Members of the Denver, South Park & Pacific Historical Society met in Bailey, Colo. from Aug. 3-5, 2012 for their 14th annual convention. Fabulous weather, good fellowship and lots of railroad history made for a great time.
After Friday's registration at Helen Tatum McGraw Park, we adjourned to Fitzsimmons Middle School for lunch and Bob Schoppe's PowerPoint overview of the agenda. First up was Kenosha Pass, where Todd Hackett waited with his recently built, full-sized handcar. Many enjoyed rides on track laid by the U.S. Forest Service. Joe Moore also entertained with blasts from his authentic C&S steam whistle. It was the first time in many years such sounds had been heard in the area. Visits to Dake, Webster, Grant, and Shawnee completed the day's excursions.
Dinner was served at the middle school and a special presentation was made to Art Wallace. Art is recovering from a recent stroke and couldn't be with us. He was inducted as the third member of the DSP&PHS "Hall of Fame," joining previous honorees Cliff Mestel and Mallory Hope Ferrell. Art and his wife, Bernice, were able to listen to the festivities via cell phone and heard a rousing "Hello, Art," from the crowd.
Saturday morning, we took off via school bus for Pine, Buffalo, South Platte and points in between. The morning's highlight was the discovery of what is believed to be the original Buffalo depot sign in a storeroom near Green's Store in Buffalo. The storeroom was once used for offloaded freight destined for the store, so there is little doubt of the sign's authenticity. A two-wheeled cart was also found. While not marked, it almost certainly was used in conjunction with the railroad.
After a box lunch at the South Platte Hotel, many walked the grade along the Platte River. Then, it was off to Camp Santa Maria, which used to be known as Cassells. Several hours were spent touring the area, which many of us had seen for many years but never visited. This was indeed a rare treat.
The evening was spent with dinner and Bob's year-in-review presentation. Silent auction items donated by Todd were quickly spoken for and the restoration fund gained $157. Other items offered for sale included the 2013 calendar, Art Wallace's Mason Bogie drawings and C&S folio drawings.
Sunday morning was spent touring what's left of Estabrook. The group was generously hosted by Michael and Suzanne Van Hall, who opened their home for our catered box lunch. Several folks also walked remnants of the grade, which is on their property.
All too soon, it was time to say "goodbye" for another year. We're already looking forward to Leadville, or whever our next convention takes us, in 2013.