Manitou Springs Heritage Center Hours & Admission
Admission is free, but your donations are welcomed, needed & appreciated.
For additional information call 719-685-1454 or email ManitouHeritage@gmail.com
Location: The Heritage Center is located at 517 Manitou Avenue, in the same block as the Manitou Arts Center, across the street from the old Cog Train and Memorial Park.
About the Manitou Springs Heritage Center
Historic Manitou Springs, Inc., is an educational non-profit based in Manitou Springs, Colorado, at the foot of Pikes Peak which operates the Manitou Springs Heritage Center and was formed in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Our mission is to collect, preserve, research, and interpret the history and culture of Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.
The intent of the organization is to educate citizens and visitors in order to increase appreciation and understanding of this unique community. Before opening the Center Historic Manitou was operated by a board of three persons–Jean Garrity, Deborah Harrison, and Michelle Anthony. During the initial 10 years, we developed a track record of participating in and supporting community projects and events, such as restoration of the Eastern Gateway Arch, rehabilitation of Mansions Park, installation of over 30 Historic Interpretive Plaques throughout town, and placement of the memorial in Crystal Valley Cemetery for Emma Crawford. We have presented the “Ghost Stories of Old Manitou” haunted walking tours as part of the Annual Emma Crawford Festival (i.e., the events surrounding the Coffin Races) since its inception.
Prior to opening the Center, Historic Manitou increased the number of appointed board members and began seeking more volunteers. The following are the members of the current Board of Directors.
David was appointed as a board member in February 2015, after volunteering at the Center since the summer of 2014. David has a deep respect for history and artifacts that started very early in his life, and led to a Bachelors Degree in History. Recently David worked on the presentation of the Red Mountain Incline exhibit, and has been a tour guide the last two years for the Heritage Center ghost tours. David retired in 2013 after a long career at JPMorgan Chase to focus on family and local issues. David is now a teacher, focusing on college learning in online environments. He also volunteers at the Center at the front desk, working on exhibits, and building projects.
Michelle Anthony, AICP: Board Secretary
Michelle is Senior Planner with the City of Manitou Springs, serving the community in various positions, including as the City’s Historic Preservation Officer, in the Planning Department since June 1987. Michelle was given the “Preservation Pioneer Award” in 1999 by the Manitou Springs Historic Preservation Commission and received the first “Manni Award” for Civic Achievement (2014). She is a former board member of Colorado Preservation, Inc. and has served on CPI’s Endangered Places Committee since the program’s inception. Michelle was selected as a member of a state advisory taskforce on preservation education and has spoken at annual conferences for both CPI and Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association. Her membership affiliations include CPI (current member and past boardmember from 1991-1997), the Colorado Historical Society, Friends of the Pioneers Museum, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and, of course, Historic Manitou. Michelle has been an active board member of Historic Manitou Springs, Inc. since its founding.
Sydne Dean was elected to the Manitou Springs Heritage Board in 2016. Sydne has bee a resident of Manitou for 31 years. She was employed by the Pikes Peak Library District for 37 years in various positions starting as jail/Fountain libraries and ending her career as Interim Library Director. Sydne is also on the Friends of the Pikes Peak Library Board.
Shirley Wade is a self-employed antiques dealer (27 years). She is a 31-year retired federal civilian manager serving 15 years managing an Air Force wide program. At the same time, she was an active volunteer and full member of the San Antonio, TX Conservation Society and served on a large Federal Credit Union’s board. Upon her return to Manitou in 1995, she became a founding member as a MHS alumnus of the school’s Heritage Hall exhibit recently transferred to MSHC. She served in the planning stages of the Manitou Springs Heritage Center. Shirley is sure the love of Manitou history and antiques took hold during her years at the Cliff House Hotel during the 1940s and 1950s.
Michael Maio is a semi-retired real estate attorney who moved his family to Manitou Springs in 2005. He is currently a consultant for the oil and gas industry as a Registered Professional Landman. While living in Ohio, he was honored by the Ohio Community Development Association as the 1994 Board Member of the Year in recognition of his professional contributions made to the Community Land Cooperative of Cincinnati. Michael was also awarded the 2000 “10 Who Care Award” by the Price Hill Press for his professional contribution and board membership with the Price Hill Historical Society and the Western Wildlife Corridor.
Mr. Maio is no stranger to the non-profit world, having served as a co-founding board member for both the Price Hill Historical Society and Children Are Renters Too, a children’s housing advocacy group in Cincinnati. He has served as board chair for both the Community Land Cooperative of Cincinnati, which rehabilitates inner city properties to be sold to qualified low income families, and Services To Area Youth, an organization that assists parenting and pregnant teenagers.
Since relocating to Manitou Springs, Michael hasn’t skipped a beat with community volunteer work. From 2008-2013, he served as Den Leader and member of the Leadership Committee for our local Boy Scout Troop 18. He is an active member of the Manitou Springs Heritage Brew Festival and the Manitou Springs Great Fruitcake Toss organizational committees. He has served on the Manitou Springs Open Space Advisory Committee from 2006-2007 and was reappointed in 2015. Michael was appointed as a board member of the Manitou Springs Heritage Center in 2015.
Kevin Abney: Board Treasurer
Kevin was elected to the Board of Historic Manitou Springs, Inc. in 2010 and appointed to the position of Treasurer. He previously served on the board of the Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado on the state level and the Bed and Breakfasts of the Pikes Peak Region on the local level. For a number of years, Kevin operated The Avenue Hotel— a bed and breakfast in Manitou Springs—before selling the lodging the end of 2009. Kevin is a former member of the City’s Historic Preservation Commission and now owns a small home in Manitou Springs.
Catherine Gates-Shepherd: Volunteer Archivist
Cathy moved to Colorado Springs in 2012 and began looking for volunteer opportunities related to her efforts to finish her Master’s Degree in Library Sciences with an emphasis in archiving. After an initial email to the Center, asking about volunteering, Cathy quickly became part of the operations team. Cathy received her Master’s Degree in May 2014 and currently works as a Museum Coordinator at the Rawlings Public Library in Pueblo, CO. Cathy uses her education and expertise in the Heritage Center’s archives making sure the artifacts in the collection are inventoried and stored appropriately. Through Cathy’s stewardship, the organization has received (to date) two grants to support these archiving efforts.
We are actively seeking board members to fill three openings.
In July 2008, Historic Manitou Springs, Inc. obtained a Purchase Option on the building at 517 Manitou Avenue, started a membership campaign, organized new fundraisers, and set up a small gallery and office on the building’s second floor. On August 26, 2009, we opened the Manitou Springs Heritage Center in the building’s ground floor. The Heritage Center houses a museum space—free to the public—with exhibits about the history and culture of Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. Our growing collection of documents and artifacts are housed upstairs, and we are in the process of creating a History Research Center in which we can make these archive materials available to the public. All the donation of materials we have received are important and cherished. The following are examples of what we have received from donors for the growing collection:
- City Archives: A collection of documents donated in 2011 about the history of the Manitou Springs City government dating back to 1872
- Heritage Hall Collection: An archive of school memorabilia created by alumni dating between 1872-1956 when Manitou Springs Elementary housed all 12 grades
- Dr. Lewis Archer Collection: books about Manitou Springs, Colorado and Western history, and Lew’s personal research donated in 2014 that will be an invaluable resource in our research center
If you have photos, papers, drawings, paintings, information or objects associated with people or places in Manitou Springs’ history, please consider donating them to the Center.
The current Purchase Option gives us the ability to finalize the purchase of the property housing the museum. To date, the organization has been concentrating on operating the Center through building its volunteer base and sponsoring events and activities in order to raise funds to meet the monthly rent and other expenses. One January 1, 2015, the Board of Directors determined it was time to begin earnest fundraising for the building purchase in order to ensure that the museum has a permanent home. To that end, there will be many exciting fundraising efforts to accomplish this. Please go to the Capital Campaign page to learn more and donate to the building fund.
Operation of the Heritage Center has allowed us to extend the commitment to collaborate with many local organizations such as the Mineral Springs Foundation, the Business of Art Center, the Manitou Springs Woman’s Club, the Manitou Springs Chamber, and a coalition of 18 regional History Museums, to name just a few.
The Heritage Center is supported by donations and memberships, and operated entirely by volunteers (go to Volunteer page). We have a growing membership, over 800 “likes” on our Facebook page (as of December 2014), and serve all residents and annual visitors to the community.
The Manitou Springs Heritage Center is proud to bring to light and share Manitou Springs’ stories.