A New History Colorado board member wants to make sure the southeastern part of the state gets some attention

So I think part of what I can bring to this board is just an ability to contemplate with other passionate and reasonable people what to do with the limited resources we have. In my case, part of that effort and advocacy will be for rural Colorado.

Lewis: So what does it mean to have you as a representative on the History Colorado board?

MacDonnell: Part of what I hope to bring is a stronger bond between the board. It’s very metro-centric, and I don’t mean that in a negative way, but that’s just a fact. To educate the board (about) Southeast Colorado and our history, and just bring an appreciation to our own community and our people, that this board is not something that is “other” or “there” or “not us”. (These) people (the Colorado History Board) really care about interpreting and valuing history across the state.

Lewis: Describe the historic Las Animas Courthouse.

MacDonnell: Oh my God, that’s beautiful. I can watch when I’m at the courthouse and see people stopping the bend in the freeway, just so they can stop and take pictures. It is an old brick building, three stories high. It was completely restored, in part with funds from History Colorado, in 2009. All my time growing up (we) saw the courthouse in a certain way. But when they started the restoration, they dug into old pictures and discovered there was a copper roof at the courthouse that we had never seen. So when the architect’s interpretation started coming out, people were like “no, this courthouse doesn’t have that”. (But) of course he did. It was built in 1888 and for the first year or two this roof was blown off by a windstorm and was never replaced (until it was fully restored). (Now) that’s beautiful. At the right time of day, you can drive from any direction and see this glow (from the roof).

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