January 2015

Castle Rock Historical Society 
and Museum

Admission is Always FREE!!


- Exhibits and Events

Visit the Newest Exhibit to the Museum

"Building with Rhyolite"

Test your knowledge of local rocks. See tools used in the quarrying and cutting of Castle Rock's remarkable stone-Rhyolite. From 1892-1906 millions of tons of rhyolite was mined (quarried) and shipped all along the Front Range. See current pictures of the more than thirteen dozen rhyolite, mansions, churches, and buildings from Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Denver, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. 


January's Free Presentation

January 8, 2015
Refreshments at 6:45 pm, Presentation at 7:00 pm
Philip S. Miller Library
100 S. Wilcox St. Castle Rock, Co. 80104
Grab your popcorn and join us on Thursday January 8, 2015 for a Double Feature!! January’s presentation will be a viewing of two of DC8’s films. The Monster of Plum Creek, and the Castle Rock UFO.

January Calendar

  • January 8, 2015 - Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum's Monthly Presentation

Coming in Febuary

  • Febuary 12, 2015 - Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum's FREE monthly Presenataion - WWII veterans Carron Barrella and Jim Blaine : More than 36 Days

  • Visit for future exhibits and events.

- THE 5 W's

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

Last months photo was of 213 Perry Street, The Owens House. The porch was removed after it was damaged in a storm. It is now an apartment building with 5 apartments. 

- History Corner

William Dillon

William Dillon was born in New York, grew up in Ireland, and originally came to Colorado in 1880 to improve his health after contracting tuberculosis. After about two years William felt well enough to return to Ireland to resume his practice of law.
   William was admitted into the Irish Bar in 1874, practiced law for the following 5 years before coming to live on West Plum Creek for the two years he was recovering from his illness. He then returned to Dublin but decided to return and make Castle Rock his home. William contacted George Ratcliff whom he boarded with for the two years he lived on West Plum Creek and they agreed to purchase the Crull Ranch dividing the cost between them equally and adding the Crull ranch to the Ratcliff's T-Ranch. He proceeded to live in a little log cabin on the ranch and married George Ratcliff's daughter Elizabeth in 1885.
   William's family visited sometime before the wedding and his uncle Charles Henry Hart noticed the lack of a Catholic Church in Castle Rock and left money to build one. One of Charles requests was to name the church St. Francis of Assisi, after Williams brother Henry Dillon who had just became a Franciscan priest. The dedication of the new Catholic Church was on December 11, 1888.
   Elizabeth and William lived with the Ratcliffs for a year before building their own house on Cantril Street in Castle Rock. They lived in that house for seven years and during that time William continued to practice law and Elizabeth gave birth to four sons.  In 1893 William sold his interest in the Crull Ranch/T-Ranch to George Ratcliff and moved his family to Chicago. Until 1902 William was the editor of the New World, a Catholic newspaper in Chicago, then resumed practicing law in the firm of O'Donnell, Dillon, and Toolen. In 1906, together with four other lawyers, William Dillon proposed to St. Ignatious College ( the predecessor to Loyola University) that the school should establish a law department. That set in motion the creation of Loyola University Chicago School of Law where Dillon became the first dean. 
   Six more children were born to the couple while they were in Chicago and in 1916 the family returned to Castle Rock. They built a house at 517 Cantril Street which was just across the street from their first home. The new house consisted of three stories. However, the top two stories were later destroyed when they were removed in the hopes of those two stories becoming another house. In 1935, during the dust storms, William's lungs became congested and he passed away at the age of 85 and is buried at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Castle Rock. 

- Historical Society News

Castle Rock Historical Society Board

President - Dorothy Kelly
Vice President - Shaun Boyd
Secretery/Treasurer - Fleta Nockles
Education - Guy Mordeaux
Fundraising - Sandy Schenecker

-In Our Community

Colorado Gives Day

Thank you to all who donated to the Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum through Colorado gives day. Your donations are greatly appreciated. 

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. 

- In the Gift Shop

Looking for 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 2015 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. 

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...

Recycle - Save those aluminum cans!! A HUGE thank you to those who have been donating 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. 

Lionel Oberlin, the first Director of the Castle Rock Museum, has moved to Seattle to be near his daughter, Wendy. He has an apartment at the Emeritus Senior Living Center.  His new address is
805 4th Ave. N. #254
Seattle, Wa. 98109 
I am sure he would love to get a card from his many old friends.

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 .
Copyright © 2015 Castle Rock Historical Society and Museum, All rights reserved.

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