March 2016

Castle Rock Historical Society 
and Museum

Admission is Always FREE!!


We're sorry to announce that local historian and the First Director of the Castle Rock Museum, Lionel Oberlin, passed away on Feb. 17, 2016. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.  Lionel was instrumental in creating the Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum and we will be forever thankful.

Please see his obituary further down in the newsletter.

- Exhibits and Events

Going, going......almost gone!

"Deluge of the Century,

The Flood of 1965"

In 1965 Castle Rock was cut off from the rest of Colorado when Plum Creek and Sellar's Gulch flooded the city and washed out the bridges. Come in to the museum to find out what bridge this was and how much water rushed through Castle Rock before flowing into the Platte river and flooding Denver.

Also on Exhibit


A two foot section of the wooden water line that provided Castle Rock with water from 1916 until 1940.  This wood stave pipe supplied 75,000 gallons of water per day from East Plum Creek to downtown.
 A large section of the pipe was dug up in June of 2014 near the Crystal Valley Parkway.


Museum Makeover


Come see the redesigned Douglas County Schools and Douglas County & Castle Rock Government display.


March's Presentation Program


March 10, 2016
Refreshments at 6:45 pm, Presentation at 7:00 pm
Douglas County Events Center/Conference Room
500 Fairgrounds Dr. Castle Rock, CO  80104

Please join us on Thursday, March 10, 2016 for a Tribute to Silent Movies in honor of the Academy Awards.  Come enjoy a 21 minute Buster Keaton movie and some Oscar Trivia.  Refreshments will be served at 6:45 pm with the presentation starting at 7:00 pm. Please note that the location will be in the conference room at The Douglas County Fairgrounds Events Center 500 Fairgrounds Dr. Castle Rock, Co. 80104. Admission is free.


For more information contact the Castle Rock Museum



History Corner

This month our presentation meeting will be a Tribute to Silent Movies.  Which caused us to start looking for connections to movies and photography around Castle Rock.  We found that there have been many movies filmed in Castle Rock.  Most notably are John Wayne’s  â€œThe Cowboys” (1972) and “True Grit” (1969).  We haven’t found the exact locations yet.  So, if anyone knows where these sights are we’d like to know more about them.  The 2004 movie “Silver City” was filmed at The Cherokee Ranch & Castle.  In 2015 the movie “Table 47” listed Castle Rock and Franktown as filming sights.  Something to look forward to this year is the 2016 movie “Auto Shop of Horrors”.  Filmed at 1 Stop Tire & Auto in Castle Rock.  Created by Glenn Berggoetz of Denver and Tim Gallagher of Sedalia.  You might even recognize some of the actors and/or character names. 
This leads us to mention the Abbe Ranch House.  This ranch located in Perry Park was once the home of photographer, James Abbe and family.  He was an expert movie still photographer in the 1920’s and an important photojournalist in the 1930’s.  He was one of the first western photographers to photograph Joseph Stalin in Russia.  He became well known for photographing movie and stage productions.  His portfolio includes many famous names such as; Lillian Gish, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford.

                      Charlie Chaplin                                                        Lillian Gish

Artifact of the Month

No. 2A Brownie Model B camera by Eastman Kodak.  Produced from 1900 to the 1960's. The Brownie popularized low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot. The first Brownie, introduced in February 1900,  was a very basic cardboard box camera with a simple meniscus lens that took 2¼-inch square pictures on 117 roll film. With its simple controls and initial price of $1, it was intended to be a camera that anyone could afford and use, hence the slogan, "You push the button, we do the rest."
No. 1 AUTOGRAPHIC KODAK Special Camera (Model B). The autographic system for roll film was launched by Kodak in 1914, and allowed the photographer to add written information on the film at the time of exposure. Text was entered using a metal stylus, and would appear in the margin of the processed print. The system was never very popular, and was discontinued in 1932.

- THE 5 W's

Do you know about this present day historical location?
Come into the museum for the answers to these questions.

Last Month's Photo

402 Wilcox Street:  It was built in 1922 and was the Castle Rock State Bank.  In 1936 the Town purchased the building and it was used as the Town Hall and Library.  Then in 1939 it was purchased by Philip S. Miller and became the Bank of Douglas County. After Mr. Miller's death in 1996 the bank and building were sold to FirstBank and then in 2008 it was sold again and is now home to Law Offices.

Membership Update

     Student - $10.00
     Individual - $20.00
     Family - $35.00
     Lifetime - $150.00
     Lifetime Family - $250.00

It is renewal time for many of our memberships, so thank you to everyone who have renewed recently. 
If you haven't visited the museum lately, please come by and see the permanent and ever changing displays.  You might learn something new or even teach us something new.

Thank you from all of us at the Castle Rock Historical Society.

March's Calendar

  • March 10, 2015 Tribute to Silent Movies.

  • Visit for more information on upcoming presentations and exhibits at the museum.

  • April 14, 2016 - Come meet and listen to Ed Sardella, renowned broadcaster and news anchor for Channel 9 News.
  • May 12, 2016 -  Monthly Presentation
  • May 14, 2016 -  Trolley Tours of Castle Rock. 
  • May 21, 2016 -  Victoria's Tea at Christ's Episcopal Church 2:00 - 4:00pm.  Please join us for our first annual CRHS tea.  Come enjoy food, tea and great company.

Future Program Ideas

We could use your input on planning future field trips for the CRHS.  We have some ideas and would like to know if people would be interested in visiting these sights:


               Santa Fe Rhyolite Quarry

               Castlewood Canyon

                Lamb Spring Archaeological Site


Please contact the Castle Rock Museum at to let us know if these trips sound interesting.  Also, we'd like to know if you have any other suggestions for places to visit.

- Historical Society News

Castle Rock Historical Society Board

The Castle Rock Historical Society Board meets the second Monday of each month.  Meetings are held at the Castle Rock Museum at 5:15pm. All Historical Society members are welcome to attend.

President - Dorothy Kelly
Vice President - Cindy Malone
Secretary -  Lynette McNairy
Treasurer - Jim Allamian 
Education - Guy Mordeaux
Events and Fundraising - Open
Historian - Open
Asst. Sec./Treas. - Suzie Perry

Looking for something to do?  We have just the thing for you.  There are a few open positions on the Historical Society Board.  Please consider joining this wonderful group.


Thank you to Gloria Kuhn for bringing refreshments to the February presentation meeting.

Volunteer Opportunities

Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum

Member Meeting Refreshments – Sign up to bring and/or coordinate members to bring refreshments to membership meetings. Cookies and drinks are all that is required, but your inspirations would be great too.  The Society holds monthly program meetings for the benefit of its members.

Tour Planner and Organizer – The society and museum plan visits to local sites related to exhibits at the museum or tours to sites of interest to the historically minded.  Past trips have included an historic tour of Denver, tours to local rhyolite quarry sites, tours to interesting sites around Douglas County,  a tour of Glen Eyre (home of Gen William Palmer) and others.   A Tour planner would arrange for several tours a year and serve as host for the tour.

Historic Marker Manager – The Historical Society has initiated the Historic Marker Program in Castle Rock.  A local site with an interesting history has a metal plaque with a QR code (readable by a smart phone) with information and pictures about the history of the property.  Twenty markers have been placed thus far.  More locations certainly qualify.  The manager would keep current markers up to date and work to add sites to the program.

Docent – The museum can use docents to cover for vacation time for museum staff.  Docents conduct tours of the museum.  A great way to increase your knowledge about Castle Rock and meet interesting people at the same time.  Volunteer for as little as two hour commits.


We have several Douglas County Historic Calendars from years gone by that are available at no cost.  They include the years 2010, 2012, and 2013.  If you missed those years, stop by and get a copy while they last.

-In Our Community

  • The museum is asking if anyone has any old copies of the Castle Rock Journal newspaper or other local newspapers from 1875.   Please contact the museum if you would be willing to let us take a look at the papers.

  • We are also looking for any photos of Mary Briscoe who was a nurse in Castle Rock from 1895 - 1958.
Commemorative Brick Courtyard 

The courtyard at the Castle Rock Museum is continuing to expand, stop by and purchase your own commemorative brick for yourself, a loved one, a business, or even your most cherished animal companion. 

Lionel Eugene Oberlin


Lionel Eugene Oberlin died Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 in Seattle Washington. Lionel moved to Seattle in 2013 to be near his daughter, Wendy Oberlin.  Lionel was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Mildred “Starr” Oberlin. He is survived by his sons, Dirk and Erik and daughter Wendy and grandchildren, Aaron, Jenifer and Aiden. Lionel and his wife Starr were well known to the community as strong supporters of Historic Preservation and the driving force behind the establishment of the Castle Rock Historical Society and the creation of the Castle Rock Museum. Lionel was born in Canton, Ohio, May 1, 1923. He graduated from Jackson Township High School in 1941.  He and Starr became High School sweethearts and married after graduation.  Lionel went to work for the Hoover Vacuum Company in a tool and die apprenticeship.  He joined the Navy in 1943.  He trained as an aviation mechanic in the Chicago area and was ultimately assigned to the Pacific theater. After the war he returned to the Hoover Company.  He then decided to go to Grinnell College and later did graduate work at the University of Minnesota.   After graduate school the Oberlins returned to Ohio and developed an interest in antiques.  When they moved to the Pittsburg area for Lionel’s job with Westinghouse they eventually purchased and restored the Gaston House outside of Pittsburg PA.  After a trip to visit relatives in Pocatello, Idaho they fell in love with the West and purchased and landmarked another historic house.  In 1988 they moved to Castle Rock to be near their grandchildren.  They purchased the Hammer House and put it on the National Register in 1993. Through Starr’s antique shop they met other local people interested in preserving the historic buildings and history of Castle Rock.  They formed the Castle Rock Historical Society, pressed for an historic preservation ordinance and led the effort to establish the Castle Rock Museum.   Lionel served on the Castle Rock Historic Preservation Board as well as the Douglas County Historic Preservation Board. Lionel served as the Director of the museum from its opening in 1997 until 2007.  Over 25 properties have been landmarked since the passage of the ordinance including the “Rock”.  Lionel and his wife were the first recipients of the Town Council award honoring those who have made significant contributions to the Town of Castle Rock.  Their remains will be laid to rest in a ceremony at Cedar Hill Cemetery later this year.

- In the Gift Shop

Looking for a unique gift? Come down to the Castle Rock Museum's gift shop for all your historic Castle Rock and Douglas County gifts. We are stocked in 2016 calendars, Robert L. Lowenberg's book "CASTLE ROCK: A Grass Roots History," a handful of children's railroad themed toys, and a limited number of local Castle Rock postcards.


March Specials

Mary Cornish 1994, Limited Edition, "Historical Castle Rock."  These are 11x14 matted prints, originally $45, now available in time for Christmas for $15.95.   

Hal Rice 
"Castle Rock, Denver & Rio Grande RR, c. 1902."  Only three of these  prints from the original watercolors by Colorado artist Hal Rice. Two 11x14 matted prints for $15.95 (orig. $45), and one framed print of the same size for $29.95 (orig $65).
Either of these two artist's prints would make
a wonderful addition to your family room or den, 
or a gift to loved one out of state.  

We are also offering special prices on our entire selection of Vintage matted prints of Castle Rock.  Selections include, 1920s Wilcox St., 1930-40s Starlighting, and many more.  Normally priced at $24, these are now available for $9.95.  
Also:  we have received numerous 8x10 matted, color photographs of Roxborough Park, and wildlife, available for $5.95.  

We still have lots of B&W and color photos, 8.5x11 for $4.75. 


   2016 Calendars


The new 2016 Historic Calendars are here!!  Published by Historic Douglas County, Inc., the Calendar is now available here.  Suggested donation - $5.  
We also have available, for free, leftover calendars from 2010, 2012, & 2013.

Also now available in our gift shop: homemade "jams and/or jellies" in various sizes and flavors.

New to the gift shop at the Castle Rock Museum

"Chronicles of Douglas County Colorado"

Join the Castle Rock Writers for a journey through the history of this land and the diverse legacy left behind by those who made it their home.


Along with these popular titles...

You can now support CRHS by shopping on Amazon!!

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum, every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to the CRHS. To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device, search and select Castle Rock Historical Society and begin shopping and supporting CRHS. 

Think of the Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum on  Colorado Gives Day.
Donate Here.

Recycle - Save those aluminum cans!! 

The museum collects and recycles aluminum cans to raise money for matching grants. Bring those cans to the museum and use the green container next to the bathroom. Aluminum cans only please. Anything else will be removed by the recycling company. Help the environment and raise a little money for the museum.
Many thanks to those who have already contributed!

If you would like to send a note to Lionel Oberlin's daughter Wendy, she can be reached at: 
4015 Wallingford Ave N.
Seattle, Wa. 98103-8218 


Mission: The Castle Rock Historical Society operates the Castle Rock museum, celebrates, educates, and brings together people interested in the preservation of the heritage of the Castle Rock, Colorado area.
Support the Castle Rock Historical Society. Join as a member, make a donation, or sell an item on eBay.

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Association of Northern Front Range Museums

Opportunities to Contribute

You know we need you!! Thank you to those who help with hands, time and money. Whatever your skill is, it can help the community in your historical little town of Castle Rock.
To find out how you can help email .

Castle Rock Museum Hours
Wed. - Fri  12:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.
Sat. 11:00a.m. to 4:00p.m.
Copyright © 2016 Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum, All rights reserved.

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