A Thanksgiving Day Menu From Douglas County

The cookbook collection in the Archives & Local History (ALH) vault is a great place to search for a Thanksgiving menu steeped in Douglas County history.

Compilations of recipes in the ALH collection come from many sources: families, individuals, churches, parent-teacher organizations, restaurants, and schools. One book, “Behind the Badge,” was published by the Douglas County Sheriff’s office and features the recipes of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and their friends.

To start your Thanksgiving dinner, consider the recipe for “Stuffed Mushroom Delights,” contributed by Loretta Bierschenk, secretary of patrol for the sheriff’s department at the time.1 And even though it’s not traditional, a recipe for olive tarts found in “Recipes by Parker Newcomers Club” sounds tempting.2

For the dinner’s centerpiece, cook up a fabulous turkey using the instructions from the National Turkey Federation found in the pages of the cookbook “Favorite Recipes from the Golden Dobbin.”3 The McConnells opened the Golden Dobbin restaurant in 1964 at 519 Wilcox Street in Castle Rock. They published multiple editions of the cookbook containing their most popular recipes starting in 1965. Instead of dressing, consider Dobbin’s Tomato Pudding, a recipe added to the cookbook’s fourth edition by popular demand.4

Thousands of options exist for side dishes inside the pages of the cookbooks in our collection. Consider baking corn bread from “Naturally.” The recipes there were compiled by Karen Becker and Ferne Adams of Jarre Canyon in the 1960s for the family “tired of opening boxes and cans of over-processed, chemical, artificial and additive laden foods.”5Tried N True” features recipes from Douglas County 4-H members. Corey Crispe’s take on cranberry salad features cherry Jell-O, celery, pecans, and cranberries.6 Instead of green bean casserole, consider the recipe for green beans Napoli from “The Clarke Family Cookbook,” published for a family reunion in 1991.7

A Thanksgiving meal is not complete without dessert. The Golden Dobbin Special Dessert includes a “butter fluff” layer topped with chocolate, bananas, and cherries.8 A recipe for raw apple cake contributed by Phyllis Davis to the Hilltop Community Church Cookbook sounds like a perfect fall treat.9

Let us know if you try any of these recipes with success, or even if you fall short. We hope you have fun trying. To discover more about this topic or items in the archives, please check out the Archives & Local History digital collections or contact archives staff.


1 “Behind the Badge,” Stuffed Mushroom Delights by Loretta Bierschenk

2 “Recipes by Parker Newcomers Club,” Olive Tarts by Judy Pearson

3 From “The Preparation and Cookery of Turkey,” National Turkey Federation, Mount Morris, Ill.

4 “Favorite Recipes from the Golden Dobbin,” Fourth Edition, 1975, Tomato Pudding

5 “Naturally,” Corn Bread, Karen Becker and Ferne Adams

6 “Tried N True: Douglas County 4-H Cookbook,” Cranberry Salad, Corey Crispe

7 “The Clarke Family Cookbook,” Green Beans Napoli, Jamie and Joe Kordziel

8 “Favorite Recipes from the Golden Dobbin,” Fourth Edition, 1975, Golden Dobbin Special Dessert

9 “Hilltop Community Church Cookbook,” Raw Apple Cake, Phyllis Davis

Hut, Hut, Hike! Youth Sports in Douglas County

It’s football season in Douglas County! Archives & Local History’s newest reading room display exhibits some of our materials on youth sports from the early 1960s through 1990. You can also learn about local youth sports here.

Do you have a local sports collection you’d like to donate? ALH is looking for papers, photographs, records, minutes, diaries, ephemera (like posters and brochures), audiovisual materials (videos, recordings), and more. We’d love to chat with you. Contact Local History.

The Arapahoe Youth League

The Arapahoe Youth League has been around since at least the early 1970s. ALH’s Arapahoe Youth League (AYL) materials (2001.060) contain records, playbook diagrams, ephemera (posters, stickers, brochures), correspondence, and photographs. Coach Mark Lee oversaw Douglas County’s AYL football and baseball teams, both called the Dolphins. Today, the AYL football team is called the Raptors.

Flaunt It While You’ve Got It!

The 1980 sports uniform catalog Southern Athletic/Bike advertised these interesting outfits for football practice. Many people in the 1970s cast off traditionally modest clothing in favor of flaunting it! Due to the soaring popularity of fitness through the ’80s, short-shorts and crop tops found themselves a staple of mainstream fashion—for both men and women. The crop top is said to have been inspired by football jerseys ripped on the field. What do you think? Should we bring the look back?


Safeteeth Firthst

Even though dental injuries accounted for about half of sports injuries in the 1940s, it wasn’t until 1962 that mouth guards were made mandatory for high school football players. “Boil and bite” mouth guards can be easily fitted to an individual player’s teeth. This one belonged to the Arapahoe Youth League, though it appears not to have been used.

Image shows a white boil and bite mouth guard.
Boil and bite mouth guard, 2001.060, Arapahoe Youth League materials.


Understanding Concussions

Jake Snakenberg, 1990-2004

Karen McAvoy, Director of the Center for Concussion at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, was a school psychologist at Grandview High School in Aurora when freshman Jake Snakenberg died of injuries sustained by multiple concussions. The incident affected McAvoy deeply and inspired her work on combatting concussions in youth sports. In honor of Jake, please take the time to review the hospital’s tips for recognizing and managing pediatric concussions.



Highlands Ranch History Spotlight: How to Implement a Master Plan

Forty-three years after it was first conceived, Mission Viejo’s dream has come to fruition. With more than 20,000 developed acres, Highlands Ranch is one of the largest planned communities in the United States. Starting with the first completed home in 1981, Highlands Ranch now comprises 35,510 houses with a population of around 100,000.

These figures align almost precisely with Mission Viejo’s 1978 vision of 30,000 homes, a population of 90,000, and two town centers with supermarkets, drug stores, professional offices, and commercial recreation built over a 25- to 30-year period.

After the Mission Viejo Company entered into an agreement to purchase the Highlands Ranch property, the company initiated a three-phase planning program. The program intended “to prepare a plan for a compact, balanced, new town that would be aesthetically pleasing, environmentally and socially responsible and economically viable,” according to Mission Viejo materials found at the archives.

By 1987, the company felt close enough to its goal to declare “Highlands Ranch The Pride of Colorado … No community satisfies both your needs and wants like Highlands Ranch.”

The master plan made realtor Teri Leonard’s job easy as she peddled Highlands Ranch real estate in the 1980s. “Because of the planning and effort that went into building Highlands Ranch, it was hardly any work selling it. Taking families through the recreation center to see what the community had to offer was often all the selling that was needed,” Leonard said.

That satisfaction, the company believed, came from the amenities Highlands Ranch offered, including pools, golf courses, neighborhood schools, community recreation centers, acres of greenbelts, and community events.

The events were central to building the sense of community Mission Viejo desired. Promotional materials advertised the Easter bunny leading children to an Easter egg hunt at Northridge Park, a kids’ bicycle parade on the Fourth of July, kite-flying contests, chili cook-offs, Santa’s workshop, apple pie baking contests, and softball games.

In 1982, the community celebrated its first Highlands Ranch Days, receiving permission from the county commissioners to serve beer at the hoedown from 8 p.m. to midnight. Julie Colby was one of the winners in the first bake-off, creating a Raspberry Layer Pie using Jell-O and cream cheese. At the 1983 Highlands Ranch Days a cheesecake sold for $47 at the live auction.

Ultimately, Mission Viejo’s plan was about more than infrastructure. The company wanted to create in Highlands Ranch a “sense of community,” “intimacy and a sense of true belonging,” “a place where people once again know their neighbors,” and “a feeling that makes the quality of life here very special.”

For those 100,000 citizens in Highlands Ranch today, do you think Mission Viejo’s aspirations were achieved?

To discover more about this topic or items in the archives, please check out the Archives & Local History digital collections or contact archives staff.