COLORADO SPRINGS — As Colorado Springs marks its 150th year as a city this year--leaders commissioned a photographer to bring some of that history back to life.
Mike Pach was still in high school when he found his calling in life.
“I came out for a five day backpacking trip with my brother's camera, and fell in love with both photography and Colorado,” Pach said.
And for the better part of the past two years, he’s gained another new passion--history.
“This has basically been a full time job for me,” he said. “I really didn’t know that much about our history when we got”
“Got started” on recreating historic photos as part of Colorado Springs’ sesquicentennial celebration.
“I have an old picture from the Pioneers museum of two couples on Excelsior motorcycles,” Pach said.
Saturday morning, a group of local motorcycle enthusiasts helped recreate that picture at the Garden of the Gods Mesa Overlook.
It was one of 75 recreations Pach is including in a book and exhibit launching this year.
For the people reenacting those pictures, it’s a chance to be a part of history.
“I think it’s cool, I love history,” motorcyclist Kelly Diamond said. “I think my kids will be excited to see this as they grow up.”
For others, it’s a chance to share history that needs to be shared.
“What we’re trying to acknowledge here is that indegenous history didn’t start when the city became a city,” said Monycka Snowbird, who helped organize Pach’s recreation of 1906 picture of local indegenous people.
“The photo that he’s recreating was done at a place called Bathhouse John’s Zoo Park,” Snowbird said. “Which was pretty problematic and very exploitative of the indigenous people who were here.”
Not every picture has a happy story behind it, but they’re still stories.
“The original picture I think was taken in 1906, so this is at a time when indigenous people were not U.S. citizens, when they weren’t legally allowed to leave the reservations,” she said. “There was attempted genocide, and they probably didn’t think that we would still be here in 2021, and we’re not just here, but we’re thriving and conrtibuting to our community.”
Now for Pach, following his calling in life--is giving him a new outlook on life.
“I think my favorite part about doing this is meeting the people that I’ve met,” he said. “This project has really opened my eyes to how rich our history is.”