Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cabin Fever Dance Tonight

The Morrison Action Committee is sponsoring a mid-winter dance tonight, 6 p.m. til midnight, at the Town Hall. No cover charge, with music to be provided by the Morrison Town Band beginning at about 7:30 p.m. Donations will be accepted to help refill MAC's coffers for future events; light refreshments will be served.

The Morrison Historical Society will launch its new membership campaign at tonight's festivities. This is your chance to get in on the ground floor with a charter membership!

Lila Horton will offer a free dance lesson -- great chance to learn the Electric Slide, or practice your blues and boogie!

Hogback Cellars, near the Town Hall, will offer specials on appetizers and wine early in the evening; the Historical Society will provide munchies later to keep your strength up for the dancing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Return of the Bell

Morrison acquired its first school building in 1875, and it was used as a school until about 1955. This beautiful sandstone building had, as traditional, a school bell in a "belfry" on top. Sometime after 1955, the building was vacant, the bell mysteriously disappeared, and the belfry itself was soon removed. (See before and after photos at the link above.)

In 2006, just in time for Morrison's centennial celebration, the bell came home. After some negotiation by Dan Rohrer, the town borrowed it from the International Bell Museum in Evergreen, where it had come to reside. The loan was extended after the Bell Museum's proprietor, Winston Jones, died in August 2006. Last year, the town arranged to acquire the bell from the beneficiaries of Winston's 6,000-bell collection. A few other historic Colorado bells were also repatriated, but most of the collection has gone to a new home at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. (Click photos to enlarge.)

On Wednesday, I ran across the bell again while it was awaiting a new installation back home in Morrison. Here, DeWayne, Jerry, and Marcie contemplate the 240-pound bell in the back of a town pickup, making plans for its relocation near the town's new mural and interpretive kiosk along Mt. Vernon Creek at main street (Bear Creek Avenue).

Yesterday, Jerry kindly sent this photo of the bell in its new home above the Mt. Vernon Creek bridge on the Bear Creek Trail. He promises step-by-step photos soon. If you get a chance, go by and welcome the old bell back to its hometown, if not its rightful spot!

See also, story at YourHub.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Morrison: The Book

It's been more than 30 years since a Morrison history book was published. To rectify that, MHS signed a book contract with Arcadia Publishing last fall. The book will be in their Images of America series, a 128-page format with about 200 photos of the town's history. It should be available for purchase early next year.

Morrison history in print, to the best of our knowledge, consists of the following two books:

Morrison Memory Album, by Lorene Horton and Mary Helen Crain, was published in 1976; a few copies are still available through the Horton House Bed & Breakfast. It's currently also on

A View from Mt. Morrison, by Samuel Arnold, was published in 1974 and is out of print. If interested, try searching for it on ebay.

Morrison is, of course, mentioned briefly or in chapters of several histories of Jefferson County. We'll try to list some of those in a future post for your reference.

Morrison Historical Society Renewed

In fall 2008, several of us got together to rejuvenate the Morrison Historical Society. We now have an address, a book contract, and the beginnings of a plan for a great year in 2009. We hope you'll join us here for updates and breaking news as the year progresses.

We'll launch our membership campaign on January 31st at the Morrison Winter Dance. Details will be posted soon. Join us there!

Background: The Morrison Historical Society was originally organized in the 1980s as a branch of the Jefferson County Historical Society in Evergreen, Colorado. The Morrison Historical District Museum, founded and managed by Lorene Horton until her death in 1991, was a private museum. After 1995, the Horton Collections moved into the old Town Office and began operations under Town auspices as the Morrison Heritage Museum. The Morrison Historical Society continued an active and advisory role in that museum until it was closed in 2004. Lila Horton plans to reopen the Museum as a private museum (we hope it will be later this year), and the MHS will assist in that effort.

More information on Morrison history is available at our website: