More than 400 people came to breakfast and took away a gift - a gift of history.

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum's third annual early-morning fundraiser on Aug. 29 pulled back the wrapping paper on Winfield Scott Stratton's rags-to-riches story during the 100th anniversary year of the Myron Stratton Home and opened the pages of Francis W. Cragin's complete history of the American West. It took Cragin 33 years and cost him his family and his Wood Avenue home, but what is in the museum is "one of the most important collections of Western history anywhere," said curator Leah Davis Witherow. Opening this fall is an interactive display of author Helen Hunt Jackson's home.

A gripping Waldo Canyon fire exhibit isn't about history, it's about people, Witherow explained. Local visitors often wipe away tears as they see the remnants of people's lives laid bare in "From the Ashes." The exhibit will be up until at least the end of the year. "The Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires changed all of us," said museum director Matt Mayberry.

Graham Gale shared her tour through history, the subject of a Gazette story: