Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home

In 1889 the State of Colorado established a home for aging Civil War veterans and their wives at Monte Vista, Colorado. The home would care for “honorably discharged soldiers, sailors and marines who served in the Union Army between the twelfth day of April, 1861, and the ninth day of April, 1865, and those dependent […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Building the State Capitol

Today, the Capitol Building with its famous gold dome is one of the most recognized symbols of our state. But the road to building a capitol was a long and winding one, fraught with complications that included lawsuits, the firing of the architect, and even uncertainty over whether Denver would remain the state capital. The […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado’s Historic Grain Elevators and Silos

A century ago much of Colorado was dotted with grain elevators, silos, and other agricultural structures. They were found on both the Eastern Plains and the Western Slope. Today many of these have been lost, but efforts are being made to preserve and reuse some of these structures. Grain elevators and silos were built for […]

Colfax: Metro Denver’s Most Famous (or Infamous!) Street

The Colorado State Library is located on Colfax Avenue, as is the State Capitol. It’s one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, with a colorful reputation and an intriguing history. The earliest settlers in the Denver area knew it as Grand Avenue or the Golden Road, but residents advocating for Colorado statehood dubbed it Colfax in […]

The Murals of Allen True

If you’ve ever been inside the State Capitol, the Brown Palace Hotel, or the Telephone Building on 14th Street, you’ve seen the work of 1930s artist Allen True. Recently, another of his murals has been restored in Capitol Hill’s Tammen Hall. He’s also the artist who designed the iconic bucking bronco and rider featured on […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The Santa Fe Trail

During the nineteenth century the Santa Fe Trail played an important role in the westward expansion of the United States. Both a trade route and an emigrant road, the Santa Fe Trail traversed the southwest, originating in Missouri and traveling south to Santa Fe in Neuevo Mexico. Much of it passed through present-day Colorado. The […]

The Architecture of the CU Boulder Campus

New to our library’s collection is Body & Soul: A Partnership of Architecture and Academics at the University of Colorado Boulder. Written by Campus Architect Emeritus Bill Deno, this book updates an original edition Deno and the University published in 1994 (which can also be found in our library collection). Deno calls the new edition […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Lakewood Turns 50

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Lakewood’s incorporation as a city, but its history goes back much further than 1969. Homesteaders first settled the area more than a century before the incorporation. Lakewood’s oldest surviving building in its original location, the Stone House at 2900 S. Estes Street, was built in the early 1860s, […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Archaeology of Southwestern Colorado

In the summer of 1921, one of Colorado’s leading archaeologists, Jean Allard Jeançon, set out with a team of colleagues and students to explore and excavate the area near the San Juan mountains. For thousands of years, a variety of peoples and cultures made their home in the southwestern part of the state, leaving behind […]

Colorado State Parks: Castlewood Canyon

Located near Franktown, Colorado, Castlewood Canyon State Park is a great getaway just a short drive from the Denver metro area. Hiking, picnicking, rock climbing, birding, and horseback riding are some of the popular activities in the park. Dogs are allowed on most of the trails, except for the East Canyon Preservation Trail which is […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Chautauqua

In the late nineteenth century, the Chautauqua movement swept the country, including Colorado — establishing a summer tradition that combined learning, the arts, and the outdoors. A “Chautauqua” is a summer retreat where people can come together to spend time in nature, take classes, attend concerts, and engage in other educational and cultural activities. In […]

State Capitol Tours

Summer is a great time to tour the State Capitol building. Whether you’re looking for a fun educational activity with your kids, or you’re just curious yourself, a tour of the Capitol is a great way to learn about Colorado’s history and government and enjoy the statehouse’s beautiful architecture. Each year, nearly 70,000 people tour […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Sheer cliffs, deep chasms, and dark shadows make the 2,000-foot-deep Black Canyon of the Gunnison one of Colorado’s most spectacular natural wonders, and twenty years ago, it was officially designated a National Park. Yet for centuries, this sublime canyon has challenged those who wished to conquer it. Ute Indians were the first to explore and […]

Georgetown Loop Railroad

Looking for a fun activity this summer? The Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park® is located just 45 minutes from Denver and provides a great way to enjoy some great mountain scenery as well as learn about railroads and mining, two of our state’s most important industries in the nineteenth century. Originally constructed in […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Florissant Fossil Beds

This year, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since the nineteenth century, scientists have regarded the Florissant beds as some of the richest deposits of fossils in the United States. 35 million years ago, a large lake covered much of the area that is now the monument. Because the area had […]

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Territorial Capitals and Capitols

Most Coloradans know that Colorado became a state in 1876, but how many can tell you the date when Colorado Territory was established? The answer is February 28, 1861 — 158 years ago this week. Many people are also surprised to learn that Denver hasn’t always been Colorado’s capital city. Just days before the end […]

The Legacy of Dearfield, Colorado

Inspired by the writings of Booker T. Washington, Oliver Toussaint Jackson established a farming colony for African-Americans in Weld County in 1910. When one of Jackson’s supporters remarked that the farm fields “will be very dear to us,” the name Dearfield was born. Dearfield’s population grew to about 200 residents, and by the end of […]

Colorado’s Most Endangered Places

Every February, Colorado Preservation Inc. (CPI) releases their annual list of Colorado’s Most Endangered Places. The program brings awareness to historic buildings, landscapes, or archaeological sites around Colorado that are in danger of demolition, neglect, modification, or development. This year’s endangered places, highlighting the history of southern Colorado, are: Adobe Potato Cellars of the San […]

Time Machine Tuesday: The WPA in Colorado

During the height of the Great Depression, as banks failed, unemployment soared, and farm prices dropped, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established as one of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal projects. The WPA focused on creating and providing jobs rather than handing out direct relief. Most of the WPA jobs were aimed at […]

Time Machine Tuesday: History of Aspen, Colorado

Today, Aspen’s riches come from the ski industry — but they used to come from silver mining. Aspen was founded in 1879, during the glory days of Colorado silver mining — the same era when mining boomtowns like Leadville and Georgetown were being established. With seemingly endless amounts of silver in the nearby Elk and […]