Portrait of Ellen & William Austin

Juneteenth and Early Black Settlers in Colorado

Written By: Christine Westermire – Museum Educator Even though Juneteenth was made a federal holiday on June 17, 2021, by President Biden, it has been an important holiday to African Americans since 1865. When most people think of the end of slavery, they think about the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, freeing millions of black slaves in …

Handy Chapel: A Treasured Piece of My Family History

      Written By: Christine Westermire   At the corner of 2nd Street and White Avenue stands a building that is not only an integral part of Black history in the Grand Valley, but also a part of my life. If you are from the Grand Junction area, you most likely have heard of Handy Chapel, either through news …