In 1989, Mike Massey 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. He remains on the board, occasionally Main Street tours, and served as “sheriff” of the Scavenger Hunt for many years. Mike enjoys the new leadership and the new spirit of historic preservation in Littleton.
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.
When Karen Arras and her family moved to Colorado in 1975, they chose to live in Littleton because of the quaint and historical downtown. During the 1980s, Karen ran a business in the downtown area and witnessed a decline in the vibrancy of Main Street. To help turn the tide, in 1989 she became a charter member of a new group called the Second Century Fund, which was formed to help preserve and protect Downtown Littleton. In 1990, the group became Historic Littleton, Inc. Karen has been an active member for more than 30 years.
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. 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 of the current City of Littleton Historical Preservation Board. Rick is retired from the National Park Service.
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.
Ron found a way to combine his background as an accountant with an interest in historic Littleton. He has served as HLI’s treasurer since the organization was started as The Second Century Find, filing tax returns, writing checks, and keeping HLI out of tax trouble.