Title: Brighton native pens local history book
Author: Christine Hollister
Publisher: Brighton Standard Blade
Albin Wagner points to the photo of the 1920 Brighton Boosters baseball team, featured on the cover of his new pictorial history book, "Brighton."
"Some people might just see this as a photo of a baseball team," he said. "But, see, there's Duke White … this is all part of your local history."
Wagner is a Brighton native and a graduate of Brighton High School. When he was approached by Arcadia Publishing to put a book together on the history of Brighton, he eagerly accepted the challenge and was pleased that locals were just as eager to help him.
"I'm really grateful for the help I got from people in Brighton," he said.
Wagner compiled and edited the photographic history of Brighton from the collections of the Adams County Historical Society, the South Platte Valley Historical Society, the Brighton Historical Preservation Commission, Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department, Colorado Historical Society, Colorado State Archives and the private collections of Brighton residents, namely Evelyn Tepe, Beulah Barnard, Kenneth Wagner, Kathy Granlund, Ester and Bruce Canterbury and Kenneth and Lou Ellen Bromley.
Wagner has lived at various locales across the U.S. throughout his lifetime. But, when he refers to Brighton, he recalls fond memories of "home."
Wagner is the deputy director of the New Jersey Division of Archives and Records Management. He earned a bachelor's and master's degree in history from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a second graduate degree in history from Harvard University. A charter member and a former member of the board of directors for the Adams County Historical Society, Wagner is also a member of the South Platte Valley Historical Society and other history groups.
He is the former editor of the Brighton Blade and the Fort Lupton Press and is the author of a number of books on the history of Brighton and Adams County. Wagner regards his new book as a present to the city of Brighton on the 150th anniversary of the first settlers in the Brighton area during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush of 1859.
As he flipped through pages of his book, Wagner explained photographs and elaborated on the history of the town. Brighton has always been a diverse city, he said, getting various waves of immigrants including Japanese, Jewish, German and others. His own family, Germans from Russia, first came to Colorado in 1905 and later settled in Brighton in 1921.
Wagner said his interest in local history comes from his experiences growing up in the community. His father worked in the sugar beet factory when he was young. Wagner still has two sisters and a brother who live in Brighton.
"I was really fortunate to grow up here in Brighton," he said.
Even though many won't write a book on family or local history, Wagner still stressed the importance of interviewing family members, as well as keeping digital copies of photos along with the names of the people in those photos.
"Don't wait until it's too late," he said. "Keeping family photos and history and sharing those is all very important."