Historical Commission Corner- July 2022

View as a webpage / Share

town of Superior

Historical Commission Corner

historical escavation

We start this month’s edition with good news from the Historical Commission. The debris removal effort at the Historical Museum started on July 20. We watched as the expert backhoe operator from Meyers Services brought up mangled, melted, and rusty remnants of our former cherished artifacts. Although saddened by the reality of confirming our worst expectations, we were happy to finally see the progress underway. The Commission kept a few selected items to incorporate into an exhibit in the next museum showing some relics of the Marshall Fire.

Once we get the green light from the Town, the Commission will move into the Grasso Park bungalow and set it up as our interim Historical Museum. Plans are underway to acquire two display cases to reproduce and display some of our former exhibit boards.

To fill the museum, we are receiving and cataloging new donations. We will be accepting donations of objects that reflect the mining and farming history of this area as well as household and personal items representing everyday life from approximately 1890 to 1950. Any donation will be considered for display and is appreciated.

A thank you goes out to Linda and Eric Leimkuhler for their donation of two “hog oil” lamps and a coal bucket. A special thanks to Gladys Forshee who donated an American flag that flew over her property in Original Town. It survived the fire but is somewhat smaller than it once was. The framed survivor symbolizes the endurance of Superior and its citizens and will have a prominent place in the new museum.

April Parker with Grasso gate

The Grasso Gate

In June we were graced with a visit from April Parker, great granddaughter of Frank and Victoria Grasso, namesakes of our scenic Grasso Park. Commission members and Mayor Clint Folsom spent time with April and her husband in her family’s old Superior neighborhood where her grandfather grew up. After her return to Virginia, she wrote an email to Mayor Folsom, which follows in abridged form.

“(Frank and Victoria Grasso) purchased the 209 W. William Street home in 1927 for $350.00. In 1928 they purchased the home at Grasso park and sold the 209 W. William residence to their son John and his wife Rose. There, John and Rose raised the four sons John Jr., Thomas, Richard and Butch. John lived in the home for 70 years until his death in 1997. When national news of the fire was broadcast, the entire family watched in horror from all across the country. . . We were immensely relieved that Grasso Park had escaped without any major damage. Our relief was very short lived as we began to see the utter destruction of a town and community that means so much to us. [April then tells that the only thing remaining of the W. William St. house was the iron gate.] I reached out to Mayor Folsom . . . who personally collected the gate (She got the gate from him and shipped it back to Virginia). I plan to keep the gate just as it is, charred and all, to remind me of my great grandfather, my family and the wonderful town of Superior. I hope to see the Original Town rebuilt and the community reunited again.” From April Parker on July 8, 2022. April also thanked Ed Borg and Mike Dempsey for their assistance in exploring 209 W. William Street.

Gate in Snow

Did you know that:

  • The town of Kim in Las Animas County was named for Rudyard Kipling’s boy hero?
  • In a style in the image of Hollywood, the Cotapaxi train robbery of 1891 involved such ne’er do wells as Peg Leg Watson? The bad guys were eventually caught and most of the $3600 in cash and gold bars recovered.
  • On August 13, 2009, founder of Rockmont Ranch Wear Jack Weil died in Denver at age 107?

The Historical Commission currently has three vacancies, so applications are welcome. For more information, contact Lydia Yecke at 303-499-3675 or Commission Chair Larry Dorsey at 303-499-1969 or you can click on the button below to find more information.

Historical Commission

Text by Larry Dorsey, proofed by Dorothy Mahan.