Museletter IGNITE your curiosity. DISCOVER your story. JANUARY 2020 El Paso County Courthouse Construction Rendering by Phil Nowicki, 1994

A LOOK BACK As historians, we constantly find ourselves looking back at our community’s history. With a start of a New Year, it encourages us to look back at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum’s (CSPM) progression over the past year and 124 year history. The El Paso County Association felt strongly about preserving our community’s history, and we continue this tradition to this day. In 2019, we connected more than 100,000 annual visitors to the cultural history of the Pikes Peak region with brand new exhibits, innovative programming and preservation of our object and archival collections. 2019 Early in 2019, [Dis]Information: American Indians Through the Lens of Roland Reed opened to encourage visitors to examine the role “retrospective photography” played in our understanding of American Indians. [Dis]Information includes dozens of pictorialist photographs of American Indians taken by Roland Reed in the early twentieth century, original artwork and commentary by Gregg Deal and contemporary American Indian photographs. The CSPM was honored to work with Gregg Deal, Pyramid Lake Paiute, an extraordinary artist whose work challenges misconceptions of indigenous people and asks viewers to reexamine stereotypes. [Dis]Information was so popular that we are keeping the exhibit open until January 2021. In 2019, with only three years away from the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Colorado Springs, the CSPM unveiled Evidence: Finding the Facts about General William Jackson Palmer—the first permanent exhibit as part of this celebration. By 2021, the three permanent exhibits will fundamentally reshape our understanding of this community’s compelling, richly diverse, and unique history. We developed innovative ways for our visitors to engage with Pikes Peak regional history. In April, we launched the History Happy Hour Series—an after-hours museum program. This program encourages visitors to connect with different eras of local history by playing board games. This was very successful, and we are looking forward to expanding this program in 2020.

Every year, we invite families to attend our annual Colorado Grown Family Fun Day and Festival of Lights Family Fun Day. In 2019, we added the inaugural Night at the Museum to our Family Fun Days. Families saw history come to life, and interact with historic figures from Colorado Springs history. We enjoyed adding another opportunity for guests of all ages to explore the 1903 El Paso County Courthouse in this after-hours fall event. 2019 was also a big year for recognition and awards for the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. CSPM once again received one of the highest recognition available to any museum in the United States, accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Initially accredited in 1992, the museum must undergo an extensive evaluation every ten years in order to maintain that status. The CSPM is one of only 24 museums in Colorado to achieve that status. “We are impressed by the way the museum is seeking and responding to input from the community and incorporating that information into its exhibitions and program offerings—this is a great example of embodying the principles of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.” – AAM Accreditation Evaluator Shortly afterward, the National Endowment for Humanities awarded the CSPM a $290,000 grant towards a $600,000 project to install an HVAC system at the museum’s off-site storage facility. This is a transformative project to expand the museum’s ability to preserve and share the cultural history of the Pikes Peak region. We made significant strides this past year, and we are looking forward to sharing more with you soon in our By the Numbers Annual Report for 2019. We cannot thank you enough for your participation and support towards the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, and we are looking forward to seeing you here soon in 2020. THANK YOU Through the generosity of Helen McCaffrey Charitable Trust and individuals, we raised $10,900 through the Indy Give! Campaign. Together, we are preserving and sharing our cultural history at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Thank you again to all of our supporters! We look forward to sharing your impact throughout the year. MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 3 (Above) [Dis]Information: American Indians Through the Lens of Roland Reed exhibit (Left) Gregg Deal speaking on panel discussion

UPCOMING EVENTS Jan & Feb 2020 CHILDREN’S HISTORY HOUR: Daydreamers Wed., January 15 & Sat., January 25 | 10:30 – 11:30 am Explore endless imagination! Lon Chaney used his imagination to create characters on film. Helen Hunt Jackson used her imagination to write stories and poetry. RSVP required SILENT FILM SOIREE: ROARING 20s COSTUME PARTY (21+) Fri., February 14 | 6:30 to 9:30 pm Valentine’s Day at CSPM: Enjoy the silent film and live orchestra accompaniment, VIP access to museum exhibits, a Roaring Twenties themed costume party and contest, photo booth and much more! Click here for tickets! CHILDREN’S HISTORY HOUR: The Great Migration Wed., February 19 | 10:30 – 11:30 am After the Civil War millions of African Americans left the South in search of a better life. Explore the stories of individuals and families in Colorado Springs who played many roles in shaping the city we live in today. RSVP required FAMILY FUN DAY: CONEJOS NEIGHBORHOOD CELEBRATION Sat., February 22 | 10:00 am – 3:00 pm NEW EXHIBIT plus CELEBRATION: Una Familia Grande: The Conejos Neighborhood Project: Guests are invited to a family friendly celebration, featuring performances by Ballet Folklórico de la Raza and live music from the norteño group, Motivado. Learn more as former Conejos residents tell stories about their community. RSVP required Click here for event details! INSIDE BUFFALO-THEY SERVED AMERICA WHEN AMERICA WAS NOT READY TO SERVE THEM Thurs., February 27 | 6:00 – 7:30 pm Film Screening: An award winning feature film, Best Documentary at Black International Cinema Berlin ,tells the story of the 92nd Buffalo Division, the all African American segregated combat unit that fought with outstanding heroism in Italy during the Second World War. Tickets required, $5 each. Click here for tickets! Learn more about our events or RSVP on our website: www.cspm.org/rsvp-for-an-event MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 4

DID YOU KNOW? Lon Chaney: The Man of a Thousand Faces LON CHANEY AND MARCELINE DAY IN THE MOTION PICTURE, THE BIG CITY, 1928 Famously, the Man of a Thousand Faces had very few words to say about his private life. He once told Screen Secrets magazine that he generated more publicity by being silent about his past than if he were more vocal. How appropriate, considering Lon Chaney was a world-famous silent film star renowned for his lead roles in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera. Although he may not have talked much about it, Chaney’s roots in the Pikes Peak Region ran deep — his experiences growing up here influenced his choice of career and shaped his talent. Lon Chaney’s maternal grandparents, John and Mary Kennedy had three children: Emma (his mother), Mattie, and son Orange; all three of whom were born with hearing loss. John Kennedy established the Mute Asylum in Baldwin City, Kansas in 1864 and served as the Steward of the Olastic Asylum before arriving in Colorado in 1873. The next year, he established what would become The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB). With a $5,000 appropriation from the Colorado Territorial Legislature, the facility opened in a small house on Cucharras Street before a building site of 10 acres was donated by General William Jackson Palmer’s Colorado Springs Company. Three of the thirteen students enrolled for the 1874-1875 school term were the children of founder Jonathan Kennedy. Lon’s father Frank Chaney was born in on April 3, 1852 in Carroll, Ohio. He lost his hearing after contracting typhoid fever at the age of four. Lon’s mother, Emma Kennedy was born on October 13, 1855 in Lawrence, Kansas, and had hearing loss since birth. As author Michael Blake has stated, in addition to providing educational and vocational opportunities for students, the CSDB “served as a magnet for social activities for all of the city’s deaf community.” After meeting at the school, Frank and Emma were married in her parent’s home on December 5, 1877. MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 6

Unfortunately, the Chaney Family suffered a series of setbacks and often struggled financially. Starting in 1882, Frank Chaney was employed as a barber at Phil Strubel’s Barber Shop for over thirty years. A search of the Colorado Springs City Directories during these years illustrates how the family moved frequently, always trying to find spacious yet affordable accommodations for their growing family. Leonidas “Lon” Frank Chaney was born on April 1, 1883, the second out of five children. Sadly, baby Earl Chaney born in May 1887, died of pulmonary consumption that July. Colorado Springs Opera House at 18 N. Tejon Street, ca. 1900 Lon attended several elementary schools and stated he had a “reasonably happy” childhood. He played sports and had many friends. However, in 1893 his mother Emma became bedridden with inflammatory rheumatism after the birth of her last child George. Lon dropped out of fourth grade to care for her and his younger siblings. As biographer Blake describes, “It was here that Lon began to develop the talent that later won him praise as one of the great mimes of the silent screen. For three years, Lon took care of his mother in the silence of her bedroom, relaying the events of the day to her, while using every dramatic technique he could invent, Lon mimicked his friends and neighbors at play and work, 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 his siblings grew older, Lon went to work to help support the Chaney Family. During the summer months he worked as a tour guide on Pikes Peak, and was often employed as a wallpaper hanger and carpet layer by Brown’s Wall Paper and Paint Company on North Tejon. Chaney was introduced to the inner workings of theater through his older brother John, who was a stage hand and later stage manager at the Colorado Springs Opera House. Young Lon worked there as a “prop boy,” and stage hand, occasionally appearing as an “extra.” According to grandson Ron Chaney, Lon first took the stage in a production titled The Little Tycoon, which he co-wrote with his brother John. The show traveled around the country and Lon went with it. By 1910, Lon Chaney was living and working in Los Angeles. After a public scandal involving his wife Cleva Creighton, Chaney left stage acting for work in the silent film industry. Starring in over 150 films, he became a Hollywood legend. For his craft Chaney underwent tremendous physical suffering, binding his feet to his thighs behind him to play an amputee in The Penalty, and wearing a 50lb artificial hump on his back for The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He also mastered the art of “stage makeup.” He famously transformed into any character — completely unrecognizable from himself. In fact, despite being one of the biggest movie stars of the era, Lon Chaney could walk the streets of any major city incognito. 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 SILENT FILM SOIREE: ROARING 20s COSTUME PARTY & CONTEST Friday, February 14 Tickets (Click here) MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 7

Volunteer of the Month Jennifer Malenky The museum would like to thank and spotlight Jennifer Malenky for her generous and effective service as Vice President and President of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Board. This spring, Jennifer finishes her term, and Jan Martin will assume the position of President. Jennifer began volunteering with the museum in August 2014. In addition to her role in museum leadership, she has also supported the fundraising committee and is a member of the Clock Tower Society. Jennifer shared that as a “near native” she has had a love for local history since moving to Colorado Springs at the age of 11. She was thrilled to be able to use her skills and passion to contribute to our work. She’s passed her interests on to her family since getting involved, “I have enjoyed bringing my son Max to many programs and events over the years. Festival of Lights Family Fun Days and the Bent’s Old Fort exhibit have been highlights, as has a tour of the clock tower.” While she enjoys exploring the entire museum with her family, she is most captivated by the new Evidence exhibit, “The recent discovery of ‘interesting’ artifacts in General Palmer’s trash heap has been particularly fun and revealing!” Matt Mayberry, CSPM Director said, “It’s been a real pleasure having Jennifer serve in a leadership role on the CSPM Board. She brought extraordinary passion and insight as board president. Her experience as a nonprofit fundraiser played an instrumental part in helping advance the museum’s mission.” When not supporting her community, Jennifer works with Colorado Early Colleges, a statewide network of publicly funded charter high schools, leading the philanthropic giving and strategic partnership efforts. Her husband, Kim Polomka, is a public art muralist of some renown with a number of works painted in Colorado Springs. Their 11 year-old son, Max, is growing up fast and she shared “I’m blessed to have my parents still with us here in town to help watch him grow.” She loves to read, has a great passion for classical music and her “Gen X 80s ‘New Wave’ favorites.” She is also a self-proclaimed “sucker for period dramas on PBS and Netflix.” Thank you for your incredible service Jennifer! MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 8

MUSEUM STORE Gifts Artisans Jewelry Welcome Leah Koller Leah was born and raised in Colorado Springs. She attended UCCS, where she obtained a B.A. in History in 2008. In 2013, Leah started volunteering at the museum at the front desk, where she greeted visitors, meeting many people from all walks of life. After 6.5 years, she is now the Museum Store Manager, where much of the merchandise available is made-in-Colorado, in addition to an extensive historical book offering for adults and children. In Leah’s spare time, she enjoys collecting and reading books and spending time with her family. Books Looking for a nice Valentines Gift? Stop in the Museum’s Gift Shop and check out the array of beautiful jewelry and of course, a special book of poetry and artistry to compliment your gift! Partner Spotlight MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 9

CSPMHAPPENINGS 2020 Scholar Series first lecture: The Historic Films of the Pikes Peak Region, presented by Steven Antonuccio, Jan. 11, 2020 Una Familia Grande: Conejos Neighborhood Project Steve Winters constructs store front for new exhibit opening February 22, 2020 MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 10 Connect with CSPM!

CSPM HAPPENINGS Holiday Lights at CSPM Docent, Fran Worthington reads story at Children’s History Hour MUSELETTER JANUARY 2020| PG 11

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