Woman's Bluebird organization collection


The brochures and photograph tell the story of self-supporting women of Chicago and their annual migration to Colorado. The photograph was taken in Boulder at the historic “Bluebird Cottage”, near present day Chautauqua. It shows Jean Sherwood, (founder of the Bluebird organization) having tea with several Bluebird members. The Blue Bird Bulletins list upcoming events in Boulder and Gold Hill while the Bluebird Song Book was issued to every member for singing occasions. The Bluebird Cottage & Lodge brochure gave members information about the trip from Chicago to Boulder and then on to Gold Hill.

How Does The Artifact Relate to Colorado History

The Bluebird movement was influenced by the educational and recreational philosophies of the Chautauqua movement throughout the nation. Activities included art, music and literature classes at the Boulder Chautauqua, and hiking, horseback riding, and picnics around Gold Hill. The Bluebirds were very instrumental in preserving the historic town of Gold Hill, especially during the depression years. They preserved historic structures, as well as building new cottages, a dining hall, and a church. These artifacts clearly show the influence of the American women’s club movement throughout the nation and, in particular, in Boulder and Gold Hill, Colorado.

Why Is This Artifact Significant?

Jean Sherwood and her Chicago colleagues created the Holiday House Association, purchased several lots in Boulder, and built the “Bluebird Cottage” in 1911. It was a vacation spot for secretaries, teachers and professional women of Chicago to escape the hot summers and hard work of their jobs. The Cottage became so popular more space was needed, so in 1920 the Association purchased the old hotel in Gold Hill and renamed it the Bluebird Lodge. The extensive collection of photographs and written material in the Gold Hill Museum depicts the activities Bluebird women had available to them during their stay.

Artifact Is
Archival Collections
Artifact Significant To
Artifact Location

Gold Hill Museum
Pine St & Prospect St
Boulder, CO 80302
United States

Woman's Bluebird organization collection

Year(s) Nominated
2015 Top Ten