Time Machine Tuesday: First Report of the Colorado Geological Survey, 1908

The very first report of the Colorado Geological Survey covered the activities of the year 1908.  In addition to giving some information on the geological landscape of Colorado, the report also offers a history of the agency up to that time.  According to the report, the Territorial Legislature had established the office of State Geologist back in 1872; the first person to hold that position was J. Alden Smith.  The laws of the territory signified that the State Geologist would serve a two-year position without compensation.  The Geological Survey itself was created by an act of the Legislature in 1907.  They established an Advisory Board and allocated $5000 to the survey per year.  The report describes the agency’s field work, maps, library, and plans for the future.  The remainder of the report includes specific discussions on survey work including tungsten in Boulder; mining in Summit County; the Foothills Formation in northern Colorado; and a survey of the Hahns Peak Region in Routt County.

For many years the Colorado Geological Survey was located within the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.  Currently it resides with the Colorado School of Mines.  In 1988 the state published a History of the Colorado Geological Survey that discusses the agency’s history including research accomplishments, staffing, and mineral resources.  The CGS-published book Messages in Stone:  Colorado’s Colorful Geology also includes some historical information on the organization.  Search our library’s web catalog for additional publications from the Colorado Geological Survey.