barb


    1. Barb, Cemeteries have so many stories, and I think it’s important to find and share as many as possible. History, if we don’t learn from it, will come back to haunt us. *Smile* Doris


  2. You are so right. I love the perspective you have in life. You enjoy and use every moment. I could see the places you were talking about in my mind. We have a big abandoned hospital, and I thought they need to use it for something. Thanks Cher’ley


    1. Thank you Cher’ley. So much of what we see around us has such stories to tell. I love that their are people like the ones who do the symposium who want to make sure we don’t forget. Doris

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We share a love of history. Back when I was a young reporter in the early 1970s, a city official took me out to an overgrown, nearly forgotten hilltop cemetery. We worked to read the lettering on some of the graves. I researched the best I could and did a feature story, one of my first at the newspaper.


    1. Space and history, it’s a great combination. I confess I spend a lot of time in cemeteries and archives. I would have loved to read that feature story, Mike,


  4. Great post, Doris! I just returned from a place with incredible history: Alaska. So much to see, do, and learn, and we just caught a glimpse. I’m glad you made it to that conference, and I envision some creativity forthcoming from what you’ve learned and experienced!


    1. Gayle, this symposium is the one day of the summer I always take off from work. They know to find someone for that weekend day, for I will be at this event.

      You are correct in that I learned showing up in some shape or form in future works. History is all around us, we have but to take the time to see and learn.

      So glad you had the chance to take this trip. Sounds like a great time. Doris


  5. Hello Doris- It’s good to come out from a a conference with plenty to think about or a different perspective from before. So called progress can mask or reshape the original environment we live in but delve underneath and it can usually be found…and that, for me, is the value of history.


  6. I lived just a few houses from a cemetery for many, many years. It was a great place to walk in the evenings. The variety of headstones and the glimpse into peoples lives was always interesting.

    One evening when we had family visiting we all wandered among the headstones reading and marveling at the ages of those entombed there. The following evening my niece who was just 4 at the time insisted that after dinner we had to go to the place with the words so we could all read together.


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