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History Colorado to host photo scanning event for Museum of Memory Lincoln Hills project

Lincoln Hills.jpg
Posted at 5:33 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-03 09:30:35-04

DENVER — History Colorado will host a photo scanning day on May 11 to collect stories and photographs connected to the Historic Lincoln Hills resort as a part of its Museum of Memory Initiative.

“We've been connecting with folks who have a personal story to Lincoln Hills, and they share photos with us, and we scan them to be entered into the collection. And then we also do oral histories. And this is actually pretty new for the Museum of Memory Project, but we're also doing an open call for material items,” said Acoma Gaither, History Colorado assistant curator of Black History.

History Colorado to host photo scanning event for Museum of Memory Lincoln Hills project

Lincoln Hills, located in Gilpin County, served as a safe space during the Jim Crow era for Black travelers. Guests included everyday vacationers and celebrities, with many staying at the infamous Winks Lodge.

"Lincoln Hills was the only resort open for Black folks within the Rocky Mountains, which was huge. And this was in the 1920s, that's when it started. And the Klan was at the height of its influence in Colorado government. And this was really a safe place for folks,” Gaither said. “A lot of the questions that I get is, "Why Gilpin County specifically considering every other county in the state?" But you know, when you think about it, that particular community, there were frontier women and frontier men, and they had a background in mining. And I think a lot of people were more open to having more diversity in the mountains.”

Lincoln Hills

While History Colorado currently has a Lincoln Hills exhibit, curators are hoping to update it with more items and stories.

“It’s kind of sparse right now. We just acquired a brochure that lists all of the members that were a part of Lincoln Hills and where they owned property. And we also have some materials from the Lincoln Hills Cares Foundation, which is actually a new organization that was created in the last few years. And they do a lot of youth outdoor equity programs, they have an equestrian program — so we have a bridle and a helmet and just a few contemporary photos. So we're trying really to fill in the gaps with the story,” Gaither said.

Terri Gentry, History Colorado engagement manager for Black communities, has a personal connection to Lincoln Hills.

Lincoln Hills

“Judge Gary Jackson's great-grandfather built several cabins. And he built our cabin, the Shangri La, which is right next door to Gary Jackson's cabin. My grandparents bought that cabin in the 60s they had been visiting Lincoln Hills for quite a number of years,” Gentry said.

Gentry said she has fond childhood memories of Lincoln Hills.

“The hummingbirds were so much fun to watch and witness, and the chipmunks hanging out. Our cabin backs up to a mountain so we would climb up to the top of this mountain. I don't think it's that big, but it was huge when we were kids. And we just knew that we were on top of the world when we would climb that mountain. Just everything about Lincoln Hills just made you feel like you were in a special place,” Gentry said.

Gentry hopes the scanning event helps capture even more diverse experiences and memories.

“We're hoping that community members come in with all of these wonderful photos of when they were children at Camp Nizhoni, when they were hiking through the area, when they were having family events and gatherings. And we're hoping that maybe some of them can also bring some artifacts and things that they used that we can put in our exhibit here at History Colorado. We have a wonderful exhibit about Lincoln Hills, but we want to expand it and invite more information and artifacts,” Gentry said.

The photo scanning event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 at Ford Warren Library.

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