An idyllic mountain setting with historic log cabins was the perfect spot for a Manitou Springs Heritage Center fundraising brunch in, appropriately, one of the original, early 1900s log structures. Over the years, host Justin Armour's Southwestern-style Crystal Park Cantina had been the log El Tejano, the May Bug Museum and Mission Bell Inn, part of the Keithley Log Cabin Development District camp and health resort on Manitou's Crystal Park Road.
Sharing the history of that area, along with photos and the original platting, was contractor Douglass Keithley Edmundson, great-grandson of Everard Spencer Keithley one of the two men who created the area that is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Brunch guests were fascinated by a display of Keithley's tools.
Some of the guests live in the district, which had 27 log cabins, including McLaughlin Lodge. Keithley's was a 10-acre family homestead, including Chelten Hills, where Edmundson lives. Keithley was famous in the area, as the Pike National Forest superintendent from 1926 to 1946 credited with overseeing the planting of 30 million trees in the forest and supervising the building of Rampart Range Road.
The March 24 brunch and history event are part of the fundraisers planned by volunteers to buy the Heritage Center building at 517 Manitou Ave. Another project is the sale of 7-Minute Spring charms/pendants (manitou springsheritagecenter.org).
Photo gallery: gazette.com/life/around-town