Creede Historical Society seeks new members

CREEDE — The Creede Historical Society was formed in 1964 and started out with a few historical artifacts, a small gathering of volunteers and more than 100 years of history to record. As the society grew, more and more private citizens and donors gave artifacts, pictures and interviews which resulted in the Creede Museum. In 1996, the society was approved as a non-profit.

Through their trials and tribulations to document Creede’s rich history, the society has received countless hours of work through the many volunteers that gave their time, including one who served as president on the board and was one of the first to be approved for grant funding that ultimately restored the old Denver and Rio Grande Railroad depot on Main Street so that it could be used as a museum.

This historic museum is located in Basham Park in the center of town. The building is a wood frame depot and according to history, was built from 1891-92.

“During Creede's boom days when the Denver and Rio Grande extended its line to Creede to support the mining operation. The rail line originally went through Creede, up the canyon to Upper Creede and a ways beyond. It is said that the line paid for itself in only four months. Such things were possible during boom times,” Creede Historical Society officials stated.

Current President Doc Howard recounted the story and gave credit to past President David Klager.

“He was an amazing asset to the historical society 20 years ago and we, unfortunately, lost him too soon," Howard said. "At that time, I was serving as vice president, and he was able to obtain grant funding through the Colorado Historical Society so we could begin work on the old depot building and bring it back to life. We were in the first phase of the grant when David passed away suddenly, and the responsibility passed to me.”

Howard continued his tale, stating that he and his wife with the support of the City of Creede and the rest of the historical society finished out the grant and restored the building.

“We now have about 8,000 pictures that have been donated by private collectors and families which are being digitalized by our wonderful volunteers, so many more artifacts that we have cataloged and set out for display at the museum," Howard said. "It was really a special thing to watch it grow over this last 20 years but now we need some help.”

Howard sid that though they do still have a decent number of volunteers and board members the society is hoping that more people will show interest and give their time for the love of history.

“There has always been a huge support system for the historical society here in Creede, but we need more active members, and we would love to generate interest in the younger crowd," Howard said. "The local gas station, Downstream Gas and Mercantile sell our fundraising items like the Creede flag and we have the support from the town and the county. We just want to see the support continue.”

For more information on becoming a member or a volunteer, contact the Creede Historical Society at 719-658-2004.

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