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In 1989, Mike Massey, 1946-2022, was a member of Littleton’s Centennial Commission, which was charged with planning the official festivities to celebrate Littleton’s 100th birthday.Many fun events were planned, but Mike was concerned that nothing really focused on the heart of Littleton: Main Street. At the time, Mike was co-chair of the Littleton Leadership Retreat and developed the “do-able deal” concept: each group of attendees had to develop a project that was actually do-able.
To promote Main Street and prevent its deterioration, Mike presented the idea of the Second Century Fund at the retreat. A lawyer by profession, Mike drew up the necessary documents and the Second Century Fund became a reality. Mike served as its first president and continued as president of Historic Littleton, Inc., for a number of years. Mike enjoyed the new leadership and the new spirit of historic preservation in Littleton. Our founder passed away in January 2022 from COVID. His leadership will be greatly missed, his legacy will live on.
Gretchen Ricehill, a Colorado native, was raised in Littleton. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and historic preservation from Colorado State University, and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado. Putting her education to practice, Gretchen worked for the City of Sioux City, Iowa where she authored the city’s first historic preservation ordinance, established the city’s first historic district, and successfully lead efforts to preserve, restore, and rehabilitate several buildings in the city’s downtown area. She recently returned to her hometown of Littleton where she looks forward to working with HLI to help interpret and preserve the city’s history for future generations.
Rick Cronenberger has been an active proponent of saving Littleton’s historic buildings since 1982. New to Littleton at that time, he frequently discussed the City’s history with Bob McQuarie, the first director of the Littleton Historical Museum. Rick began his career in historic architecture preservation in 1978 and is particularly passionate about Mid-Century Modern architecture. He studied Architectural conservation at ICCROM: the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property in Rome, Italy. Over the years, he has served on the Colorado Historic Preservation and State Register Review Board, the first Littleton Historical Preservation Board, and the Second Century Fund board. He rejoined the Historic Littleton, Inc., board in 2017 and is a returning member and Chairman of the current City of Littleton Historical Preservation Board. Rick is a retired National Park Service Historic Architect.
How to spend a fun night in downtown Littleton looking at and learning about our historic buildings and the people associated with them!!!
Historic Littleton Inc is hoping to get a few volunteers to be tour guides for our First Friday Main Street tours held from May through September.
Historic Littleton inc will hold a tour guide training session on Tuesday April 19 at 5:00 p.m. We will meet at the Courthouse steps (2069 W Littleton Blvd) and go through the tour script as we walk down Main Street. The training should take about 1 ¼ hour. We will provide a script for everyone who is interested.
Gail Keeley and other HLI board members have been leading these Main Street tours for over 5 years and it really is fun. You get to learn a lot about the buildings along Main Street and you get to meet some really interesting people on the tours. We would love to have you get more involved with Historic Littleton by attending this tour guide training and deciding if this is an activity you would like.
If you plan on coming to the training, please send me an email at email@example.com so I know how many copies of the script to bring along. Feel free to call me at 303-921-4718 if you have any questions. Thanks much,
Historic Littleton, Inc.
Darlee Whiting moved from Castle Rock to Littleton in 1957, quite a big move at the time. Businesses on Main Street closed 5 p.m. every night, leaving the streets empty but for a few pedestrians and drivers hoping to get through town before the train interrupted east/west traffic for quite some time. Back then, Littleton had one high school, no junior high or middle school and four elementary schools. The fire department relied on volunteers and the siren on top of Town Hall alerted all about a fire.The same siren sounded off every day at noon and there is no doubt many sleeping babies had shorter naps. The nearest hospital was in Englewood, and the sheriff parked at Nevada and Main waiting for excitement to happen. Darlee shopped at the grocery store, the Montgomery Wards, and the local bakery, and she had a meat locker at the local meat market. All the stores were within walking distance of one another up and down Main Street. Darlee loves her history with Littleton and hopes you will, too.
Carrie Wheeler, a native of Lakewood, Colo., first became aware of Downtown Littleton when her junior high choir director recommended Penny-Robin Dancewear as a source for dance shoes. A few years later, Carrie and her high school friends spent many Saturday nights enjoying the Christmas lights on Main Street. Many years after that, Carrie became active in Littleton when her family joined the community in 2014.Carrie believes Littleton’s charm is a meaningful differentiator among cities in the Denver Metro area, and she is enthusiastic about promoting the characteristics that make Littleton an extraordinary place to call home.
Barbara Eaton first became aware of Downtown Littleton as a student at Arapahoe Community College in the early 1980s. One day, she wandered into Art Gore’s Photography Studio on Curtice Street, where she and Mr. Gore talked at length about Littleton. Mr. Gore believed Littleton had great potential, but he shared his disappointment at how the City was losing its appeal. Soon after, the Second Century Fund was born. (The fund was formed to help preserve and protect Downtown Littleton.) Barbara has been an active member of the Historic Littleton, Inc., board since 1989, devoting time to special events and serving as membership chair.
Rebecca Kast became interested in historic preservation after writing a series of articles about preservation for the Littleton Independent in 1991. In 1992, she developed the first Walking Tour of Historic Littleton brochure as her “do-able deal” for the Littleton Leadership Retreat. (The retreat featured the “do-able deal” concept, which tasked each group of attendees with developing a project that was actually do-able.) In 1993, she was elected to the Littleton City Council and was a strong advocate for preservation during her three four-year terms. Rebecca served on the Littleton Historical Museum board and the Second Century Fund board. She was president of Historic Littleton, Inc., for six years and wrote the newsletter for 15 years.
Margi Clute made a career in homebuilding as vice president of sales and marketing with several local homebuilders. Her experience in designing new homes and her love of history led her to apply for the City of Littleton Historical Preservation Board after retirement. She served on the Historical Preservation Board for nine years, including two years as chair and several years as liaison to Historic Littleton, Inc. When she reached her term limit with the Historical Preservation Board in 2016, Margi was elected to the Historic Littleton, Inc., Board of Directors.
Gail Keeley is a historian who ran her own city planning and historic preservation consulting firm for 35 years. She performed historic surveys all over the state of Colorado for local municipalities, state and federal agencies. Gail specialized in evaluating and mitigating potential impacts to historic properties from transportation development projects.As a member of the first Historical Preservation Board, she worked on the City’s first Historic Preservation Code.Gail has presented many Historic Littleton, Inc., programs on structures and people, and she is an avid leader for the Littleton Main Street tours.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Katherine Roxborough now calls Littleton home. She finds her new community to be idyllic, with the preservation of its historical charm alongside economic growth. Katherine brings a consulting and commercial real estate background to her position on the Historic Littleton, Inc., Board of Directors. She is focused on marketing initiatives to promote the organization and expand its membership.
Jean Selders, a third-generation Colorado native, attended Colorado universities and retired from Littleton Public Schools as a school psychologist. History has always been a recreational interest of Jean’s, and her hobbies include travel to historical sites throughout the world. She has been a member of Historic Littleton’s Scavenger Hunt Committee since its inception.
John Gerkin has been an active HLI board member since 2012. He and his wife, Liz Eaton, were the creators and founders of the Historic Littleton Scavenger Hunt. It has been a highly successful event in downtown Littleton for many years. John lives in a historic home in the downtown area.
Sonya Ellingboe participated in the Littleton Leadership Retreat in 1989 during which the need for a group to focus on Littleton’s history was identified. The Second Century Fund was formed, and she was hooked. Sonya brought a lifetime of interest in historic buildings and served as secretary for the organization. Her enthusiasm for Downtown Littleton continues. She hopes to expand interest in historic properties with related community programming and to expand membership in Historic Littleton, Inc.
Kimber Dempsey, a Colorado native, moved to Littleton in 2018. A devotee of Mid-Century Modern architecture, she spends much of her free time advocating for and educating people on the style. Kimber is a licensed Realtor who specializes in Mid-Century Modern and vintage homes. As a Littleton resident, she wanted to help Historic Littleton, Inc., with a focus on Mid-Century Modern buildings. Kimber is also a board member of the newly formed Docomomo US Colorado chapter and she helps with Denver Modernism Week.