Campfire Ghost Stories Presents ‘Abner Sprague’
Spend a campfire evening with one of the “ghosts” of Rocky Mountain National Park on Thursday, June 30, at 8:00 p.m. in a program series titled, “Living History Tales of the West.” Local performer Kurtis Kelly’s first-person reenactment will capture the spirited stories of a pioneer who witnessed change and was a catalyst for it. The one-hour presentation, suitable for the whole family, will include time for questions and a brief discussion about Sprague’s life and contributions to Estes Park. This special event is sponsored through the Rocky Mountain Nature Association. Advance reservations are required and can be made at rmna.org or by calling 970-586-3262.
Sprague’s stories are in rich in adventure and history, capturing the humor and spirit of this plucky pioneer. Sprague was a young man when he and his father filed homestead claims in Moraine Park in 1875. By the time of his death in 1943, he had built tourist lodges in Moraine Park and Glacier Basin; explored the early trails and routes to the Continental Divide; surveyed for the railroads and for the early roads to Estes Park; designed town plans for Estes Park, Loveland and Fort Collins as Larimer County Surveyor; operated a stagecoach line; and written dozens of essays documenting the early history of Estes Park.
Kelly has been performing in historic reenactments for over ten years. In addition to Sprague, he has performed as the legendary F. O. Stanley and land baron Lord Dunraven. “Hearing history from a first-person perspective allows it to come alive,” Kelly says. “Through storytelling and personal anecdotes, we feel a familiar connection to these individuals that makes us appreciate them with renewed interest and new insights.” Kelly is a staff librarian at the Estes Valley Library.
Since 2002, Kelly has worked with the Stanley Museum of Estes Park. He has led hundreds of people in the popular “Ghost Stories of the Stanley Hotel” talks and tours. He has shared ghostly lore in interviews with many regional newspapers and radio stations and in a one-time segment on National Public Radio.
The event will take place on the grounds of the YMCA of the Rockies. Contact the Rocky Mountain Nature Association at 970-586-3262 for reservation details and to learn more about the full roster of programs being offered this summer.