Art fair to raise funds for historic schoolhouse

Hilltop gathering returns for fifth year in vintage building

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Spring is a time of renewal, but for the Hilltop Preservation and Social Cub and patrons of their annual fundraising art fair, it’s a time for preservation.

For the fifth year the club and Parker’s United Church of Christ will host the Hilltop Art Fair, bringing food, artwork and entertainment to the historic Hilltop Schoolhouse, built in 1898.

“We have the flavor of an old-time country fair,” said Eileen Enterline, a longtime member of the club and resident of Franktown.

Money raised at the fair, to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 29, will go toward preserving the building, one of the last remnants of the Hilltop community that all but disappeared in the 100-plus years since it was established as a railroad town on the border of Elbert and Douglas counties.

Franktown resident Lorelei Linwood, the president of the club, said taking care of “a connection to the past” is a duty she and the 18 members of the group take seriously.

“We pay all the bills,” she said. “It’s just one of those things that we take care of so Douglas County doesn’t have to. We pay for the electricity, the septic, for the propane, and maintenance. We do the whole shebang.”

Last year’s fair drew over 500 people, according to Enterline, and raised enough money to buy a new door for the schoolhouse.

The fair is free and open to the public, and will include free activities such as presentations about the history of the building and the old railroad town and a children’s art fair.

Entertainment will feature big band-era musicians, Irish step dancers and the Singing Hills Choir. Area resident Mike Smith, whose parents were founding members of the preservation society, will offer free tractor rides between the schoolhouse and nearby United Church of Christ.

Thirty booths have been allotted for artists and other vendors, selling everything from homemade food items to handmade jewelry.

But the fair isn’t all about making money.

In addition to the games, presentations and music, Enterline said every attendee will receive a raffle ticket for giveaways throughout the day.

“You might just walk away with something for free.”

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