Recommended: Windsor History Museum, Moonage Daydream

David Bowie (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

Tim Van Schmidt | New SCENE

 

It all started with one building.

Exactly halfway between Fort Collins and Greeley, along the Overland Trail, an enterprising settler built a house in 1873 that became a rest stop for travelers. The “Halfway House” remained popular as a saloon even after a railroad connected the NOCO cities.

The railroad eased travel as well as gave area farmers the increased ability to transport their crops, most significantly sugar beets. Then it was off to the races as the Town of Windsor was incorporated in 1890 and became its own hub of activity.

David Bowie (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

This is all coming from reading about area history — which stretches far back nearly 3000 years to the days of herds of bison and the people who hunted them — from the Town of Windsor’s website.

If you really want to get in touch with Windsor’s long history, though, there is no better way than to visit the Windsor History Museum, located in Boardwalk Park at 100 N. 5th Street.

New film Moonage Daydream brings David Bowie to Front Range IMAX Theaters September 15-22 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

The Museum itself, housed in Windsor’s original railroad depot, has historical displays and artifacts, but there is also a small village of buildings that you can visit — and get a real feel for how people lived “back in the day”.

You can enter buildings like the “Beet Shack”, a basic frame house — with no air conditioning or running water — that served as a home for “German from Russia” immigrants that came to work the sugar beet fields.

Weird Al Yankovic plays the UCCC in Greeley on September 9 (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

A schoolhouse tells you how the children were educated and the chapel tells how the people worshipped.

Behind the Windsor History Museum, you can also climb aboard a caboose that gives you an idea of what train travel was like as well — a stove heated the car during those cold winter trips.

Braydon Peterson plays live at the Farmers Market Pavilion in Windsor (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

The Windsor History Museum makes the old days in Windsor come alive. Now, Windsor is a thriving and bustling city.

On the day I visited the museum, the nearby Farmers Market Pavilion was in full swing — complete with live music and delicious peaches — the park was busy, and the downtown was humming. 

Sugar Beets are important in Windsor’s history (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

History is what happened in the past, but Windsor’s tale is clearly not over yet. Read Windsor’s story at windsorgov.com/537/Windsor-History and check out info about the Windsor History Museum at recreationliveshere.com/188/Windsor-History-Museum.

Bowie: There’s a special film coming through area IMAX theaters titled “Moonage Daydream”. It’s a movie by Brett Morgen featuring rare footage, performances, music, and commentary by Bowie himself. There’s a special advanced screening on September 12, then plays in the Denver area and Colorado Springs IMAX theaters, September 15-22.

Ticket to the past- Windsor History Museum (Photo by Tim Van Schmidt)

I saw Bowie, who passed away in 2016, a number of times throughout the years — and in various incarnations including the big production “Diamond Dogs” tour, as the “Thin White Duke”, and during his electronic phase following his starring turn in the film “The Man Who Fell to Earth”.

But most memorable was his show at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland in 2004. He was so animated and talkative — and the band was right on. From the stage, he told the story that when he was being shuttled to Loveland, he wondered where he was headed when he saw the venue “all by itself up on a hill”. That show still remains one of the best concerts ever to come to that venue.

Bowie fans may also be interested in David Brighton’s Space Oddity show coming to the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley on September 17.

Visit “Time Capsules by Tim Van Schmidt” on YouTube.

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