Local historian Sybil Barnes will sign copies of her just-released book "Estes Park" at the Baldpate Inn this evening, following a short program and discussion session with the author.
The celebratory event, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Baldpate Inn library, and includes free hors doeurvres, offers the first real chance for the public to see "Estes Park," the latest installment in Arcadia Publishings "Images of America" series. "Estes Park" contains nearly 200 vintage and modern-era photographs drawn from both institutional and private collections, and has already garnered a number of favorable advance reviews.
"Last August I was contacted by Arcadia, a company that has put out 5,000 pictorial history books of places all over the United States," Barnes said. "Phyllis Perry from Boulder had done one for Rocky Mountain National Park. It was selling well enough that Arcadia thought one about the town itself might also sell."
Barnes sent out a call to the community for photographs, and set herself a December 2009 deadline. The Estes Park Museum, Jack and Lulie Melton, and other individuals contributed previously unseen photographs.
Tonights program, part of a ongoing weekly symposium at the Baldpate, will be "similar to entertainment from years gone by," according to Barnes. "Though we use modern equipment, were really doing the kind of ranger talk that Dorr Yeager or Jack Moomaw would have presented to summer visitors in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s."
Copies of "Estes Park" will soon be available in area bookstores and gift shops. The Baldpate, however, is the first business to have salable numbers of books on hand, and tonight is the only time a $2 discount will apply to those presenting coupons appearing in this issue of the Trail-Gazette. Regularly-priced copies can also be ordered online at arcardiapublishing.com, or toll free at 888-313-2665.
Barnes, who served on the advisory board of the Estes Park Area Historical Museum from 1987 to 2007, and who continues working as a reference specialist in the Rocky Mountain National Park Library and as a volunteer at the museum, hopes her passion for preserving and presenting the past will encourage others to share their Estes Park memories, whether they are from the last century or last week. Her blog appears on estesparklife.com, and contact information is available there.