A Note from Dr. Dale Porter


(October 2013)
Greetings to all my former teachers, colleagues and students at WMU’s history department. I regret that circumstances prevent me from joining you for your emeriti gathering.

The day I retired in May 2000 I boarded the Amtrak train for Colorado. Betty and I live in the small mountain village of Nederland, northwest of Denver, at 8,236 feet above sea level. This community runs on volunteers and we have tried to do our part. For 10 years I served on the community library board, six years as president, and finally opened a new library in 2010. I’ve also served on a succession of advisory boards for the Nederland Community Center. Since 2010 I’ve been the chair of the Center’s Foundation, which raises funds for Center programs.

For five years I was the business manager and grant writer for the Nederland Area Historical Society, and also helped move some very heavy mining equipment! In 2004 I edited and published the third edition of a local history, Nederland: A Trip to Cloudland, for NAHS. These days, Betty and I are caretakers and docents for the society’s historic house museum, a 1906 miner’s residence.

I can’t say I’ve kept up with my former research. I’ve done only a few book reviews and manuscript readings in the areas of 19th century British technology, London and Thames water engineering.

Until my back went out in 2010, I competed in area running races at fairly high altitudes, finally outliving many opponents and winning medals in my age group. Hiking in the mountain forests, sometimes up to the Continental Divide, has been an almost daily enjoyment. We have also traveled widely. We spend each March in Mexico or Guatemala at various language schools, and support a women’s microcredit program in Guatemala that we have visited three times.


Department of History
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Western Michigan University
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