Tales from Timnath: This Book About Timnath’s History is a Hidden Treasure

By Phil Goldstein
North Forty News

My musical tastes are stuck in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. As far as I’m concerned, the direction of popular music was all downhill since Led Zeppelin took us up that “Stairway to Heaven” in 1971. 

The car I still drive regularly is 32 years old. It’s a money pit but has more panache than most new cars, plus I get a good workout cranking the windows open and closed.

My favorite timepiece is a 100-year-old pocket watch that belonged to my grandfather. I like it more than all of those plastic gizmos that people seem to believe are doing the exercise for them.

I often wear a 50-year-old jacket that was a gift from a friend. And it’s a copy of a garment from the 1920s.

Get the picture? I don’t like new things until they get old. 

But shortly after I moved from Fort Collins to Timnath in 2010, seeking to know more about my new and growing community, I discovered something rather new that is all about something old, which is still acceptable (my obsession, my rules!). I’m referring to the 1996 book, Timnath: A History.

I was introduced to this informative and entertaining history of our town and the surrounding area by a resident with whom I was serving at the time on the Town of Timnath Planning Commission. The 394-page book was written by Timnath residents Del Miller and Elsie Fisher, with assistance from the Columbine Club of Timnath. The book is out of print but one copy only is available at the Poudre River Public Library and copies surface occasionally on the online used market.

The Columbine Club was initially a women’s study group that first met in 1907 to discuss topics such as gardening, homemaking, child-rearing, fine arts, patriotism and education. Meetings were twice monthly and dues were fifty cents. The club eventually became Timnath’s historical society, the self-stated goal of which is the “preservation and promotion of Timnath’s rich history.” The club is still very much active, as I learned when Del Miller invited me to join her and two other club members last year for tea and cookies at her lovely cottage in Old Town Timnath.

The two hours I spent in the company of a real author and others who are dedicated to preserving the charm and historical significance that is Timnath merely whetted my appetite for owning my own copy of Timnath: A History, which I eventually found, and learning more about how the very detailed information on the town was gathered from club members. The book is handily organized into sections dealing with every aspect of life in Timnath and all of Northern Colorado as far back as 1820, but the real labor of love that is this effort is reflected in the many stories of the people who lived, worked and rode cows to school (you’ll have to read the book!) in Timnath.

Timnath: A History deserves more fanfare than being relegated to the library shelf; hence my own efforts for “preservation and promotion.” The club has a website, http://timnathhistory.org/, which includes a ‘walking tour’ of key sites of interest within Timnath and the surrounding area, all referenced to pages in the book. 

As I learned from its members, the motto of the Columbine Club of Timnath is, “The measure of our growth is not what we gain, but what we give.” It’s been my pleasure to give many residents of Timnath an introduction to this literary gem. I encourage you to find a copy. 

Phil Goldstein writes Tales from Timnath for North Forty News. Phil is a nine-year Timnath resident who serves the Town of Timnath as chair of the Timnath Planning Commission. Phil is finally using his journalism degree after getting sidetracked 47 years ago. The views expressed herein are Phil’s only. Contact him with comments on the column or suggestions for future columns at NFNTimnath@gmail.com.

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