The PPCC was formed in 1928 as a social organization for and by ranchers, farmers and residents to support the social and civic needs of rural Teller County, CO. The Club was 90 years old in 2018.
Founded on the principal that neighbors support neighbors. That is not the responsibility of government. Maybe something the younger generations should think about. The Club is self-supporting in that it receives no public financial support and depends primarily on rental income for the Hall.
The Early Years
The population was mostly ranchers and farmers; initial club dues were $1 per year, per family. Through fund-raiser events and donated materials and labor a community hall building was built in 1931-32 on land deeded in 1931 to the club by George Pierce for $1. The hall quickly became the hub of central Teller County. There is a photograph of that building (behind a railroad car) on the West wall.
Remember electricity did not reach this area until the 1950's, there was little broadcast media available in those days and without electricity there was no need to have a radio. Entertainment meant getting out for community events. The Club hosted social events such as Saturday night dances, card parties, box-socials (do you remember what those were?), potluck dinners, weddings, funerals, and community fund raisers for families in need. The Hall provided a meeting place for organizations such as 4-H, political elections, and a host of other events. But don't think the only purpose of the Club was to hold dances and other social events. Since inception this organization has been about supporting the community. For example, in 1931 we sent a train car load of Teller County potatoes to the Red Cross in Texas for dust bowl famine relief. You can view a thank-you letter from the Lynn County, Tx Red Cross here.
The Club hosted annual events including Christmas parties, Easter egg hunts, and Halloween parties. Club members used to maintain the Divide Cemetery as community work-days; the men would clean and maintain the cemetery (up the hill) while the women would prepare a hearty meal when the men returned to the Hall. The 1931 Teller County Fair was held here.
The Club initiated and helped fund the Teller County CSU Extension Service, supported 4-H groups, the Community Cupboard, Hospice and others.
The Second Building
The original building burned down on New Years day 1952, after hosting a New Years Eve dance and fund raiser for a family who had just lost their home to a fire. After two years of fund raising and commitments of labor and materials the present building was erected using the best fire-resistant materials of the day (cinder block construction). So by 1955 we had a new facility at a cost of $1,667.70. In 1963 the building was extended and added to in the form of the two-bay garage to house the volunteer fire department truck and equipment. Storing the truck out of the winter weather improved the probability the truck would actually start when needed. Five members of the PPCC were trained on using the truck. Teller County Search and Rescue used the garage bays after the fire department moved out.
Starting in the 1980's the Club hosted monthly Bingo for obtaining funds and as a social event allowing the club to donate funds to a number of community support organizations such as hospice and community cupboard; but legalized gambling began in Cripple Creek (1991) which put an end to the success of Bingo as a source of income for the Club.
Due to the dedicated efforts of our members - As of 2003, the Club is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit; and in 2005 this facility became the second structure to obtain Teller County Historic Designation (after the Divide Depot). Notice the plaque outside the front door. In the past ten years due to local business support and volunteer projects by supporting organizations (4-H and Scouting), we added new heating, upgraded the facility to meet ADA regulations, and performed some building maintenance (painting and floor repair).
The Club opened the hall to fire fighters during the Hayman Fire (Summer of 2002). During the fire we closed the doors and turned over the facility to the fire fighters for their exclusive use.
At the front of the building sit an old potato wagon and the ice saw; these articles are owned by the Ute Pass Historical Society. The wagon was used to harvest and cart potatoes grown here in Teller County. The ice saw was used for harvesting ice on Coulson Lake (located about 2,000 ft. east of the PPCC Hall). The ice was stored and used by the railroad, primarily to pack locally grown lettuce for shipment to states in the east.
Recently, increased operating costs and reduced income have prevented the Club from donating funds to worthy organizations. We struggle to keep the doors open and lights on.