Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

Topics in History: Five Points: The Heart and Soul of Denver

Old Five Points Neighborhood (Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library)

In recent decades, the city of Denver has undergone a drastic transformation both aesthetically and demographically. As young professionals flock back to the city’s center, neighborhoods that have existed as cultural centers for many of Denver’s deep-rooted and diverse communities are undergoing dramatic changes. One of the most significant of these cultural epicenters is Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. Designated from its earliest years as a space apart for Denver’s black residents, Five Points not only survived a time of extreme, institutionalized racial oppression in Colorado, but thrived and grew to become one of the most culturally rich destinations in the country, earning it the nickname, “the Harlem of the West.”

Denver NAACP Meeting (Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library)

Five Points initially took shape during Denver’s period of rapid growth in the 1870’s due to the silver boom. The neighborhood took its name from the five vertices created at the intersection of Washington Street, 27th Street, 26th Ave, and Welton Street. The introduction of Denver’s first street railroad connected the Five Points neighborhood to its city center and brought a wide variety of residents from varying economic and racial backgrounds to the area.  However, when more modern and fashionable dwellings began to populate the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, many of its wealthier, white residents moved out of the area. Due to the extreme racial oppression of the time, Denver’s black residents were not afforded the same mobility, and by the 1920’s, ninety percent of Denver black population lived within the Five Points – Whittier neighborhood.

The Rossonian Hotel (Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library)

That decade saw Five Points grow and flourish as a social, cultural, and political center for Denver’s black community. The Glenarm branch of the YMCA was built in 1924 and acted as the unofficial Town Hall of Five Points. Denver’s branch of the NAACP was established and hosted its first national meeting in 1925 to address the racial hostility and inequity perpetuated by the KKK’s firm hold on the Denver politics and society. In 1927, a group of black students successfully sued the Superintendent of Public Instruction of Denver for the unconstitutional separation of social functions for students based on race. Five points had now established itself as a political center for the advancement of equality as more and more of its residents began to own property and establish businesses.

The Lounge at the Rossonian Hotel (Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library)

The 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s gave way to perhaps the greatest cultural boom in Five Points as the Jazz and Blues movement took root in the area. While Denver’s downtown hotspots invited popular musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Miles Davis, and Nat King Cole to perform, they were not permitted to stay in the white-only hotels in those neighborhoods. Thus, Five Points played host to these artists who also performed in the neighborhood’s many jazz and blues clubs. The lounge at the now Historic Rossonian Hotel (originally the Baxter Hotel) was one of Five Points’ most iconic locales and was considered the best jazz club between Kansas City and LA. At the height of the jazz era, Five Points had become a destination where black and white visitors were welcomed together, despite the racial tension and segregation that still plagued the rest of the city.

Historic Five Points Neighborhood (Photo from 5280.com)

As the 1960’s saw the decline of discriminatory housing practices and legal segregation in the city, the residents of Five Points dispersed to other neighborhoods and suburbs. By the 1970’s Five Points fell victim to economic strife, crime, and drugs. However, the community that had once thrived in Five Points refused to disappear, and in the late 1980’s and 1990’s there came a dramatic push to preserve and restore the area’s landmarks. In 1988, Paul W. Stewart opened the Black American West Museum to the public in the former home of Dr. Justina Ford, Denver’s first black woman doctor. In 1995, the Rossonian Hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has since undergone massive restoration with the help of former NBA star, Chauncey Billups, who is a partner in the project. In 2002, the Welton Street commercial corridor was listed as a Denver historic cultural district and in 2003, the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library opened on Welton Street in order to serve the neighborhood and preserve its rich history.

Juneteenth Celebration Bilboard (Photo Courtesy of Denver Public Library)

Five Points has even more recently become one of Denver’s most desirable neighborhoods, with home prices rising far above the median for the city. While this new influx of residents and businesses to the area has assured its survival and revitalization, the drastically inflated cost of living has driven out many of the same residents who fought for its preservation. Though Five Points now hosts its annual Jazz Fest and Juneteenth festival, drawing thousands of visitors to the area to celebrate its cultural heritage, it was Denver’s strong, black community that made the neighborhood a haven, a hotspot, and a home for decades in the face of oppression.

 

This post is brought to you by the Colorado State Library and Denver Public Libraries

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

OCR Correction Makes Our Shared History More Accessible to All

We at the State Library are honored to be partnering with the cultural and civic organizations within our state to add so much interesting, unique, and entertaining historic content to the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC).

Over the past three years, we have added more than 600,000 pages of historic newspapers to the collection, including 91 new titles, 5 new languages, student papers from our institutions of higher education, previously unrepresented geographic regions, and so much more.  But we need your help!  Technology alone can only do so much.  It takes human intervention to make the collection even more valuable to the tens of thousands of students, genealogists, and researchers who use it every month.   What do I mean by human intervention?  Why, OCR correction of course.

Optical Character Recognition, or OCR, is a process by which software reads a page image and translates it into a text file by recognizing the shapes of the letters.  OCR enables searching of large quantities of full-text data, but it is never 100{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} accurate. The level of accuracy depends on the print quality of the original newspaper issue, its condition at the time of microfilming, the level of detail captured by the microfilm scanner, and the quality of the OCR software. Issues with poor quality paper, small print, mixed fonts, multiple column layouts, or damaged pages may contribute to poor OCR accuracy.  The effectiveness of OCR software has improved dramatically over the years, however, there are many pages within the CHNC that were added more than 10 years ago, and the quality of the OCR created text for those pages can only be corrected manually – and that is where “the crowd” comes in.  We need your help to clean up the database.

Here is an example of some pretty bad OCR from content added to CHNC back in the early 2000s.  Even though we can read the original article with little difficulty, it is because our eyes and brain work together to “fill in the blanks”.  This was not easily accomplished by early OCR software, and the resulting textual representation of this article is missing many important words and names, and would probably not be found by someone searching for Vincent Johnson.

The good news is that the CHNC database has a built in text correction tool that allows users to make corrections to the OCR text when errors are discovered.  Using this tool, any registered user can edit the OCR text for the articles they are using or finding in the database.  Correcting text is simple and safe, and does not alter the original image of the newspaper article, just the searchable text created from it.

Using the text correction tool, I made edits to the article’s OCR to the right, and now it looks like this.  All of the names are now entered correctly, and all other words are corrected as well.

To date, 485 users have collectively corrected over 2,647,588 lines of text in articles held within the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.  Our top five correctors are listed on the front page of the database, in a place of honor for their contributions to the resource.

 

 

 

 

I recently asked some of our top correctors what motivated them to correct text in the database and here are some snippets of their responses.

“When I am correcting text, I feel like I am bring[ing] the people and events back to life, if only for a moment.”

“For me, originally I was looking for information on grandparents in Routt County. …   Since then I just correct because I realize that there are other people who are looking for their family histories as well.”

Whatever your reason for correcting, we appreciate every correction made, because it makes the CHNC experience better for everyone that follows.  Help us make the CHNC better by correcting text.  To learn more about correcting text, see our help and forums page – and check out our new text correction video on how to do it yourself.

For more information about text correcting, or to inquire about specific content relevant to you and your research, contact Leigh Jeremias.  Thank you for helping us make the CHNC the wonderful resource that it is for Colorado.

 

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

CHNC Welcomes the Westminster Journal with help of SIPA & New Content Support Program!

Front Page of Westminster Journal (Vol. 1, No. 1)

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is proud to welcome Westminster’s first local news publication, The Westminster Journal, to our online catalog in our continued effort to expand access to Colorado’s rich newspaper history! Thanks to the Westminster Public Library, CHNC users can now browse over 850 issues of the Westminster Journal, ranging from its first publication in 1947 to 1964.

The Journal was founded by A.B. Withers, who was also publishing the Wheat Ridge Journal and the Edgewater Tribune at the time. Withers maintained the Westminster Journal and grew its readership until 1954, during which time he was responsible for the hire of some of Colorado most famous journalists, including Jack Bacon, who won the Colorado Press Association Newspaper Person of the Year in 1994. After Withers sold the paper, it changed hands several more times over the next nearly 20 years until Community Publications assumed its management and changed the name to the Journal-Sentinel.  However, the Westminster Journal saw this sleepy Denver satellite grow into a thriving central Colorado metropolis during a very exciting time in the Centennial State.

Readers can browse the journal to read about the first graduating class of the United States Air Force Academy, learn how the construction of I-25 changed the landscape and culture of the Front Range, or bask in the glow of the Denver Broncos victory over the Boston Patriots in the very first game of the newly re-established 1960 American Football League. Whatever your interest, the CHNC and our new partner, the Westminster Public Library, have you covered with help, in part by the Colorado Statewide Internet Portal Authority (SIPA) micro grant program and the CHNC New Content Support Program.

Both funding sources offer assistance to educational institutions expanding access to online resources.  And great news, the CHNC New Content Support Program for 2019 is officially underway and taking applications now. Learn more about how your Colorado community’s news publication can join the CHNC and reach audiences all over the world at http://bit.ly/chncnewcontentsupport and check out all of our great titles at coloradohistoricnewspapers.org!

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

Topics in History: The Lake County War

(Photo from leadville.com)

The Lake County War, as it has become known, was not actually a war at all in the traditional sense.  Instead, it is the term used to describe the time period in what was once Lake County (now Chaffee County) from 1874-1881, during which law and order broke down and vigilante “justice” reigned. For nearly a century, details of the events of this time were based on scattered and varying accounts, questionable witness testimony, and even local legend. In recent decades, however, historians have gathered information from local news sources, court records, and family histories in order to piece together the events of this tumultuous time in Colorado’s Arkansas River Valley.

In the early morning hours of June 17, 1874, Lake County homesteader, George Harrington raced from his home to a nearby outbuilding that was engulfed in flames. As Harrington and his wife attempted to extinguish the fire, which had been started deliberately, shots rang out and he was struck in the back and killed on the spot. Friends of Harrington were convinced that he was murdered by a fellow Lake Countian named Elijah Gibbs, with whom Harrington had recently quarreled over rights to an irrigation ditch. When Gibbs was acquitted of the murder in a Denver court, the late Harrington’s friends and supporters took matters into their own hands.

On the night of January 22, 1875, a posse of approximately 15 men surrounded Gibbs’s cabin and demanded he come out to be lynched. When Gibbs refused, the group threatened to set fire to the home with Gibbs’s family inside. As the group prepared to storm the cabin, Gibbs opened fire, hitting two of the men and causing one to accidentally fire on his own group, leaving all three dead. The posse left and Gibbs and his family fled the area. However, Harrington’s supporters were determined to get justice. The posse reformed with greater numbers and called themselves “The Committee of Safety.”

Over the following months, The Committee of Safety rounded up many of Gibbs’s alleged supporters, sympathizers, and fellow cattle rustlers. Many were tortured, while others were lynched. The committee’s tactics for “trying” a defendant included questioning the accused with a noose around their neck and tightening it with each answer the committee disliked. The group is even believed to have been responsible for the shooting death of Judge Elias Dyer, son of the famed circuit-rider Father John Dyer, after he issued warrants of arrest for 28 members of the Committee of Safety. The violence continued to a point that the Governor of Colorado sent a special detective to the area to investigate the conflict and report back.  However, the agent never uncovered anything of substance and the violence continued for the next several years, causing many families to flee the area in fear for their safety.

As time went on, the fervor of the committee members waned and the violence eventually subsided. The last of the Lake County War deaths is believed to have taken place in 1881, but estimates of the total death toll range anywhere from 10 to 100 over the course of the conflict. Among those lives allegedly claimed by the Lake County War were two brothers from the Boone family, distant relatives of the same Boone family that explored the Missouri Territory. Though many details of the Lake County War have been lost to time, a renewed effort by historians has uncovered new information regarding the motives and power dynamics of its key players.  One thing that remains certain though, is that the Lake County War was evidence of a Colorado that was still very much the Wild West.

 

Historic Newspaper Articles About The Lake County War

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

New Year, New Newspaper Support Program

CHNC New Content Support Program

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) is excited to announce that the 2019 program to support the addition of new historic news in the CHNC is now open for applications.  The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection New Content Support Program for newspaper digitization is designed to help cultural heritage organizations across our state increase online access to historic community news through the CHNC.  We want to help local communities include their historic stories to the larger Colorado digital newspaper footprint.

About CHNC

A service of the Colorado State Library, the CHNC currently includes more than 1.2 million digitized pages, representing more than 250 individual newspaper titles published in Colorado primarily from 1859 through 1923. Due to copyright restrictions, the CHNC does not always include newspapers published after 1923, but the CHNC can digitize beyond 1923 if publisher permission can be secured by our partners.

On-going support for maintaining, developing, and providing access to the CHNC is paid for with state and federal funds administered by the Colorado State Library. We continue to add new pages to the CHNC when community funding is located to pay the costs of digitization.

Awards

Program funding will be awarded for the digitization of newspapers on microfilm or in original format; the processing of digital files including segmentation of pages into articles, advertisements and illustrations; the creation of metadata; OCR transcription of newspaper text and inclusion in the CHNC online database.  Support awards can only be used to offset the cost of digitizing newspaper pages for inclusion in the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, and will be applied by the Colorado State Library to support the actual digitization process through their chosen vendor partners.

In Spring of 2019, CHNC will award $15,000 in support for newspaper digitization projects. Institutions can apply for a maximum of $3,000 of support funding and a minimum of $1,500 towards the digitization of newspapers for inclusion in the CHNC. All support awards require a 25{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} cash match.  The cash match needs to be provided to CHNC by June 30, 2019. The amount of funding requested by applicants will determine how many projects will be funded.

Who Can Apply

We strongly encourage institutions that are not currently CHNC partners to apply.  Special consideration will be given to newspaper content that is underrepresented in CHNC such as geographic areas, ethnic groups, social movements and non standard content types such as company newsletters.

Private individuals wishing to apply for support funding should be partnered with a local cultural heritage organization such as a library, archives, museum, friends group or association.  Single individuals without affiliation will not be considered.

Application Process

Complete all questions on the application form, found here.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Applications received on or before February 28, 2019 will be considered.

Successful projects will be selected by the Program Committee.  Projects will be evaluated on the historical significance of proposed newspaper title, support of content areas that are currently underrepresented in CHNC and plans for community engagement.  Special consideration will be given to institutions that are not currently CHNC partners.

Application Rubric

Total available points = 50 pts

  • Completed form = 5 Pts
  • Historical significance of title(s) = 1 – 10 pts
  • Support of Content Areas not currently represented = 1 – 10 pts
  • New title to CHNC = 5pts
  • New Partner to CHNC = 10 pts
  • Plans for ongoing community engagement and promotion = 1-10 pts

Project Period or Timeline

The project time period is from April 1, 2019 to December 30, 2019.  Any digitization work needs to be in process by December 15, 2019.

Deadline

Completed applications must be received on or before February 28, 2019.

Awards

Awardees will be notified by March 15, 2019.

Questions and Additional Considerations

The program does not cover indirect costs and cannot be used for any purpose other than the digitization of newspaper content to be added to CHNC.  If you have questions about the support program, the application process, or about newspapers available for digitization or if you would like a cost estimate please contact Leigh Jeremias, ljeremias@coloradovirtuallibrary.org.  If you are considering applying to support a newspaper title that may be in copyright (issues published after 1923) please contact Leigh prior to the application submission so copyright holder permissions can be discussed.

 

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

Topics in History: Leadville’s 1896 Crystal Carnival and Palace

1880’s Leadville, Colorado
(Image from WesternMiningHistory.com)

The City of Leadville was founded in much the same way as many Colorado mining towns in the mid-19th century: with the discovery of gold. The Pikes Peak Gold Rush or Colorado Gold Rush brought prospectors to the area where they founded a town called Oro City. Unfortunately, the gold in this “gold city” quickly ran out and the town all but disappeared. However, the miners discovered a high silver content in the sand of the Arkansas river and traced its source back to the nearby area that is now present-day Leadville. There they discovered heavy silver deposits and by 1877, Horace Tabor and August Meyer founded the town of Leadville and the Colorado Silver Boom began.

Over the next decade, Leadville grew to be a hub for the wealthiest members of Colorado society and was even a frequent haunt of famous personalities such as Oscar Wilde, Margaret “Molly” Brown and John Henry “Doc” Holliday. Horace Tabor became known as the “Leadville Silver King” as Leadville gained the reputation as “the richest city in the world,” though the nickname was more a comment on Leadville’s quick rise to fame than an actual statement of worth. However, the city’s prosperity was not to last. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act caused the Panic of 1893, and the value of silver suddenly plummeted. Many of Leadville’s wealthy mining residents, including Horace Tabor, lost their fortunes practically overnight, and the town fell on very hard times.

Crystal Palace Construction
(Image from Denver Public Library)

In 1895, with many of Leadville’s businesses facing bankruptcy, the town’s leaders proposed a dramatic and risky idea for a major winter carnival to draw tourists and business back to the town and keep Leadville’s remaining residents in town for the winter. The centerpiece of the carnival would be a giant, crystal palace constructed out of solid blocks of ice and large enough to house all the events of the carnival. Because Leadville stood at over 10,000 feet and often had snow year-round, town leaders believed that, placed properly, the Crystal palace could also remain all year and become a permanent community structure and tourist attraction. The carnival organizers hired architect Charles E. Jay, who had designed the ice castle for Saint Paul, Minnesota’s winter carnival.

Through funding and support from the town’s business owners, as well as project manager, Tingley S. Wood, construction of the Crystal Palace began on November 1, 1895. It took a crew of over 250 men working day and night to construct the palace’s timber and metal framework and haul its over 5,000 tons of ice in from Palmer Lake.  The ice was the shaped, shaved, and stacked to give the Crystal Palace the appearance of having been built entirely from ice.  The ice walls were then sprayed down with water to freeze the blocks together and act as a kind of mortar. After only 36 days, the Crystal Palace was complete. Its towers reached over 90 feet high and 40 feet wide and enclosed over 58,000 square feet on over 5 acres of ground. It was a masterpiece.

Skating Rink inside Crystal Palace
(Image from LegendsOfAmerica.com)

The Palace included a 20-foot wide promenade, a ballroom, a skating rink, and even a restaurant that displayed its dishes frozen in blocks of ice as part of the structure. Builders had also frozen electric lights into the walls of the palace so that it appeared to sparkle and glow. On January 1,1896, the winter carnival began and the Ice Palace was officially opened to the public as more than 2,000 visitors arrived in town to marvel at the structure. Admission to the Palace was 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children and included use of the ballroom and skating rink. Season tickets were also made available, so that town residents and frequent visitors could use the Palace again and again. The Palace appeared to be a tremendous success and local railroads even promoted the attraction with special routes and group rates.

Ice archways inside Crystal Palace
(Image from Denver Public Library)

For the next nearly three months, the Crystal Carnival hosted more than 250,000 visitors and events ranging from skating competitions to stock exchanges. However, March of 1896 brought unseasonably warm temperatures and attendance at the Carnival fell dramatically. By the end of March, the Palace had begun to melt, and there appeared to be no way to save it.  On March 28th, 1896, theCarnival hosted its last official ceremony in the Palace and as the hopes of making it a permanent fixture of the town disappeared. Though it had drawn many visitors and gained a tremendous amount of publicity for the town, investors in the Crystal Carnival and Palace took a significant loss on their investment and had no intention of trying to repeat the event. In October of 1896, the last remaining parts of the Crystal Palace were demolished.  Today, Ice Palace Park stands on the land where the Crystal Palace once was and though there was talk of reviving the Carnival and Palace in the 1980’s, high cost projections prevented any serious investment in the idea. Instead, the Carnival and Palace remain only a memory in the now comfortably thriving mountain town of Leadville, Colorado.

Leadville Crystal Palace
(Image from LegendsOfAmerica.com)

Historic Newspaper Articles About Leadville’s Crystal Palace

Illustrations

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers CSL News

Temporary Discount on Newspaper Digitization Costs

As part of a promotional effort, one of the digitization partners working with the Colorado State Library and the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is offering a limited time price reduction on the processing of TIF images to create the  OCR and METS/ALTO output needed for inclusion in the CHNC database, and we are passing that discount on to you.

  • Timeline:  Between December 1st 2018 – February 28th, 2019.  Commitment MUST be received by January 15th 2019.
  • Quantity limit:  No limit – send as little or as much as you want, the more you send the more you save overall on your digitization project.
  • Cost:  The cost for digitization activity varies, but the discount of $0.05/page is applied across the board, whether we are digitizing content from TIF/PDF files, microfilm, or paper originals, the discount is the same.

The discount is applied to all of the pages we push into process for the months of December – February, so there is no upper or lower limit required.  However,  we would love to take advantage of this reduction and push more pages into process during this short three month window to enable the greatest savings possible for all of us. If you have been thinking about digitizing a small batch or a large batch of newspaper pages, now is the time to do it.  Prices will return to their normal levels for projects initiated after February 28th 2019.

Don’t forget – there are many steps that need to be completed in the digitization process, so drop us a line now if you are interested so that we can make sure that you will be included in this window of opportunity.  The deadline for letting us know of your interest is January 15th. We would love to tell you more, talk with you about your specific collections and needs, provide you with an estimate, or get right to getting your project in the queue.  Contact Leigh Jeremias (ljeremias@coloradovirtuallibrary.org) for more information.

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

Colorado’s Cultural Newspaper History

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection has once again grown by thousands of pages thanks to some very special new additions! We at the CHNC are proud to welcome more than 10 new foreign language titles to our online catalogue as we constantly strive to grow our knowledge of Colorado’s rich, cultural history.  Whether it’s reading the local news in Italian, catching up on politics in Serbian, or browsing the classifieds in Spanish, CHNC visitors now have an even more direct line to Colorado’s cultural past through the voices of those who lived it with these great, new titles:

Spanish

Title: La Hermandad
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1889-1907
Issues Available on CHNC: 123

Title: El Progreso
County: Las Animas
Years of Publication: 1888-1944
Issues Available on CHNC: 1

 

Italian

Title: L’Unione
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1897-1947
Issues Available on CHNC: 299

Title: Il Risveglio
County: Denver
Years of Publication: 1905-1956
Issues Available on CHNC: 79

Title: Il CO-Operatore
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1918-1919
Issues Available on CHNC: 6

Title: Marsica Nuova
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1918-1926
Issues Available on CHNC: 113

Title: Corriere di Trinidad
County: Las Animas
Years of Publication: 1903-1944
Issues Available on CHNC: 2

 

Slavic

Title: Glas Svobode
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1902-1904
Issues Available on CHNC: 5

Title: Mir
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1901-1902
Issues Available on CHNC: 13

 

Serbian

Title: Srpski Odjek
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1902-1903
Issues Available on CHNC: 13

Title: Srbin
County: Pueblo
Years of Publication: 1909-1911
Issues Available on CHNC: 1

 

So whether you’re searching for your ancestors, researching a cultural project, or just practicing your Italian, stop by ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org and dive into Colorado’s rich and diverse history. And be sure to visit again and again as we’re adding new titles and issues all the time!

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

Topics in History: Colorado’s Homegrown History

As Thanksgiving approaches, there’s a chance you may be swapping recipes with friends, recreating an old family dish, or doing some googling for fresh ideas. Luckily for us Coloradans, our Rocky Mountain home has more than a few favorite foods that are as uniquely intertwined with our history as they are with our daily diets. Whether they’re from the sunny orchards of the western slope, the spicy southern Colorado border towns, or the eastern plains, Coloradans have always had a special love for their local fare.  These are some of our favorites that are ripe with flavor and Colorado history!

Palisade Peaches

The region that would one day become the town of Palisade was originally inhabited by the Ute tribe of Native Americans.  Settlers began to arrive in the area in the early 1880’s and named it for the palisade cliff formations to the North. Some of the first peach trees in the area were planted by John Harlow in 1882 and by the early 1900’s, new irrigation systems allowed for more than 25,000 pounds of peaches to be shipped daily from Palisade to destinations all around the region. The rich soil and nearly 200-day growing season of the Western Slope produces apples, cherries, and even impressive wine grapes, but are first and foremost responsible for these peaches, which are now some of the most sought after nation-wide. In fact, because the town owed so much to its peaches, in 1968, the town of Palisade began hosting an annual Peach Festival in August that now draws over 15,000 visitors to the town. In Colorado, Palisade peaches are used in everything from jam to barbeque sauce to Colorado whiskey and we could not be more proud!

Rocky Ford Melons

The town of Rocky Ford was named for a nearby shallow crossing of the Arkansas River by explorer Kit Carson, founded by G.W Swink and Asa Russell in 1871, and moved shortly thereafter following the placement of railroad tracks. By 1881, Swink had gardens so large that they were producing nearly 300 tons of watermelon a year and in 1886, he began to grow the Netted Gem Cantaloupe, the melon for which Rocky Ford is now most well-known. And just like Palisade’s famous peaches, Rocky Ford’s melons have their own festival that centers around Watermelon Day, which was founded by Swink himself in 1878 with about 25 friends and neighbors. Today Watermelon Day is the centerpiece of the Arkansas Valley Fair and boasts over 12,000 attendees and hosts events ranging from seed-spitting contests to watermelon carving competitions. It is also estimated that nearly 50,000 pounds of free watermelons are given away on that day at Rocky Ford’s famous Watermelon Pile. Also, the Rocky Ford cantaloupe don’t just grow bigger and healthier than other region’s melons. They actually contain up 5{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} more natural sugar, making them richer and sweeter than others and proving that Colorado sun and soil really do make all the difference!

Colorado Green Chile (Pueblo Chilies)

Even though we saved it for last, if you ask anyone Coloradan what food we love most, our green chile is #1. Unlike our peaches and melons, the Pueblo Chilies that provide the base for our favorite dish are a fairly recent discovery. While chilies are no strangers to Southern Colorado, the particular variety that has become the commonly known Pueblo Green Chile of today was actually the result of a mutation in the crop of farmer name Harry Mosco.  After his passing in 1988, Mosco left a bag of seeds to his nephew, Dr. Mike Bartolo, the manager and vegetable crop specialist at Colorado State University’s Arkansas Valley Research Center.  Bartolo found that the peppers these seeds produced tended to be a little bigger, a little thicker and faced upward toward the sun while growing, as opposed to hanging down like most chilies.  Today, these Mosco chilies are the most common variety of Pueblo Chile found in Colorado and as you may have guessed, they too have their own festival. The Pueblo Chile and Frijoles Festival takes place in September and attracts over 140,000 attendees over 3 days. But Coloradans don’t need a festival to celebrate their favorite dish all year long.  From Burgers to biscuits to pasta and even pizza, our Colorado hearts pump green and spicy!

 

Historic Newspaper Articles/Ads About Palisade Peaches

Palisade Tribune, Volume 39, Number 7, August 15, 1941

Palisade Tribune, Volume 10, Number 7, July 12, 1912

Palisade Tribune, Volume 4, Number 13, August 25, 1906

Historic Newspaper Articles/Ads About Rocky Ford Melons

La Junta Tribune, Volume 21, Number 41, August 15, 1900

Middle Park Times, July 12, 1912

Aspen Daily Times, August 25, 1908

Historic Newspaper Articles/Ads About Colorado Green Chile

La Cucaracha, Volume II, Number 10, November 7, 1977

Louisville Times, Volume 64, Number 5, July 21, 1977

Categories
Colorado Historic Newspapers

DU’s Weekly Peanut and The Hesperus Student Newspapers Join the CHNC!

As our list of university newspapers continues to grow, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is pleased to welcome some very special additions to our online catalog. The Weekly Peanut and The Hesperus, the University of Denver’s first and second (respectively) student newspapers are now available at ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org and they are even more unique and interesting than we could have hoped! While they both offer a glimpse into the life of DU students at the close of the 19th Century,each paper has a voice and a style that makes it truly one of a kind.                                

The Weekly Peanut was first created in 1882, just 20 years after the University’s founding, by students George Manly and Clark Winsor.  While the Weekly Peanut perfectly captured the silliness and sarcasm common to college students of any era, the paper was quite unique in one very obvious way: all articles and illustrations were done by hand. Readers can now take in the detailed account of one student’s vacation to Santa Fe in his own elegant script or read the description of a student’s prank on his professor in his rough, but personalized hand. But don’t worry about deciphering any Victorian cursive, we’ve transcribed each issue, so you won’t miss a word! And while you might visit for the stories, you’ll stay for the illustrations. The Weekly Peanut illustrators didn’t pull any punches in their depictions of fellow students, school facilities, and even professors. Even though it only produced four issues (of which we have three), the Weekly Peanut is truly one of the gems of our CHNC catalog.

Though it began only four years after the final issue of the Weekly Peanut, DU’s second student newspaper, The Hesperus, depicts an image of student life that could not be more different. Issues of The Hesperus feature lofty poetry, profiles of important political and cultural figures, and meditations on morality that remind readers that, at that particular point in time, the University of Denver was still very much a Seminary College. Even so, The Hesperus depicts a distinctly progressive college atmosphere in which co-education of the sexes and outspoken political engagement were expected and encouraged. The Hesperus ran for 12 years before competition from the Clarion, DU’s student paper still in print today, shut down its presses, but its mark on the University’s history remains.

The Weekly Peanut and The Hesperus, though vastly different in their style and concept of “news,” together give readers a fuller understanding of what life was like for university students in Denver at the end of the 19th Century.  Whether it is a less than flattering sketch of an unpopular professor or in-depth look at a deeply biblical lecture, both the Weekly Peanut and The Hesperus are invaluable pieces of Colorado History.  Come check out both papers at ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org for yourself and make sure to check back often, as we’re adding new issues and titles all the time!

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

Topics in History: The Coffee Myth and the Power of Advertising

In today’s health obsessed culture of fit watches and online trainers, it seems that most Americans should have a pretty solid grasp on what is and is not good for them. However, with the constant inundation of “new studies” and “fitness breakthroughs,” it can be tough to tell what is really new information and what is actually just clever marketing. Any kid who ever reached for their parent’s steaming mug as a child or tossed back an espresso or two for a term paper all-nighter may have heard the familiar scolding, “Kids shouldn’t drink coffee. It will stunt your growth.” Whether that seemed like a fair trade at the time or kept you off coffee for life, you may be shocked to learn that this potential “health risk” was actually the advertising creation of the Post Cereal Company (now Post Consumer Brands, LLC) in the early 20th century.

Before he started stuffing children full of incredibly healthy favorites like Fruity Pebbles and Waffle Crisp, cereal tycoon C.W. Post first developed a “cereal-based, caffeine-free coffee substitute” called Postum. While the product did not contain any caffeine, tasted nothing like coffee, and only vaguely resembled the brownish morning beverage, it was marketed as a healthy alternative for the old, the young, or anyone afflicted by the “dangerous” side effects of coffee. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any concrete, scientific evidence to support the claims that coffee was unhealthy, other than occasional jitters or nervousness it could cause when consumed in excess. Fortunately for Post, their advertising didn’t need evidence; just a strong campaign with a story that was just believable enough to scare up some customers.

Post began running newspaper ads that read like a doctor’s interview, listing symptoms (some real and some imagined) that immediately ceased when the afflicted switched from coffee to healthier Postum. Furthermore, the ads claimed that coffee was often consumed as a replacement for milk as a morning beverage, leaving the drinker without their daily requirement of calcium. This lack of calcium, they claimed, was responsible for everything from dyspepsia to weakness to, you guessed it, stunted growth. Postum’s ads implored readers to switch from coffee themselves and to protect their children from the dangers of malnourishment and impeded development caused by coffee. In doing so, Post managed to pilfer one generation of consumers and secure the next in one fell swoop.

With the story of coffee’s danger to children firmly in place, the Post Cereal Company established itself as a nationwide corporation. When the U.S. joined World War II, Postum enjoyed even more success as coffee was rationed in the States. Not only was Postum now the healthy choice, but it was the moral and economic choice in a time when coffee was needed to energize the troops overseas.  Though Postum enjoyed a long and profitable popularity in the U.S., the coffee renaissance of the 1990’s firmly re-established coffee as both a luxury and a necessity, leaving its substitute unable to compete.  Post Consumer Brands, LLC discontinued Postum in 2007, but the effects of its once genius marketing campaign have not been forgotten. The question of coffee stunting growth is still a popular one on online health, lifestyle, and coffee forums alike, and while there has never been any concrete evidence to support this claim, many parents and young people alike still stick to the “better safe than sorry” philosophy when it comes to coffee.

“Sponsored Articles” About the Dangers of Coffee

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Colorado Historic Newspapers Resource Sharing

CHNC Proudly Welcomes The Denver Voice!

This month, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection welcomed the Denver Voice to its online catalog and we could not be more excited! Our users will now have access to nearly 100 issues of the Denver Voice, spanning from its first issue in 1996 right up to its brief hiatus in the spring of 2006 before it became a professional publication the following year. This unique newspaper doesn’t just tell the story of Denver in a time of tremendous change, it tells that story from the perspective of some of its most underrepresented and often unheard citizens: those experiencing homelessness.

While the Voice now reaches a broad and diverse audience, it began as a grassroots newspaper written by homeless people for homeless people. Its early issues include everything from news articles about encounters with local business owners and police to poetry and cartoons inspired by the hardships and joys of its unique community. Each issue also includes a list of places where its readers could find necessary resources like a meal, a bed, or bathroom and shower facilities. Most importantly though, the Voice offered (and still offers) an outlet for expression and a connection to a community for many people who were often marginalized and overlooked in their own city.

Though the Denver Voice of today looks very different from its humble beginnings, its mission statement remains focused on the transformative power of the stories it has told for over 20 years:

“Our mission is to facilitate a dialogue addressing the roots of homelessness by telling stories of people whose lives are impacted by poverty and homelessness and to offer economic, educational, and empowerment opportunities for the impoverished community.”
Denver Voice

We at the CHNC are honored to welcome the first 10 years of the Denver Voice to our collection and look forward to adding more years in the months to come! So come check out this truly amazing newspaper at ColoradoHistoricNewspapers.org and see how easy it is to broaden your perspective and change the way you see our uniquely Colorado history!

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

CHNC News: Holy Cross Trail

For many Coloradans, climbing a fourteener is a rite of passage.  There are 53 fourteeners in Colorado but only one had a newspaper named after it.  CHNC partner, the Eagle Valley Library District, recently added 913 issues of the Holy Cross Trail, from 1924 to 1941. The Red Cliff paper, published by O. W. Daggett was a source of Red Cliff and Minturn news but also promoted Daggett’s other endeavors or crusades.

This included his devotion to the Mount of the Holy Cross, a Colorado fourteener at 14,005 ft, that was named for the distinctive cross-shaped snowfield on its northeast face. It grew in fame after 1873 when renowned photographer William Henry Jackson climbed the adjacent Notch Mountain and took the first of many photographs of the distinctive cross .  Over the next few decades the Mount of Holy Cross continued to grow in fame as a Christian symbol.

William Henry Jackson. Mount of the Holy Cross, in the Clouds, 1890-1910. Courtesy History Colorado, 86.200.425

Courtesy, Holy Cross Trail

As a result in 1921 the Holy Cross Association, of which Daggett served as publicity manager, was established for the purpose of developing the Holy Cross “Shrine” for religious, educational and recreational purposes.  In the mid-1920’s Dr. O.W. Randall, a dentist from Eagle, and John P. Carrigan, a Catholic priest from Glenwood Springs, conceived of the pilgrimages and worship services to the Shrine.

 

Services at Mt. of the Holy Cross, 1929-1933. Courtesy Eagle County Historical Society

Daggett’s Holy Cross crusade also had the backing of Denver Post publisher Frederick Bonfils who repeatedly promoted the pilgrimages in the Post. The pilgrimages began to attract thousands of people from all over the world. With this increased popularity, the Mount and the surrounding area received National Monument status on May 11, 1929.  Over the next few years the Forest Service and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), who camped on O. W. Randall’s property, made area improvements including new trails, a pilgrim base camp, the Tigiwon Community House, and a viewing shelter, the Notch Mountain Shelter.

CCC camp on Randall’s ranch, 1930-1934. Courtesy Eagle County Historical Society

The height of visitation was in 1934 when about 3,000 pilgrimages were made to Holy Cross National Monument. Visitation began to steadily decrease and in 1950 its national monument status was revoked. Daggett sold the paper in 1940 and the new owner discontinued it shortly after.  Regardless, today hikers still continue to check the Mount of the Holy Cross off their list of climbed fourteeners and pilgrimages are still made to Notch Mountain viewing site.  Researchers and history buffs can learn more about these historic pilgrimages and Daggett’s other crusades by browsing this exciting new addition to CHNC.

Thank you Eagle Valley Library District for continuing to add historic newspapers to CHNC! If you would like to learn more about becoming a CHNC partner and how to add historic news to CHNC please contact me at ljeremias@coloradovirtuallibrary.org.

Further Reading and Related Historic Collections:

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

The Altrurian, Montrose County’s Cooperative Newspaper, Joins the CHNC!

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection continues to grow as we happily welcome our newest title, The Altrurian, to our online catalog!  This title is especially unique not only because it began publication even before the community it represented even existed, but also because it further adds to the narrative of communal or “Utopian” societies that gained a relatively significant following in the late 19th century in Colorado.  The Panic of 1893, an economic crisis that was marked by the collapse of railroad overbuilding and eventually lead to a series of bank failures, left many Americans questioning the longevity of capitalism.  Many felt that they had not only been abandoned by their government, but that those in power, who capitalism favored, had taken advantage of those who had no power. In response, small groups of determined settlers elected to remove themselves entirely from this system in favor of a more communal lifestyle in which they could support and rely upon one another.

The Altrurian was the weekly newspaper for one such community that was established in the Tabeguache Park of Southwestern Colorado: Piñon. However, Piñon was neither a religious community like others at the time, nor was it an escape for the lazy from hard work and struggle.  It was instead envisioned as an opportunity for a small group of motivated and hardworking individuals to come together and claim a section of land on which they could build a better life for themselves and their families without the banks that had failed them.  According to the Desert Land Act of 1877, an individual could claim up to 640 acres of land for $1.25/acre, providing that individual could bring water to the land for irrigation. Thus the town was the brainchild of The Colorado Cooperative Company, an organization established by several prominent members of Denver society who had become disenchanted with the economic and political climate.

The Altrurian was an important tool for the Colorado Cooperative Company even before the town of Piñon was founded in 1896.  In 1895, the Altrurian began publication and nationwide distribution as a means of recruiting aspiring settlers to join the CC Company and claim their own portion of the land.   Once the town was firmly established in 1896, however, the Altrurian began weekly publication and included information about community events, updates on (and encouragement for) the irrigation project, and the Cooperative’s articles of incorporation and by-laws for newcomers or veterans who needed reminding of the principles on which the town was founded.  Though Piñon (later renamed Nucla after the completion of the irrigation ditch) was built on the principles of every citizen doing an equal share of often very hard labor, the community attracted a large number of artists and musicians. This meant that community functions were not only quite lively and well-attended, but also quite frequent.  After one such town dance that lasted well past dawn, community members explained that, “our visitors undoubtedly think we dance all the time over here, but we don’t— we build ditches, most of the time, although we did have three dances last week” (pg.22, Colorado Heritage Magazine, July-Aug 2016).  The Altrurian gave notice of such upcoming events, chronicled the happenings of past events, and called for volunteers to plan the next.

Though the completion of the irrigation ditch in 1901 and renaming of the town from Piñon to Nucla also ushered in the dissolution of the Colorado Cooperative Company and The Altrurian, the story of this truly unique Colorado community remains.  The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection now contains digitized copies of 130 issues (nearly every issue) of The Altrurian from 1895-1901, giving voice to its townspeople who set out to build something of their own in a world that seemed to belong only to a few.  Search the issues by date to track the progress of the irrigation ditch or by keyword to learn about its women, schools, or events and explore the lives of these exceptional Coloradans who struck out on their own in order to forge something new. And make sure to check back at the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection often, as we are adding new issues and titles to our online catalog all the time!

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

CHNC Welcomes School of Mines Oredigger

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is thrilled to welcome the Colorado School of Mines student newspaper, The Oredigger, to our collection. Nearly a century after its establishment, The Oredigger’s addition to the CHNC represents a big step toward our goal of making Colorado university newspapers an integral part of our online archive. Students and non-student enthusiasts alike will now have free access to digitized versions of The Oredigger, searchable by date, keyword, and selected topics.

The first installment of The Oredigger to our collection includes over 2,200 pages of issues spanning from 1921 through 1936. Founded just the year prior in 1920 as a weekly publication, The Oredigger offers a unique perspective on this tumultuous time in our state and nation’s history. From the restless years of Prohibition to the first stirrings of the Second World War, this newspaper gives readers a window into the unique world that was mountain university life in the heart of Colorado, and more specifically, life at the Colorado’s School of Mines.

Two Mines students congratulate one another on Athletic Board victory
Image from April 9, 1935 edition of The Oredigger

In these issues spanning fifteen short years, readers can discover the origins of The Colorado School of Mines’ coveted silver diplomas, as well as the famous mountainside “M” and subsequent first ever “M climb.” The Oredigger is not just an important piece of Colorado history, but a part of the unique story that only Colorado’s student voices can tell.  We at the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection are honored to be a part of this legacy and promise not to leave you hanging at 1936 for long. The CHNC will continue to work with the School of Mines in the coming months to add more and more years of The Oredigger to our online archive so that readers can trace Mines history through the decades.

“We’re thrilled to work with CHNC to make these issues of the Colorado School of Mines’ Oredigger newspaper accessible to all. As the School’s longest running serial still in publication today, the Oredigger represents Mines history and of the history of Colorado from the viewpoint of our student body. We’ve got some unique stories to share. It will be great to add the Oredigger’s voice to that of Colorado’s other newspapers to put together all of our stories of ‘what it was like’ back then.”

-Lisa G. Dunn, Colorado School of Mines Arthur Lakes Library Research Librarian and Special Collections Manager

So whether you’re doing research, brushing up on your Mines history, or just browsing for pleasure, head over to the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection website, check out our great selection of Oredigger issues, and make sure to check back as we continue to add to the archive. We could not be more excited about welcoming The Oredigger to our collection and look forward to growing our relationship with The School of Mines as we work toward improving access to its rich history for everyone. “Give ‘em Hell, Mines!”

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

Help is Here for Newspaper Digitization!

CHNC New Content Support Program

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC) is excited to announce a new program to support the addition of new historic news in the CHNC.  The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection New Content Support Program for newspaper digitization is designed to help cultural heritage organizations increase online access to historic community news through the CHNC.  We want to help local communities add their historic stories to the larger Colorado footprint.

About CHNC

A service of the Colorado State Library, the CHNC currently includes more than 1 million digitized pages, representing more than 230 individual newspaper titles published in Colorado primarily from 1859 through 1922. Due to copyright restrictions, the CHNC does not always include newspapers published after 1922, but the CHNC can digitize beyond 1922 if publisher permission can be secured.

On-going support for maintaining, developing, and providing access to the CHNC is paid for with state and federal funds administered by the Colorado State Library. We continue to add new pages to the CHNC when community funding is located to pay the costs of digitization. The long-term goal for the CHNC is to provide access to all newspapers published in Colorado between 1859 and 1922, the time period for which publications are in the public domain and without copyright restrictions. Over 2 million pages from over 200 Colorado newspapers from this time period are available for digitization.

Awards

Program funding will be awarded for the digitization of newspapers on microfilm or in original format; the processing of digital files including segmentation of pages into articles, advertisements and illustrations; the creation of metadata; OCR transcription of newspaper text and inclusion in the CHNC online database.  Support awards can only be used to cover the cost of digitizing newspaper pages for inclusion in the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection, and will be applied by the Colorado State Library to support the actual digitization process through their chosen vendor partners.

In Spring of 2018, CHNC will award $15,000 in support for newspaper digitization projects. Institutions can apply for a maximum of $3,000 of support and a minimum of $1,500 towards the digitization of newspapers for inclusion in the CHNC. All support awards require a 25{66eaadba41c14e7e553ffe7a4ee73fbae213b19704eda0514b3dd79e37e4c0c5} cash match.  The cash match needs to be provided to CHNC by June 30, 2018. The amount of funding requested by applicants will determine how many projects will be funded.

Who Can Apply

We strongly encourage institutions that are not currently CHNC partners to apply.  Special consideration will be given to newspaper content that is underrepresented in CHNC such as geographic areas, ethnic groups, social movements and non standard content types such as academic newspapers and company newsletters.

Private individuals wishing to apply for support funding should be partnered with a local cultural heritage organization such as a library, archives, museum, friends group or association.  Single individuals without affiliation will not be considered.

Application Process

Complete all questions on the application form, found here.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  Applications received on or before February 28, 2018 will be considered.

Successful projects will be selected by the Program Committee.  Projects will be evaluated on the historical significance of proposed newspaper title, support of content areas that are currently underrepresented in CHNC and plans for community engagement.  Special consideration will be given to institutions that are not currently CHNC partners.

Application Rubric

Total available points = 50 pts

  • Completed form = 5 Pts
  • Historical significance of title(s) = 1 – 10 pts
  • Support of Content Areas not currently represented = 1 – 10 pts
  • New title to CHNC = 5pts
  • New Partner to CHNC = 10 pts
  • Plans for ongoing community engagement and promotion = 1-10 pts

Project Period or Timeline

The project time period is from April 1, 2018 to December 30, 2018.  Any digitization work needs to be in process by December 15, 2018.

Deadline

Completed applications must be received on or before February 28, 2018.

Awards

Awardees will be notified by March 15, 2018.

Questions

If you have questions about the support program or the application process please contact Leigh Jeremias, ljeremias@coloradovirtuallibrary.org.

 

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

CHNC News: Golden Historic News is Growing!

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection now includes over 9,500 more pages of the Colorado Transcript! With a shared mission of enhancing access to Golden history the Golden History Museum & Park and the Jefferson County Archives recently partnered together to add the years 1925-1948 to CHNC.

Founder George West published the first issue of the Colorado Transcript on December 19, 1866. At the time, Golden City, as it was known, was serving as capital of the Territory of Colorado.  The Transcript was the third newspaper,  the second for West, to be published in Golden which early on served as a trading center for the mining camps that sprang up around 1858 along the Clear Creek.

West was a leader and well respected in Colorado’s newspaper industry. The Transcript enjoyed immense popularity rivaling that of the Rocky Mountain News.  In 1906, at the age of 80 years, George West died after running the Transcript for nearly 40 years.  After West’s death, ownership of the Transcript passed from one West generation onto the next until 1960 when it passed out of the family.  The paper, whose name changed to the Golden Transcript in 1955 is still published today.

This recent addition to CHNC is just the start of the Museum and Archives’ long term goal of making additional years of this important Golden newspaper available online through CHNC.  Curator Mark Dodge said the Museum is excited  “to contribute to the CHNC. Access to our newspaper collection has remained a museum priority since 2015, when the Golden Library donated their local history collection to the Golden History Museum & Park.  We’re equally grateful for our cost-sharing partnership with the Jefferson County Archive and look forward to digitizing the entire Colorado Transcript in the coming years. It will now be much easier for all to discover the Depression and World War II eras in Jefferson County and Golden.”

CHNC is excited to be part of collaborative projects like this one which not only benefits the citizens of Golden but also the citizens of Colorado.

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

CHNC News: More Historic News from Bent County!

Thanks to the generous support of our partners, the Las Animas – Bent County Library District and the John W. Rawlings Heritage Center, the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection now includes 1082 issues of the Las Animas Leader, from 1873 to 1912.  The Library District and the Heritage Center partnered together to add 998 issues of the Leader, thereby increasing access to the historic news of Bent County.  The Bent County Library District applied for funds from the Bent County Sales and Use Tax.  The Bent County Commissioners awarded the district the funds to digitize and add the Leader to CHNC.

Las Animas Leader, May 23, 1873.

Las Animas City was established in 1869 and by 1873 had 250 residents who were eager for a local paper. On May 23, 1873, Charles W. Bowman, a newspaperman from Missouri, published the first issue of the Las Animas Leader.  The first issues of the Leader enticed new residents to the community by proclaiming its virtues – fertile lands, reasonable land prices, good schools and numerous opportunities for work.  The Leader changed hands a number of times and continued to be published until 1964.

Currently, this is the only title CHNC has available for Bent County. The Library District and the Heritage Center hope to change that.  Digitization of these early years of the Leader is only the start of their long term goal of providing wider public access to Bent County history.  They are working to continue the effort of digitizing the Leader and also hope to digitize the Bent County Democrat and the Hasty Herald.  This partnership also works towards CHNC’s goal of increasing public access to the historic news of counties that are currently underrepresented in CHNC.  With the help of our partners we add new content to CHNC every few months so don’t forget to check back often.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a CHNC partner and how to add historic news to CHNC please contact me at ljeremias@coloradovirtuallibrary.org.

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

CHNC News! School is in Session

Rocky Mountain Collegian, December 1891

The Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection is going back to school.  With the help of the Morgan Library at the Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CHNC recently added the university newspaper the Rocky Mountain Collegian, 1891-1901.  Formerly known as the Colorado Agricultural College, CSU was established in 1870 six years before Colorado Territory became a state.  The campus’ first building, Old Main, was built in 1878 and the University welcomed the first five students on September 1, 1879.  One year later the enrollment had grown to 25 students.

The local Grange was heavily involved in the early development of the University as well as Colorado’s State Board of Agriculture which was created to govern the University.  The first courses offered were Arithmetic, English, U.S. History, Natural Philosophy, Horticulture and Farm Economy. CSU began opening their door to liberal arts in 1885, and by 1891 the University had instituted a “Ladies Course” that offered junior and senior women classes in drawing, stenography and typewriting, foreign languages, landscape gardening and psychology.

Rocky Mountain Collegian, October 1900

By 1892 there were 24 women students enrolled at CSU.  The University’s newspaper the Rocky Mountain Collegian published its first issue in December 1891 with at least two women editors on staff.  The RMC and other academic newspapers offer readers a student’s unique perspective on local, state and national issues such as suffrage, prohibition, the development of Colorado’s cattle and sheep industry, and many other important issues that shaped the landscape of the state.

Alumni News, Rocky Mountain Collegian. October 1906

The newspapers also shared important information about the growth and development of the University and its academic departments; alumni news such as marriages and academic and professional accomplishments; everyday aspects of student life including clubs and societies, sports, lectures, campus gossip, and faculty information; and it even included advertisements for local businesses.  The Rocky Mountain Collegian also included biographies of students and faculty which are invaluable to researchers.

In the next few months CHNC will be adding more news from a campus near you including the Occident, Collegian and Tiger from Colorado College and the Oredigger from the Colorado School of Mines.  So please check back soon for these upcoming additions.  We feel that the inclusion of University and College newspapers in CHNC will add new news to the stories and people that shaped the history of our state.

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

CHNC News: Would You Work Here?

Many people know that community newspapers provide a wealth of historic information such as birth and wedding announcements, obituaries, general family news, legal notices and social news and gossip to name a few.  Some might even consider historic newspapers the Facebook of the past.  Historic community newspapers are an invaluable tool for local historical research.  But what about other types of newspapers? Are there other publications that could add to Colorado’s historical narrative?

Stanley Capsules, March 1962

At CHNC we think there are!  We are currently adding and exploring the addition of company newsletters.  These newsletters offer a unique view of an organization’s role in the growth and development of industry on a state and even national level. They offer a glimpse into company projects and initiatives; employee life including, hirings, promotions and employee recognitions; and often highlight important genealogical information such as birth and marriage announcements.  With information such as employee benefits and services, newsletters also offer researchers the ability to explore the history of employee and organizational relationships.  We feel that company newsletters are a wonderful resource for exploring the history of an industry and in turn the history of Colorado.

Stanley’s Gemini. Stanley Capsules, May 1963

With the help of our partners at the Aurora History Museum and the Stanley Marketplace we have recently added to CHNC the Stanley Capsules, 1960-1963, published by the Stanley Aviation Corporation.  Founded in 1948 by Robert Morris Stanley, a business executive and aeronautical engineer, the Stanley Aviation Corporation is most widely known for the design and production of airplane ejection seats.  Originally based in Buffalo, New York, Stanley was awarded an ejection seat contract in 1954 and opened a new 75,000 sq ft plant in Aurora which was later expanded to 140,000 sq ft.  At this facility, which was one of the largest employers in Aurora, Stanley developed and tested numerous aviation escape and survival systems.  One of Stanley’s ejection seats which he personally invented and patented, has been credited with saving over 150 lives during the Vietnam War.

Stanley Aviation building. Final assembly of the B-58 escape capsule. April 1962

In late 2016, the Stanley Aviation building was revived with the opening of the Stanley Marketplace, a community of about 50 plus businesses from retail to fitness.  The building received major renovations but the history of the building is still alive and embraced.  We at CHNC are very excited about this new addition and we hope you are too.  We are seeking to add more newsletters from companies that have shaped Colorado’s history.  If you have a company that is important to your community history please contact me at, ljeremias@coloradovirtuallibrary.org.

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Colorado Historic Newspapers

Louisville Public Library Celebrates Making Local Newspaper Available Online Through CHNC

It’s very rewarding to preserve your local history and provide access to it for your community, and we love it when CSL can help make this happen.  On October 12th, the Louisville Public Library celebrated a major win within their community – the digitization of  more than 66 years of the Louisville Times newspaper – the paper that captured the daily history of Louisville, Colorado.  The Louisville Public Library, the Louisville Museum and the  Louisville History Foundation all  held an open house to commemorate the event.  Thanks to funding by the City of Louisville, the Louisville Times issues from 1942 to 2007 , plus a few predating that period, are now accessible online 24/7 and keyword searchable through the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection (CHNC), a service of the Colorado State Library.  Visit the CHNC Louisville Times archive at www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org, to explore this title in the database.

The open house was a great event.  About 35 people gathered for the launch party to celebrate the new availability of this newspaper that contains so much of Louisville’s community history. Among the attendees was Dean Lehman, who arranged for the donation of the newspapers to the City of Louisville in 2014.

Percy and Carolyn Conarroe
Percy and Carolyn Conarroe of Erie observing their 50th wedding anniversary July 15, 2000.  Taken from the Louisville Times, Volume 86, Number 29, July 19, 2000.

In attendance at the event was Carolyn Conarroe, who with her husband Percy, ran the paper from the 1960s to the 1990s. Their son Doug, and daughter, Cynthia also came, along with former Louisville Times employees Jeff Thomas, Donna Wicks, and Becky Schreiter.  Regan Harper, Director of Networking and Resource Sharing for the Colorado State Library  was present representing the team of State Library staff , especially project manager Leigh Jeremias,  who have been instrumental in getting the newspapers digitized and accessible as part of the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.   Prairie Mountain Publishing gave permission as the copyright owner for the newspapers to be digitized. The Louisville History Foundation supplied plenty of delicious food for the evening.

We have already heard several accounts of people finding information in these newspapers that they have been looking for. For example, former Louisville Fire Chief Chris Schmidt said that he was able to use the digitized newspapers to fill in gaps about the history of the Louisville Fire Department, while Kaivi Kumar came to  thank the City for making it possible for her to locate the news item about her son being “Citizen of the Week” back in 2004.  Several people mentioned that they were able to fill in family history information as a result of articles that they have found.

The digitized newspapers were immediately of help to Bridget Bacon, Louisville Museum Coordinator. It took her only about a minute of searching to find an article that gave her the information that she had been looking for regarding the year when the neon Blue Parrot sign was originally installed in Louisville. She also located information about two servicemen with strong Louisville connections who were killed in World War II. Much to her surprise, the Museum didn’t have information about them before.

Check out the Louisville Times online along with over 220 other titles available through the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection.

This post was adapted from the an article from The Louisville Historian (Issue 116, Fall 2017), a publication of the Louisville Historical Museum, Louisville History Foundation, and Louisville Historical Commission. Thanks Bridget Bacon for sharing it with us.