|No worries, they are just gathering information|
|Written by Chris Lee|
They aren’t the FBI. They aren’t trying to burglarize homes. They are just looking, photographing and taking notes.
Over the past few weeks, a small group of people have been “creeping” around town with cameras and clipboards. The cops have been called and they made a short visit with the three who are in town surveying homes and buildings for the Colorado Rural Preservation Education Project in Phillips County.
Last year, a team surveyed the entire county. They drove every county road and documented old farmsteads. This go-around, they are concentrating on the city limits of Haxtun, Holyoke and Paoli.
The team attended the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce member meeting Tuesday, June 26 to discuss the project and answer any questions.
Abigail Christman, survey coordinator for Center of Preservation and Research at University of Colorado Denver, is being assisted by two students who have local ties. Diana Krogmeier is a 2003 HHS graduate and Joe Coleman is married to Marjorie Colglazier’s granddaughter April (Hummel) Coleman.
The trio has slowly been making its way through town documenting, listening to stories and gathering any information they can that will help their project.
The ultimate goal is to compile a report showcasing the older buildings in town. The other is to try to come up with properties that can be preserved and nominated for the national registry of historic places.
Christman explained last week that five farmsteads in Phillips County are to be nominated following their survey last summer. She also explained how owners can receive tax credits by preserving their homes.
“There is a great collection of historic homes in Holyoke,” Christman said.
In addition to putting together a report, the group is working with the Holyoke Chamber to put together a walking tour of Holyoke. Included will be a brochure outlining hot spots in town that are accessible via a walking tour. They have also discussed the possibility of a driving tour.
Any building built before 1970 is of great interest to the team. If they are found walking down the alley, that means they are looking for garages. Christman said it is easy to tell how old a home is by looking at its garage.
They are walking the streets where older homes are located in town and utilizing the county assessor’s database for newer areas.
The group began researching this spring and is midway through the survey. Christman said they will be back during the Phillips County Fair to wrap up the survey. The report and walking tour are scheduled to be finished this fall—at which time she hopes to attend another Chamber meeting to present findings.
Should homeowners or citizens see these “creepers” moseying down the street in the near future, don’t worry, they are friendly and only want to gather stories and information.
Holyoke Enterprise June 5, 2012