on December 13, 2022 by Staff in news, Comments Off on History Colorado Releases $4.5 Million to Sustain Colorado’s Heritage

History Colorado Releases $4.5 Million to Sustain Colorado’s Heritage


History Colorado’s State Historical Fund awarded more than $4.5 million on December. 1 for its 2022 General Grants, the second installment of their program. This funding is distributed amongst 23 grantees across Colorado with an eye on preserving the diverse cultural heritage of communities of color across rural Colorado as well as diversifying the scope of preservation of historical sites for future generations.

“The State Historical Fund continues to push forward with ensuring preservation efforts better represent the diverse makeup of the Centennial State,” said Patrick Eidman, Chief Preservation Officer and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. “These grants truly are a manifestation of History Colorado’s dedication to investing in the prosperity of rural communities, expanding the diversity of histories being preserved, and promoting the creation of a more diverse workforce to lead preservation efforts in the future.”

In this round of grants the State Historical Fund has awarded a total of $6,802,035 for preservation work through 2022. In addition to helping to protect the places and stories Coloradans cherish, funds awarded to preservation projects have a direct impact on the economy of the Centennial State. Since 1981 preservation initiatives in Colorado have resulted in the creation of more than 27,000 new jobs and generated an estimated $3.9 billion in direct and indirect economic effects, which adds $2.2 billion to the state’s GDP.

The majority of the grants awarded in this round support the development and acquisition of historical places but projects range from the renovation of the roof of an historic school in the Northeast part of the state to funding the 2024 preservation conference. The complete list of projects that are funded in this grant round is available on this page.

Highlighted Projects: 
Manzanola United Methodist Church | Manzanola, CO 
Manzanola United Methodist Church in Manzanola, CO was awarded $250,000 for the development of construction documents as well as the renovation of the exterior of the church.

Located in Otero County in southeast Colorado, the Manzanola United Methodist Church was built in 1908 by the local congregation that worshipped at an elementary school that was in operation since 1893. In 1915, the church was given a new life when it became the centre of a Black homesteader community known as The Dry, which was one of two settlements in Colorado, the other being Dearfield in Northeast Colorado.

The Manzanola church became an important community center for The Dry and the congregation grew because of the Black homesteaders. Through time, The history of The Dry and the church were interwoven and this landmark was designated locally. remains the sole architectural relic of the historical homesteading community.

“It is an understatement to say the Methodist Church is significant for its role in the Manzanola community and association with the history and families of The Dry,” said Alice McDonald, financial secretary of the Manzanola United Methodist Church and former resident of The Dry. “The Manzanola United Methodist Church is the only standing structure remaining to tell the story of The Dry, the African American pioneers of Otero County, and their spirituality and commitment to community.”

While the church helps to convey the tale of The Dry, and is an important resource of Black Coloradans History and Heritage however, the decades of wear and tear have taken a toll on the structure. It was recently forced to stop renting out some spaces for community functions. This included shuttering the daycare center located out of the basement which helped meet the childcare needs of the 435 Coloradans who call Manzanola home.

Based on the recommendations of a 2021 historic structure assessment, the grant will be used to fund the first phase of a project to renovate the historic church into a building that can once more meet the needs of the local community. It also acts as a gathering place for the descendants of homesteaders as well as their extended families.

This phase will involve temporary patching of the roof as well as exterior rehabilitation of wooden parts of the church. It will also be a source of inspiration for others who have never had their history preserved.

“Preservation of the Manzanola United Methodist Church will help spread the message that preservation is for all Americans, including those of color and who have historically been disadvantaged, and that all Americans should cherish, protect, learn from, and respect each other’s history and place in it,” McDonald said.

Dana Crawford Preservation Program | Denver, CO 
The University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) was awarded $168,869 to help fund the pilot program of scholarships through the Dana Crawford Preservation Program.

The university will make use of the pilot program to promote preservation as a career that is accessible to BIPOC students by funding three graduate scholarships, equivalent to of 2 full time paid internship positions for undergraduates, and to hire an expert consultant to assist in sustainable ways to attract students of color into the program.

UC Denver hopes concerted marketing of the Dana Crawford Preservation Program BIPOC scholarships will help the state be a pioneer in addressing this problem by identifying, attracting and retaining them, as well as providing opportunities for students of people of color.

“Colorado has a unique opportunity, because of the State Historical Fund, to build a program that could be the first in the country to begin to address this need,” said Steve Turner, assistant professor and director of Historic Preservation and Classical Studies at UC Denver.

The paid internships offered through the program are designed to ease barriers to access for undergraduate students of color by not only helping them pay their expenses , but also providing an introduction into the conservation workforce.

Turner hopes that this program will broaden the pool of talented individuals into the preservation workforce, helping BIPOC communities by giving them the opportunity to work with professionals with similar experiences and backgrounds, this is a task of growing national importance that requires programs like the one that is funded by the State Historical Fund.

“There is momentum in the right direction and it is imperative to capitalize on this energy and make a concerted effort to diversify the field of historic preservation,” Turner stated.

Museum of Friends | Walsenburg, CO 
The Museum of Friends in Walsenburg was awarded $250,000 for the renovation of the Roof and Dick Building Ben Franklin Store, which houses the museum.

The Roof and Dick Building, constructed in 1910, was one of the biggest buildings in Walsenburg as the city was establishing itself as a commercial hub for the surrounding region. The building was sold in 1932 to a JC Penney and went through many owners prior to Brendy Berger and Maria Cocchiarelli Berger purchased it in 2005.

In 2010, the whole of the two-story structure was converted into the Museum of Friends, a contemporary art museum that creates connections between people, encourages appreciation for art and provides the opportunity to educate visitors about art.

The Museum of Friends often highlights the artwork of nationally known BIPOC artists. This is the case with its annual El Dia de Los Muertos exhibition, and two new exhibitions “The Historic Churches & Chapels of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico” and “The Early Hispano Families of Huerfano County” all of which center the perspectives of local and regional Hispano/Hispanic artists.

The contributions of the museum to the local community are more than just art appreciation, however, as it also provides youth programs; a venue for local craftspeople and artists to market their work and also collaborates with the 3rd Judicial District on a pro-sobriety art program which teaches Coloradans on probation how to utilize various art mediums.

The building is considered to be an important jumping off point to promote culture, arts and heritage tourism for the City of Walsenburg.

“Museum of Friends has proven to be a catalyst for art and cultural amenities and to stimulate economic growth and improve quality of life in Walsenburg, which lies on the Scenic Highway of Legends, a national scenic byway,” said Maria Cocchiarelli Berger, director of development at the Museum of Friends.

The funds from the State Historical Fund will support improvements and rehabilitation of the exterior of the building. It will include stabilizing and replacing sections of sandstone that have deteriorated over decades, and also repairing the parts of the roof.

Town of Silver Plume | Silver Plume, CO 
The town of Silver Plume was awarded $200,000 in grant funding to purchase a series of 95 mining claims located in the west and north of the town.

The proposed project connects public lands that were granted to the Town of Silver Plume in 1993 by the Bureau of Land Management; allows for the expansion of the Silver Plume Mountain Park; and safeguards 20 historic sites within these claims as part of an established National Historic Landmark District.

The funds through the State Historical Fund will contribute to the purchasing of this property from private owners. However, the town of Silver Plume will also contribute to both an archaeological survey of the cultural resources that are contained in the mining claims as well as an environmental survey to identify and monitor any potential environmental hazards resulting from the mining legacy left by hardrock mining.

Silver Plume hopes this purchase will permit the preservation of the archaeological trails and sites in the Georgetown Silver Plume National Historic Landmark District; protection of their watersheds; maintenance of the bighorn sheep herd that lives in the area and the protection of the heritage and history of a town that is deeply connected to mining of hard rock in the Rocky Mountains.

“Receiving this grant makes a dream come true for the town of Silver Plume as it is a project that is incredibly important to the people of our community,” said Cynthia Neeley, project manager for the Town of Silver Plume. “The area to the north and west of town is a cultural landscape that could be utterly destroyed by private development in the coming years and this particular grant is the completion of a year-long fundraising project that permits the town to fulfill a longstanding desire to protect our cultural and natural resources.”

These projects are just a fraction of the preservation efforts History Colorado’s State Historical Fund has contributed to since it was established in 1990. A full list of projects funded by the SHF can be found at historycolorado.org/received-and-awarded-grants.

The State Historical Fund of History Colorado State Historical Fund awards grants which are funded by limited stakes gaming in the communities of Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek for preservation of significant buildings, structures objects, districts and archaeology sites within Colorado.

Similar History Group Releases $4.5 Million to Sustain Colorado’s Heritage. In brief Preservation Authority Releases $4.5 Million to Sustain Colorado.


Comments are disabled.