Preserving Colorado Springs Memories

Today features another great piece about the work of History Department Instructor Leah Davis-Witherow, whose “day job” is to be curator at the Pioneers Museum. Leah is involved in preserving the history and memories of each neighborhood in Colorado Springs, and this piece describes her work in more detail. Here’s a brief excerpt:

“Every one of us, every house, every street, every neighborhood is an important part of our collective story,” she said.

Of course, I completely understand. I’ve spent most of the last 35 years telling the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. Typically, many can’t fathom why I want to meet them and tell their stories.

Anyway, in response to that column, readers started sending in their photos and histories. And Witherow hopes readers will send more.

“I was gone over Christmas and when I came back I started getting all these photos. It’s like I received a Christmas present with these photographs.”

For example, she was tickled to learn of efforts in Ivywild by Linda Johnson and Molly Merry to collect old photos, take contemporary photos, record oral histories of longtime residents and write a history book of the neighborhood south of downtown Colorado Springs.

And she’s equally enthused about other folks who responded to her request.

“We are getting fantastic images of distinct neighborhoods,” she said. “We’re thrilled.”

She especially likes the before-and-after photos some have sent.

“Historians and geographers are always interested in showing change over time,” she said, noting that in 50 years, all the photos of current life will be historic. “Over time, the change can be dramatic. It’s terribly exciting to see. We’d really like before-and-after photos.

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