Evergreen’s 150th celebrated in photo journey

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By Sara Miller

You’ll be hearing a lot about birthdays this year in the Evergreen area. On July 4, 1859, the Bergen family finished building their cabin in today’s Bergen Park, among the first settlers to put down roots in the area. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of this “founding” of Evergreen, John Steinle, administrator at the Hiwan Homestead Museum, has teamed with the Center for the Arts Evergreen.

On Wednesday, March 25, Steinle will present a photo journey through Evergreen’s past via historic photos from the museum’s collection.

“The Bergen family chose to live along the Mount Vernon Toll Road, which connected Denver City with the gold mining camps in South Park,” Steinle says. “The toll road ran through today’s Evergreen area and met the Bradford Toll Road at Bradford Junction, now known as Conifer. So the anniversary this year celebrates Bergen Park, Evergreen and Conifer.”

Steinle moved to Colorado in 1992, and since 1994 he has been the administrator of the museum. Steinle also taught history classes at Red Rocks Community College and Community College of Aurora for 10 years. His interest in history started at a very young age.

“I remember being fascinated on trips with my parents to Williamsburg and some of the Civil War battlefields. My love of history just grew from there to the point that I wanted it to be my vocation and my hobby as well,” says Steinle.

Steinle received a master’s degree in museum and archival management from Wright State University and worked as a curator and archivist at the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Historical Society. He also became involved in historic re-enactments, most recently participating in the living history gatherings of the Lewis and Clark voyage.

In conjunction with Steinle’s historic presentation, the Center for the Arts will sponsor a 150th anniversary poster contest. The contest is open to students in grades 6-8. Students from area schools may create and submit full-color posters based on incidents, people or places important to the history of Bergen Park, Evergreen and Conifer.

Posters may be submitted at the Center for the Arts by March 25. The winning poster will be printed and sold at Evergreen’s Summerfest and at the July 4 150th anniversary celebration.

Steinle’s photo journey is part of the Center for the Arts’ weekly Brown Bag Lecture Series. All Brown Bag presentations are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Center for the Arts Evergreen at 303-674-0056 or visit www.evergreenarts.org.

Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.