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Lamar in Prowers County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Big Timbers Museum Collection

 
 
Big Timbers Museum Collection Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 16, 2022
1. Big Timbers Museum Collection Marker
Inscription.  
Indian Artifacts
Our artifacts date from Paleo Indians to the last of the Cheyenne and Arapaho in the region.

The Sand Creek collection includes bullets, arrowheads, cannonball fragments and campsite artifacts. It is the largest display of artifacts from the Sand Creek Massacre.

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show
In the thirty-three year run of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, over a thousand Indians performed in the show. They participated in historical reenactments including raids on settlers, wagon trains and stagecoaches.

Weapons and War Memorabilia
Our Civil War 10-star National Flag is one of no more than ten known to exist. It was captured by Corporal James A. Smith of Company F, 17th Illinois Infantry Regiment at Vicksburg, Mississippi.

We have an extensive WWI poster collection on display.

Wagons
The military made up a large portion of traffic on the Santa Fe Trail. A restored U.S. Army escort wagon is one of the many wagons in our museum.

Buggies and Carts
We have a horse drawn fire wagon with fire hose carts
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and a wide variety of buggies and carriages.

Historic Newspapers and Photos
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Lamar Wins D.A.R. Trails Monument
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The Madonna of the Trail statue at Lamar's Welcome Center is one of 12 placed on the National Old Trails Road. One statue was placed in each state that the National Old Trails Road ran through. They honor the pioneer spirit of women in our nation's expansion west.

August Leimbach, a German born in 1882, was chosen to design the statue.
"They were just as brave or braver than their men because, in many cases, they went with sad hearts and trembling bodies. They went, however, and endured every hardship that befalls a pioneer."
—Harry S. Truman
President of the National Old Trails Road Association and later United States President.

Harry S. Truman headed a committee of the National Old Trails Road and the Daughters of the American Revolution to determine where Colorado's Madonna of the Trail statue should go. Lamar was chosen for its pioneer spirit and historical significance of Big Timbers.

Pioneer Fashions
Mary Sullivan Cain was chosen by the National Old Trails Road and D.A.R. Committee to be Pioneer Mother. She was honored on the day of the unveiling of Lamar's Madonna of the Trail. Mary was born in Ireland in 1860 and came
Big Timbers Museum Collection Marker Kiosk image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 16, 2022
2. Big Timbers Museum Collection Marker Kiosk
to Big Timbers with her family in 1872. She married Felix Cain in 1885 and homesteaded on Butte Creek near Lamar.

We have a wedding gown from the House of Worth. Charles Worth, famous 1850s designer, earned the title "father of haute couture." His exclusive, custom-fitted clothing was worn by European royalty. His design house was the first to sew designer labels into gowns.

Antiques & Classic Autos
Big Timbers Museum has a vast array of antiques. Our Transportation Museum features several classic automobiles. Our 1927 Buick was owned by the Fleagle family and is a look-alike to the car used in the Fleagle Gang Robbery. On May 23, 1928, the Fleagle Gang robbed the First National Bank of Lamar. It was the first case in FBI history of a SINGLE fingerprint being used to prosecute a case. The bank president and his son were killed and a kidnapped teller was later found dead in Kansas.

[photo captions]
• 12-Pounder Mountain Howitzer Spherical Case Shot projectile fragments with Bormann Fuze
• Headdress from Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show
• 10-star flag made between May 20 - June 8, 1861
• James A. Smith
• August Leimbach
• Harry S. Truman
• Unveiling Madonna Monument, Sept. 14, 1928, Lamar, Colo.
• Mary Cain's corsage from the Madonna of The Trail dedication ceremony, her wedding dress and homestead papers
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are part of our museum collection.
• Charles Worth
• Fleagle Gang getaway car
 
Erected by Prowers County Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Law EnforcementNative AmericansSettlements & SettlersWomen. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #33 Harry S. Truman series list.
 
Location. 38° 6.928′ N, 102° 37.138′ W. Marker is in Lamar, Colorado, in Prowers County. Marker is at the intersection of Scenic U.S. 50/287 and State Highway 196, on the right when traveling west on U.S. 50/287Scenic . Marker kiosk is located at the Big Timbers Museum Interpretive Park, on the south side of the museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7515 US-50 Scenic Highway, Lamar CO 81052, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Explore Big Timbers Region (here, next to this marker); Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway (here, next to this marker); Santa Fe Trail, 1821-1880 (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Santa Fe Trail (a few steps from this marker); Iraqi Freedom Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Big Timbers (within shouting distance of this marker); Madonna of the Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Lamar Railroad Depot (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lamar.
 
Also see . . .
1. Harry S. Truman and the Santa Fe Trail.
Truman served as president of the National Old Trails Road Association from 1926 to 1948. In the mid-1920s, Truman was tasked with determining the official route of the National Old Trails Road, which included the Santa Fe Trail. Between 1926 and 1927, he traveled the Santa Fe Trail many times for this purpose. During this time, Truman also traveled the route several times to select the locations for the 12 DAR Madonna of the Trail Statues. This series of statues was dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women in the United States and were commissioned by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). Many of these statues still stand today along the Santa Fe Trail.
(Submitted on January 9, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Fleagle Gang.
On May 23, 1928, Ralph Fleagle, his brother Jake Fleagle, George J. Abshier, (a.k.a. Bill Messick), and Howard "Heavy" Royston, came into Lamar, Colorado to rob the First National Bank. E. A. Lundgren, a one-armed teller at the bank, was waiting on a customer when he saw the men come into the bank and heard one shout, "Hands up!" Bank President A. N. Parrish ducked into his office and pulled out a Colt 45 he called "Old Betsy" and fired at the closest bank robber from the door to his office, hitting Royston in the jaw, and then, by all, accounts, all hell broke loose. The bandits loaded their booty — $10,664 in cash, $12,400 in Liberty bonds, and almost $200,000 in commercial paper — into pillowcases and grabbed two hostages. It took police about 13-months to track down the owner of a single latent fingerprint left behind. The three were tried first in Lamar, Colorado. In a sensational series of trials in October and November 1929 they were all sentenced to hang. Their appeals to the Colorado Supreme Court did not succeed, and the men were executed over a two-week period in mid-July 1930. This was the very first time the FBI used a single fingerprint to convict someone of a crime and was a major success for the Bureau.
(Submitted on January 9, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2023. It was originally submitted on January 8, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 135 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 8, 2023, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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May. 19, 2024