When the new Cañon City Municipal building opened on March 1, 1928, a dedication took place to celebrate the event. The Cañon City Daily Record reported on the event on March 2, 1928. Visitors were greeted at the entrance of the building by seven members representing the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Witcher presided over the ceremonies and was followed by a musical selection after his speech. Dall DeWeese also spoke during the dedication and gave a formal presentation of his hunting trophies to the city. DeWeese “expressed the wish that the collection might be educational benefit to the people now living in Cañon City and to the generations that should succeed them.”
During the address of John W. Emmerson, president of the Chamber of Commerce, a “life-sized water-color portrait” of Dall DeWeese was presented to the city. DeWeese had not previously seen the portrait and was moved by the gesture. The painting was accepted by the Mayor Witcher on behalf of the city and it was placed on display as tribute to DeWeese.
The dedication was declared to be a success with both speeches and musical selections filling out the evening. The Cañon City Daily Record estimated from 1,500 to 1,800 people visited the building during the event. It wasn’t just Cañon City residents that attended the showing with visitors from Florence, Penrose, Hillside, Cotopaxi, and other nearby towns making appearances. There were even a few from Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver!
May 11-17 is Museum Week! We will be sharing some early history of the museum throughout the week.
The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.