This year was busy for Archives & Local History (ALH). Read on to learn about some of our biggest projects and accomplishments in 2021.
The Metzler Estate Collection
Alyssa worked to secure 48 boxes of historical materials from the estate of siblings Bob and Rosemary Metzler. The Metzler family were prominent in Douglas County history. Both siblings left a legacy in public education, but their records also document cattle ranching, dairying, agricultural industry, suburbanization and growth, property history, community organizations, and local creative figures. These records will be available for public use.
Sixty acres at the Metzler Ranch are now being preserved by the Douglas Land Conservancy and the Town of Castle Rock. Eleven acres will be open space, including trails.
Joan completed an inventory of the vault, reaching our goal of reviewing 560 accessions in the archives. Since 2019, ALH staff have confirmed the contents of hundreds of boxes, updated records, and improved descriptions.
Some of the boxes were heavier than expected, like the one that contained pieces of a steel railway found at the Madge Quarry site. Some were surprising, such as the reproductions of plans to build the world’s tallest building in Larkspur. First proposed in 1964, the World Science Center—complete with amusement park, restaurant, and convention center—never got off the ground.
Other materials filled gaps in Douglas County’s historical record, like the abstracts of title going back to 1872 that document the complete ownership history of some Douglas County properties. Other accessions, like our magic lantern glass slides, were simply beautiful.
We are proud to be the stewards of all the irreplaceable materials contained in those 560 accessions, and are glad our review makes them more accessible to the public.
Veterans History Project
Julia worked to compile, process and send Veterans History Project oral history interviews to the Library of Congress, preserving 12 interviews that document the military experiences of Douglas County residents. These interviews are available through our digital collections and in our reading room at the Castle Rock – Philip S. Miller library.
Online, you can read transcripts or listen to audio from local veterans, plus view photographs and documents. Sending copies of these interviews to the Library of Congress American Folklife Center ensures that they will be available to a much wider audience.
Archives & Local History is proud to be a trusted repository for the history of Douglas County. We hope to have another productive year in 2022.