To Colorado Springs With Love


Saturday, February 14 | 2 - 3pm
Pikes Peak Regional History Lecture Series
To Colorado Springs With Love:  The Legacy of Fannie Mae Duncan and the Cotton Club

Presented by Kathleen Esmiol


When Fannie Mae Bragg--a young African American teenager from the back roads of rural Oklahoma--arrived in Colorado Springs in 1933, she immediately fell in love with the city.



Possessing a confidence and determination that belied her years, she graduated from Colorado Springs High School, married Edward Roy Duncan, and began chasing the American dream. Although widowed by the mid-1950s, Fannie Mae was the legendary owner of the Cotton Club, a major link in the network of venues for the top black entertainers of the day and one of the hottest nightclubs in the West. Fannie Mae Duncan became a catalyst for change during the volatile Civil Rights era and by making "Everybody Welcome" at her Cotton Club, she was instrumental in the peaceful integration of the city she loved so much, Colorado Springs.

$5 Suggested Donation
Free for Members

Inside the Exhibit


By now you have heard that one of our well-loved exhibits is undergoing a complete renovation.  As we inventory our collection in preparation for the for the opening of the temporary exhibit, "Chasing The Cure" and the permanent exhibit, "City of Sunshine," we are reminded of the powerful stories we are eager to tell.

This doctor's kit was used by Dr. Amelia E. Sparling of Colorado Springs. Dr. Sparling arrived in the city with her family in 1912. They joined throngs of health seekers drawn to the region by the promise of a cure for tuberculosis through sunshine and fresh mountain air. After receiving her degree from the Columbian School of Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, Sparling would practice osteopathic medicine for over 45 years. She had offices on Cascade Avenue, Pikes Peak Avenue and Tejon Street. Sparling's kit was generously donated to the museum by the estate of her granddaughter, Betty Evans.

Volunteer Of The Month - Susan Laabs 


How long have you volunteered with the museum?

I began serving in 2011 on the Board of Directors. I am currently Treasurer and also volunteer on the CSPM Foundation Board.


Do you have a special memory/reflection of your time working with us?  I see the value and importance of history. The rages of Mother Nature, war, cultural shifts and disinterest have shown how easily history is lost or distorted. It is vitally important that our history be preserved in a truthful way.  I just love our new slogan - Ignite your Curiosity; Discover your Story.  Isn't it exciting to think that we are all part of the history of this wonderful community?  What is so special about the Museum is the passion, dedication and enthusiasm I encounter day in and day out working with staff and volunteers. It is inspiring!


What is your favorite story from local history?  The Nick and Bambi Venetucci story is my favorite - theirs include stories of family, loyalty, overcoming the odds, sacrifice, triumph and giving to your community in a very humble and personal way. Plus, it is nice to be reminded that you didn't have to live over 100 years ago to be a major contributor to the history of Colorado Springs.


What is your life like outside of the museum? "Life is Good" applies to my life.  Moving to Colorado was a dream come true for me - I met my husband, Joel, here; my children, Travis and Alyssa, were born here as was my grandson, Greyson.  Growing up in Buffalo, NY, I dreamed of being a cowgirl and now we have dogs, horses and alpacas! I love to travel, especially to National Parks, and I love live music- especially Jake Loggins & Firefall, locally, and Three Dog Night (who I've seen 133 times).  


Do you have a Valentine's Day tradition or a favorite memory of previous Valentine's Days? We don't do anything special for Valentine's Day because I am one of the lucky few who are treated like someone special everyday. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful husband, who has put up with me for 33 years now.

Get Involved in History!
Victorian Valentines
Children's History Hour
Upcoming Events
Best of the Springs!
Featured Sponsor
Flag Day
February 24

This 35 star flag was flown during President Abraham Lincoln's second presidential campaign in 1864 by Captain Harvey Robinson. Captain Robinson commanded a vessel carrying supplies to the Union Army during the Civil War. The entire flag measures over eight feet long and nearly eight feet high.

This is one of over a hundred items in the museum that tell the story of the Civil War. Many of the objects were donated to the museum by descendants of officers and soldiers. The collection includes General William Palmer's military uniform, Medal of Honor and regimental banner. It also includes Major Otis Remick's uniform, camp furnishings and diary carried during the Civil War. The transcription of Major Remick's diary will soon be made available on our website,

In Memory
Sarah Deiz Lockhart
July 5, 1942 - January 2, 2015
We were sorry to hear of the recent death of longtime volunteer, Sarah Lockhart. Sarah began volunteering with the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum in 1985. In her thirty years with the museum, Sarah proved to be dedicated and loyal, especially to her service in the museum store and as a docent. Museum Store Manager Carol Denning said we will miss her "wonderful dry sense of humor."  
Museum Director, Matt Mayberry said "Sarah was a dedicated volunteer that gave countless hours to support the mission of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. Her enthusiasm was always evident, and we appreciated her keen sense of humor. We were lucky to know her and send our condolences to her many friends and family."
The Museum Store
Featuring the Artistry of Joan Valentine
Formerly a movie and TV actress, Joan Valentine moved to Colorado Springs in 2007.  Shortly after, Ms. Valentine was in an auto accident that left her without the use of her right hand and arm.  Not willing to give up her creativity, she learned new methods and continues to create beautiful pieces.  While knitting with a loom and designing jewelry with one hand and a lot of patience, her friends lovingly call her the "One-armed wonder!"  Enjoy her work at The Museum Store - perfect for your Valentine's Day gift giving needs!

215 S. Tejon Street | Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Free Admission | Open Tuesday - Saturday | 10am - 5pm |