Westminster Historical Society keeps past alive

Westminster Historical Society keeps past alive for residents and city

Home grown historians work with the next generation to capture past for future use

By Catherine Elsby

YourHub Reporter

POSTED:   12/10/2015 12:01:00 AM MST ADD A COMMENT


Gary Shea adjusts a Christmas tree Dec. 3 as he prepares for a tree lighting ceremony at Grange Hall in Westminster.

Gary Shea adjusts a Christmas tree Dec. 3 as he prepares for a tree lighting ceremony at Grange Hall in Westminster.(Seth McConnell, YourHub)

WESTMINSTER —For 48 years, Linda Cherrington has worked to preserve history through the Westminster Historical Society.

Cherrington, known as “the history lady” to schoolchildren, has played a significant role in the society’s growth. She served as president for 27 years, and currently serves as vice president.

When the society was formed in 1962, the city of Westminster didn’t have much involvement, but by the 1990s, the city was dedicated to helping the society thrive.

“There was a time when no one paid that much attention to history,” Cherrington said, “but now they are very well aware of our history and the impact of Westminster’s history on the community.”

Bob Briggs has lived in Westminster since 1943 and
also wants to preserve the historic details of the city. For instance, many streets are named for prominent citizens.

“We have Bradburn Boulevard, which was named for a young man, Donald Bradburn, who was the first person killed in World War I from Westminster,” Briggs said. “Recognizing him and other people is important.”

The society is run largely in part with funds from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. In 2015, funds totalling $41,751.35 were determined by the Adams County Cultural Council and the Jefferson County Cultural Center. The society also receives additional funding from local donors and membership fees.

A majority of these funds do not have to be used for building costs and rent. Back when the society first started, organizers struggled to find a space to use. But when the historic Bowles House Museum at 3924 W. 72nd Ave. was scheduled to be burned down, a group of local children had an idea.

“Some kids petitioned and saved the house,” said Gary Shea, a trustee on the society’s board. “The city graciously lets us use it for $1 a year for some offices.”

Soon enough, the society outgrew that space and needed to look for additional properties, though the Bowles House Museum is still open to the public. The second building they acquired was an old ambulance building, which they also leased for $1 per year. The society’s offices are currently housed there, at 4850 W. 76th Ave.


Catherine Elsby: celsby@denverpost.com

Westminster history center

Where: 7200 Lowell Blvd., Westminster

Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays

Info: 303 428-3993


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