BARBWIRE BOB – Spending An Evening On Littleton Main Street


At the invitation of Reinke Brothers, I was a guest at the Historic Littleton, Inc. “Preservation Celebration” event May 18, held at the spectacular “Shift Workspaces” building  on Main St.  Not sure of the location, I circled around the business district past the Elks Lodge and spotted a large crowd, all women.

Ha – that’s the location.  I parked,  joining the group of women and  quickly learned that it was “Ladies Only” sample tour night. I asked about the Preservation meeting and a very nice lady pointed North relating that it was in the old feed store location.  I knew immediately where the building was located. Once upon a time the Littleton Independent newspaper offices were in that same location.

By 5:30 I was in the parking lot behind the Shift building,  making it to the 3rd floor, one of the first to arrive for the 6 p.m. event.  I was greeted by event chairman Rick Cronenberger and Paige Alcorn.  I soon encountered an old colleague, Rebecca Kast, who once worked with Gretchen Peacock and her Littleton Times newspaper. Gretchen had worked for The Villager and struck out on her own to start a competitive newspaper in Littleton.  While Gretchen had some success, the newspaper ultimately ceased publication. It was great to see Rebecca again. 

Rick Cronenberger and Paige Alcorn

The third floor at the top of the Shift Workspaces extended out to a spacious balcony with a spectacular view of the front range.  Some very ominous dark clouds were gathering along the foothills.  The meeting space was filled with couches, lounge chairs, a lengthy bar and long table of  delicacies by Choice catering.  

Very quickly the room filled with many stalwart, long standing Littletonites, gathering to support Historic Littleton, Inc. a 501(c)(3) started by founder Mike Massey in 1990.  Massey, now departed, was an iconic figure in Littleton for decades.  I knew him well and worked with him when he spearheaded the Riverfront development years ago.  He was a staunch Republican, thespian, lawyer, and visionary for the preservation of Littleton’s historic past, present, and future.  Littleton is the oldest community in Arapahoe County, going back to the founding of the city in the 1860s.

Sonya Ellingboe, signing in the members and guests

The evening program featured speaker Barb Pahl, retired vice-president of the National Trust for Historical Preservation. The program included  a welcome by Joe Racine and introduction by HLI President, Gail Keeley.  

The evening was a tribute to founder Mike Massey, described in the handout as “a lawyer, a husband and a father.  He was also an irrepressible, multi-talented community builder whose efforts included the Littleton Leadership Retreat, The Littleton Theatre Company, the Littleton Riverfront Authority, Riverfest, the Arapahoe County Scientific, Cultural and Facilities District Board and Littleton Unlimited, which developed a community inspired strategic plan.”

Mike was honored as Littleton’s most valuable citizen in 1992.  He is attributed with saying, “Of all the things I’ve done in Littleton and elsewhere, I think I’m proudest of Historic Littleton.” He created the Second Century Fund that could solicit funds from individuals, government, and corporations to provide low-cost loans to property owners who wanted to restore their Main Street buildings.

His work and vision was very successful and today the downtown business district is recovering from COVID-19 and the streets were bustling with the “Ladies Only” night shopping event.

I was called away, so I missed some of the activities, but I plan on joining the organization and supporting the mission of my old friend. (Ladies, plan on participating in the next shopping event.)

Memberships are available starting at $30 for a family, and $100 for a VIP membership.  I plan on mailing my check to Historic Littleton Inc. P.O. Box 1004,  Littleton, CO 80160. Please join me in supporting this great non-profit organization and this great membership group in preserving local history.

My thanks to Reinke Brothers for the gracious invitation.