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The Century Chest Letters of 1901: A Colorado Springs Legacy

By: Finely,Judith Reid
Price: $14.95

One truly hears voices when reading "The Century Chest Letters of 1901: A Colorado Springs Legacy." The voices of those who lived 100 years ago come through clearly and eloquently in the messages placed in a recently opened time capsule.

The capsule, sealed Aug. 4, 1901, was opened on New Year's Day at The Colorado College's Tutt Library. Local historian Judith Reid Finley selected 31 letters for inclusion in the just-published "The Century Chest Letters of 1901: A Colorado Springs Legacy."

One writer acknowledges that "it is a far cry to you," and hopes that "my ink be black enough to bridge the space." The writer, Albert C. Pearson, describes his disillusionment when he first arrives in Colorado Springs, after being forced to abandon plans to study music in Germany because of an accident. "I felt that my life had practically ended," he writes. "This idea was strengthened when I arrived in Colorado Springs ..."

In the piece, dated July 31, 1901, he goes on to describe his adjustment to life in the West and his efforts to create an atmosphere of musical appreciation in the Springs. Pearson eventually became a charter member of the Colorado Springs Musical Club, helped organize the first choral society, taught in The Colorado College music department and at the Colorado Springs High School, and died at his home at 27 W. Cache La Poudre St. on Aug. 10, 1917.

One particularly poignant voice is that of Miriam Storrs Washburn, wife of Phillip Washburn, rector of the newly established St. Stephen's Episcopal Church.