Blow out the candles

Museum marks Crawford Pritchett's 100th birthday

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¤ Brown Bag Lecture and Lulita Crawford Pritchett's 100th Birthday Celebration¤ Noon Wednesday¤ Tread of Pioneers Museum, Eighth and Oak streets¤ Free¤ 879-2214 to RSVP

Tales from the pioneer days of Northwest Colorado will be brought to life Wednesday at Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs.

Lulita Crawford Pritchett, author and granddaughter of James and Maggie Crawford, the founders of Steamboat Springs, would have celebrated her 100th birthday Tuesday. Pritchett died in 1991.

In her honor, the museum is hosting a Brown Bag Lecture and birthday celebration -- including cake and Pritchett's coveted "Soda Spring" lemonade -- to remember Pritchett as one of the area's prominent historians. Pritchett translated the stories of her mother's and uncles' childhood experiences in the developing Yampa Valley into two novels and seven booklets.

Pritchett's cousins, Jim Crawford and Nancy Rosi, will read from her novels and the newly released booklet "Crawford Pioneer Tales." They also will share pictures, poetry and other memories of Pritchett. Candice Lombardo, the museum's executive director, is encouraging anyone who knew Pritchett to attend the celebration and bring their stories of Pritchett to share with the community.

Throughout next week, Bud Werner Memorial Library will exhibit artifacts from Pritchett's life and works, including her typewriter and original pages of research. The museum is offering 20 percent off of Pritchett's books. Information and samples of her works are available online at www.LulitaCrawfordPritchett.com.

Through this event and Pritchett's enchanted works, locals can experience the pioneer days through the tales of the first children other than the Ute Indians to live in the Yampa Valley.

"To the end of their days, Lulie, Logan and John Crawford believed this was the greatest place on earth. They never really did grow up," Pritchett wrote.

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