February 2017 Museletter IGNITE y our curiosity . DISC OVER y our st ory . Photo of Lon Chaney Courtesy of Chaney Entertainment

february 2017 Museletter IGNITE your curiosity. DISCOVER your story. 2016: A Record Breaking Year By: Matt Mayberry, CSPM Director Before we get too far into 2017, let’s take one more look back at last year. 2016 turned out to be a record setting year with a total visitor count of 76,327. This shattered the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum’s (CSPM) previous totals dating back to at least 1990. Prior to 1990, the museum’s attendance statistics are incomplete. The increases are reflected in nearly every category we track. Much of this across-the-board increase is a result of CSPM’s ambitious exhibition and program calendar. Fantastic new exhibits, such as the City of Sunshine and The Art and Facts of Business, along with their related programs drove attendance higher. The largest single percentage increase came in visits by school groups, which is due in large part to the continued roll-out of newly designed school programs. Use of the museum for special events, meetings and facility rental continued to grow thanks in large part to the Colorado Farm and Art Market, which moved to our grounds last June. We look forward to having them on the grounds on Wednesdays again this year. Our walk-in visitation rose, which reflects an overall greater awareness of the museum. It may also be due in part to new marketing banners around the perimeter of Alamo Square Park installed last spring. Since 2010 the museum has seen a 62% increase in annual attendance. I am confident there are few museums across the country that can boast of such significant, consistent increases. Many institutions are reporting flat or declining number of visitors. CSPM’s success is due to the commitment and hard work of our board members, volunteers and great staff. We appreciate the community for supporting our ambitious efforts! 2015-2016 Visitation Comparison Year 2015 2016 % +/Children's Programs No. 139 153 People 4589 5815 Adult Programs People No. 182 202 2139 2383 Off-Site Programs People No. 36 24 3011 2460 Facility Use No. 189 214 People 20624 25615 10.1% 26.7% 11.0% 11.4% -33.3% -18.3% 13.2% 24.2% Walk In No. 34463 40054 Total 64826 76327 16.2% 17.7% pg. 2

Mark Your Calendar..... PIKES PEAK REGIONAL HISTORY LECTURE SERIES A SEARCH FOR IDENTITY: THE LIFE AND WORK OF CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST CHARLES BANKS - Co-presented by Leah Davis Witherow, CSPM Curator of History and Barbara Headle, Senior Instructor of the UCCS Department of History Saturday, February 11th (2:00pm – 3:00pm) A veteran of the Spanish American War, Charles Banks served proudly in Company B, 24th Infantry, known as the Buffalo Soldiers. After moving to Colorado Springs in 1904, Charles Banks worked tirelessly to promote equality and oppose racial segregation and discrimination. He served as a page in the Colorado State House in the 1930s and used his personal connections with State Senator Edwin Johnson to urge enactment of the 1935 Colorado Civil Rights Amendment. In the 1940s, Banks organized a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent sit-ins at local businesses in violation of Colorado Civil Rights Law. Despite his public activism, Banks remains a bit of an enigma. Genealogical records reveal conflicting evidence regarding his ancestry and so do his personal accounts. Come to this lecture to learn more about the historical puzzle surrounding one of the most influential and interesting citizens in Colorado Springs’ history. CHILDREN’S HISTORY HOUR - THE OLYMPIC DREAM Wednesday, February 15th (10:30am - 11:30am) It’s never too soon to dream big! This month we’ll learn why Colorado Springs is known as Olympic City USA. We’ll explore the stories of basketball player Michael Jordan and local runner Dolphus Stroud and learn about their journeys towards competing in the Olympics. Make your own Olympic games bracelet and olive leaf crown. COURTHOUSE CRESCENDO - MUSIC FAMILY FUN DAY Saturday, February 25th (10:00am - 2:00pm) To celebrate the opening of our new case exhibit, The Unfinished Symphony: The 90th Anniversary of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum presents “Courthouse Crescendo - Music Family Fun Day” recognizing the many, unique community music organizations. Join us for an exciting day of music performance, demonstrations, crafts and activities! Please RSVP for these events at: http://www.cspm.org/rsvp-for-an-event/ pg. 3

RECAP: The Story Of Us Opening Reception After five years of work, we were thrilled to open our new and innovative exhibit, The Story of Us. Thank you to all those in attendance including, CSPM donors, members and volunteers and city officials and city council members, Helen Collins, Jill Gaebler and Tom Strand. A special thank you to Stockmens Bank for sponsoring this memorable evening. We can’t wait for all of you to experience this amazing exhibit! FEATURED EVENT: Phantom of the Opera Date Night & Kids Night Out The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is pleased to announce a spectacular evening of food, drinks, a silent film and live music. The evening features a showing of Lon Chaney’s 1925 silent horror film, The Phantom of the Opera. The film will be accompanied by professional five piece chamber ensemble, The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. But wait! What about the kids? This special night is fun for all ages! While adults enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, wine, and Phantom, the kiddos will make crafts, eat spooky snacks and watch a kid-friendly film! Guests are encouraged to dress in their own Phantom-inspired costumes to get into the Spirit of the event. Kids – feel free to dress comfy and bring a sleeping bag for movie-watching fun! Courtesy of the Library of Congress This fun-filled event will be on Friday, February 10th from 5:30pm-8:00pm at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Ticket prices: $25 (non members) and $20 (members) for adults; $10 (non members) and $5 (members) for children. You can purchase your tickets online by clicking here. pg. 4 Photos from The Story of Us reception

Did You Know? Man of a Thousand Faces: Lon Chaney By: Leah Davis Witherow, CSPM Curator of History & Archivist Did you know that the Man of a Thousand Faces was born and raised in Colorado Springs? Silent film star Lon Chaney, renowned for his roles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera, credited his experiences growing up here with shaping his acting talent and career choice. Photo Courtesy of Chaney Entertainment Chaney’s maternal grandparents, John and Mary Kennedy had three children, all of whom were born with hearing loss. John Kennedy established a Mute Asylum in Kansas before arriving in Colorado in 1873. The next year, he established The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) with a $5,000 appropriation from the Territorial Legislature. A building site of 10 acres was donated by the Colorado Springs Company. Lon’s father, Frank Chaney, was born in Ohio in 1852 and lost his hearing after contracting typhoid fever at age four. Lon’s mother, Emma Kennedy, was born in Kansas in 1855 and had hearing loss since birth. After meeting through social activities at the CSDB, Frank and Emma married in her parents’ home on December 5, 1877. Unfortunately, the Chaney family often struggled financially. Frank Chaney was employed as a barber for more than thirty years and the family moved frequently in search of spacious yet affordable lodging. Leonidas “Lon” Frank Chaney was born April 1, 1883, the second out of five children. Continued on the next page.... pg. 5

The Colorado Springs Opera House Interior In 1893, Emma Chaney became bedridden with inflammatory rheumatism after the birth of her last child. Lon dropped out of fourth grade to care for her and his younger siblings. As biographer Michael Blake described, “For three years, Lon took care of his mother in the silence of her bedroom, relaying the events of the day to her… Chaney mimicked his friends and neighbors…and even performed an occasional skit. Through this daily ritual, Chaney’s talent of pantomime, with his graceful movements and his expressive hand gestures, began to grow and take shape.” As he got older, Chaney worked as a tour driver on Pikes Peak, a wallpaper hanger and a carpet layer to help support his family. After being introduced to theater by his older brother John, Chaney worked as a “prop boy,” stage hand and “extra” at the Colorado Springs Opera House. The brothers co-wrote a production titled, The Little Tycoon, and when the show traveled around the country, Lon went with it. “After being introduced to theater by his older brother John, Chaney worked as a “prop boy,” stage hand and “extra” at the colorado springs opera house” By 1910, Chaney was in Hollywood. During his storied career, Chaney starred in more than 150 films and became a Hollywood legend. He also mastered the art of “stage makeup,” famously transforming himself into any character. Throughout it all, he never forgot his friends and family in Colorado Springs. In 1925 he held a special screening of The Phantom of the Opera for the students at the CSDB. One of the brightest stars ever to emerge from Colorado Springs, April is officially “Lon Chaney Month.” In 1986, the theater at the Colorado Springs City Auditorium was renamed in his honor. pg. 6

Int e r n SPOTLIGHT! Interested in The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum would like to welcome Jessica Green, one of our new education interns. Jessica will be working with Meg Poole, Program Coordinator, on our youth and family programs. Jessica grew up in Colorado Springs and graduated from CU Boulder in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in History and the Humanities. She is looking forward to learning all she can while at the museum. Photo of Jessica Green In her free time Jessica enjoys crocheting things for her family, especially stuffed animals for her younger cousins. Volunteering? Visit our website to find out how you can help: http://www. cspm.org/ support/ volunteers-corp/ Featured Sponsor of the Month: Sarah Serna is also joining the museum as an education intern. Sarah assists in coordinating and implementing the various education programs including Hands on History, Children’s History Hour and city walking tours. She grew up in upstate New York and central Maine, before joining the US Army in 2003 where she worked as a protective services agent and human resources specialist. After leaving the military in 2012, Sarah completed her B.A. in History from Columbia College, and then earned her M.A. in American History from Photo of Sarah Serna Norwich University. She relocated to Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters in 2016. We look forward to all we can accomplish with the support of our new interns! CHECK THIS OUT! Pop into the museum store after visiting the newly opened exhibit “The Story of Us” for a selection of books related to many of the exhibit topics. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the store is featuring a new children’s book, “Love is All Around Colorado” for $12.99. Purchase for a Valentine’s Day gift or anytime you feel like spreading the love around. And if you want to spread even more love, volunteer at the Museum Store! pg. 7

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