Johnnycakes, lemonade, Native American talking sticks, fur pelts and herbal medicines were all part of the annual Living History Days last weekend at Staunton State Park. Volunteers from the park and …
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Johnnycakes, lemonade, Native American talking sticks, fur pelts and herbal medicines were all part of the annual Living History Days last weekend at Staunton State Park.
Volunteers from the park and Colorado Parks & Wildlife, some dressed in late 1800s clothing, explained to visitors on Sept. 11 what it was like to live in that time period. A treasure hunt and a hayride helped lead participants to historical cabins once lived in by Archibald and Rachael Staunton. Their 1,720-acre ranch is now Staunton State Park, and the cabins, which were built in 1918, are getting repairs thanks to a Historicorps grant.
At the visitors center, representatives of area historical societies and authors of books about the area’s history regaled people with stories of the area.
Elena Mauer and Kayley Paling, both 9, used yarn to decorate their Native American talking sticks with the help of Staunton volunteer Colleen Kindler, who recently moved to Pine and loves hiking at the park. Elena said she liked learning about the area’s history and what people in the late 1800s needed to survive in the wilderness.
They made talking sticks, explaining they learned the sticks were used by Native American tribes in group settings, so people had a chance to talk when it was their turn to hold the stick.
Michelle Houghton, a CPW volunteer, taught visitors about feathers and fashion. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was popular for women to wear feathers or entire birds on their hats, and more than 5 million birds died yearly to adorn women’s clothing. However, women stepped in to protect birds, leading to the Audubon Society and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.
Staunton volunteer Jen Nickerson had a fun time telling somewhat terrifying stories of how those with tuberculosis were medically treated a hundred years ago. The Stauntons, who were doctors, had a sanitarium on their property.
The operations, which she demonstrated on a stuffed animal named Raymond the marmot, would attempt to stop the body from using the diseased lung, and she said someone with tuberculosis back then had a 50/50 chance of living.
Jaclen DeLozier, 13, and her mom Karrie, who live in Lakewood, came to Staunton State Park because it was Girl Scouts Love State Parks weekend. They didn’t know Living History Days was taking place, and they were enjoying learning about life at the turn of the 20th century.
Randie Boldra, who has been volunteering at Staunton for years, said Living History Days was important to teach younger generations about nature and the past.
“The next generation needs to know about this,” she said.
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