Marta Hedde

Wheat Ridge

April Fools’ Day: Worldwide Observance, Deep Roots

It’s not an April Fools’ prank that I’m going to devote this column to April Fools’ Day when it’s already past. The day is one of my favorite times of the year, although having been a public school teacher, it always contained certain challenges — think tacks on teacher’s chair or, worse, water. I beg

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Wheat Ridge

Beauty Inc. Bids Farewell After 60 Years

It’s great to have active members in the Historical Society. Sometimes, like cats, they bring you treats. Member Sandy Nance contacted me recently about the passage of some local history: A Wheat Ridge institution will be closing March 30 on its 60th anniversary. Beauty Inc. is believed to be the oldest woman-owned business in Wheat

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Community

Victorian’s Heart Landscape Could Charm or Frighten

Along with fashions popular in the Era, the Victorians ushered in all sorts of societal change. One lasting convention was the new idea that marriage should be based on romantic love instead of by arrangement or for “convenience.” With the new societal dynamic, references to and descriptions of love appeared frequently. A popular mid-century lithograph,

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Wheat Ridge

Pockets: Such A Simple Concept, Such An Elusive Garment Addition

Pockets. They seem like such a simple concept, so practical, so necessary!  Yet, they have been the focus of debate for centuries, particularly for women.  The word  pocket comes from the French “poke” or “pouque,” which meant pouch. I suppose Ötzi, aka “the Iceman,” is the earliest link to pouch pockets. He lived around 3000

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Wheat Ridge

Practical Feed And Flour Sack Fashions Are Things Of The Past

In these days of online everything, shoppers must automatically trust the products they’re going to receive without seeing the actual physical items.  We live in a world where we expect (and secretly regret!) the planned obsolescence of our purchases. How did this come to pass? Consider clothing: few people are willing to put in the

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Wheat Ridge

Name Wheat Ridge Beats Wheatwood Any Day of the Week

Working on the archives in Wheat Ridge’s original Post Office is a rewarding endeavor – but, at the same time, quite challenging. The old building in the Historical Park is chocked full of fascinating information on all sorts of historical topics, ideally on the history of the area, but in reality, ranging far beyond those

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Events

Press Apples Into Cider And Sauce This Second Saturday, Oct. 14

I don’t know about you, but in autumn when the weather starts changing, my energy increases. Cooler temperatures prevail, and best of all, apples ripen!  Trees change their energy level, too. Sap slows, and crisp, cool nights change the apples; they quit increasing in size and grow sweeter and more flavorful.  The Wheat Ridge Historical

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Community

Honoring Our Canines And Their Heritage

“Dogs on Display” seems like an oddly-themed Second Saturday event for the Historical Society to undertake. We do it because it truly is one of the more amusing ways to spend a Saturday with your CBF (canine best friend) and pay homage to the untold number of dogs who literally walked to and through the

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Wheat Ridge

Colorful Quilts Sustained Body And Spirit For Pioneers

As Heritage Day at the Baugh House (West 44th Avenue and Robb Street) approaches, volunteers are readying examples of the Historical Society’s vintage quilt collection for display at the event, to be held Aug. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day was created to recognize the long and colorful history of the actual

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Wheat Ridge

A Bit of Nostalgia: Remember Burma-Shave?

In a simpler time, when four-lane highways were in their infancy and automobiles went slower, a popular advertising campaign captivated a nation of motorists traveling the roads from 1927 to 1963. Small red signs with white lettering appeared along the right side of the roads with sequential rhymed messages. The last of the five or

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Wheat Ridge

Nancy White Southard, Born In Red Brick House, Remembered

One of the Wheat Ridge Historical Society’s lifetime members passed away earlier this month at the age of 87. We don’t usually publicly commemorate these passages, but this woman was more than a lifetime member. She was born in the Red Brick House long before it became part of the Historical Park. She was the

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Wheat Ridge

Mayday, Mayday! Why Don’t Americans Celebrate May Day?

You’d think a country that gave new meaning to an ageless rite of spring celebration would take the time to actually celebrate it. The closest we get is letting kids deliver baskets of flowers and candy to friends. May 1 has been observed worldwide for millennia. Celts thought it the most important day of the

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Wheat Ridge

Goal-Setting Allows For Minute Details And Major Patching

Goals. Gotta love ‘em. Volunteers in the Johnson Cabin and the Old Sod House have been working steadily toward the goal of bringing both museums in line to illustrate the Century-long Story theme the Historical Society adopted in 2021. The Cabin is around 95 percent done, reports Priscilla Marshall, Director of Collections. The remaining five

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Wheat Ridge

Added Background Information Makes Donations More Valuable

Sifting through the archive collections in the Old Post Office at the Historical Park, I find myself again wishing donors who had good hearts and insight into local history had taken a few extra moments to record some details that would add provenance before donating.  Scrapbooks by the dozens contain a plethora of interesting information.

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Wheat Ridge

Valentine’s Day: The Complex History Of A Much-Loved Celebration

Honestly, a recent dive into the origins of Valentine’s Day soon became a slog through a mass of conflicting historical theories, originating with pagan ritual and Roman law versus the Catholic Church, then further amalgamated by legend and popularized by marketing.  Western civilization came to observe Saint Valentine’s feast day on Feb. 14, which coincides

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Events

The Bowler Hat: Practicality and Style Comes to Town

With the arrival of each new year, the Historical Society hosts one of my favorite events: the Historical Fashion Show and Tea Party. It’s just ahead on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Baugh House. Past gatherings have featured an array of fashions from mid-1800s prairie chic, to slick bowler-topped

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Wheat Ridge

Old Newspapers Reveal What Was Newsworthy In Early 1900s Holidays

Amidst all the frustrations of a constant need to organize and preserve, workers in the Old Post Office at the Historical Park occasionally delight in a real find. Last week researchers came upon two bound volumes (1912-14) of The Wheat Ridge News, a newspaper published by local luminary Samuel Johnson. Paging through the volumes, I

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Wheat Ridge

Celery Farming – A Proud, Local Heritage

Curiously, celery has a proud heritage in the Wheat Ridge area. Long ago, after I bought my first house, I could hardly wait to plant a garden. I tilled a 30-by-20-foot plot and planted all the standard vegetables. While seed shopping I had encountered a six-pack of celery, a novelty to me. I put forth

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Wheat Ridge

What To Do With All Those Apples? We’ve Got Ideas!

“An apple a day …” Multiply that one apple by hundreds, and you have a beginning vision of the Cider Day Festival, the annual Historical Society’s celebration of “All Things Apple.” Scheduled for Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Historical Park (4601 Robb St.), the biggest draw is, of course, the

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Wheat Ridge

‘Dogs On Display’ To Challenge Canines, Amuse Onlookers

I’ve had at least one dog, sometimes more, for most of my life. I love ‘em. Dogs possess such dedication and have interesting, sometimes quirky, personalities. I had a golden retriever once that I could send into my house to check each room and make sure it was safe before I entered; that’s an important

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Wheat Ridge

Baugh House Heritage To Be Honored During Carnation Fest

Volunteers are busily preparing the Baugh House for the annual Heritage Day festivities on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., celebrating the colorful history of the storied farmhouse with an ice-cream social and antique quilt show. Originally a log cabin (still evident inside the structure), the house has been through its share

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Wheat Ridge

Good-Bye To An Old Friend; Hello To New Ones

If you traveled West 44th Avenue the afternoon of Saturday, May 25, you may have seen some sort of shindig at the Baugh House on the corner of 44th and Robb Street. It probably looked like a Historical Society event, common on Saturdays. WRHS hosted the event, but its purpose extended far beyond typical Baugh

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Wheat Ridge

Johnson Cabin History Comes Full Circle

The Grand Opening of the re-staged Johnson Cabin in Wheat Ridge’s Historical Park was a huge success at the Second Saturday May Festival. Visitors got the first glimpse into a building with an unusual and interesting history. It’s staged to provide a peek into the daily existence of a family newly arrived from the East

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Wheat Ridge

A Festival For The History Books

By all accounts, this Second Saturday May Festival at the Wheat Ridge Historical Park (4610 Robb St.), scheduled for May 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be one for the history books. Not only will we welcome well-loved standards like maypole dancing (at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.), games, live music,

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