Sandra “Sandie” F. Pritchard Mather earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1964 and a Master of Education in Geography in 1968 from West Chester State College. She continued her education at the University of Oregon, earning a Ph.D. in Geography in 1982. Her dissertation, “Geographical Landscape Changes to Summit County, Colorado, from 1859 to the Present, An Historical Geography”, introduced her to the variety of topics in her subsequent publications.
Sandie taught second grade in the college’s Laboratory School before accepting a position in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences teaching geology, meteorology and geomorphology on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Upon her retirement from West Chester State College in 1999, she received the designation Professor Emerita.
Sandie began working with the Summit Historical Society in the early 1980s as a tour guide and presenter of a variety of programs. She continues that role today, leading tours and giving programs for the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and the Frisco Historic Park and Museum. Over the years she has published twenty books about Summit County, some in conjunction with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance and the Frisco Historic Park and Museum. Sandie received the Theobald Award in 2013 in recognition of her work in preserving the history of Breckenridge and encouraging heritage tourism. She also served as President of the Summit Historical Society.
Passionate about preserving the early history of Summit County, Sandie jumped at the chance to endow an archives that would provide an environmental-controlled facility for preserving precious photographs and other archival materials. With a trained archivist on site, the collections would be available to county residents and visitors alike for research.