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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Downtown Streets

Safety, walkability, transportation, and aesthetic design are all important components of planning a downtown commercial area, whether in a large city or a small town. Downtowns and “Main Streets” can, if well planned, boost tourism and enhance quality of life for residents. Therefore the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Colorado Department of Transportation teamed up to produce the guidebook Colorado Downtown Streets: A Tool for Communities, Planners, and Engineers, which you can view online from our library. The agency partners provide the following summary:

Great streets are more than infrastructure: they are the fundamental building blocks of successful communities. [Colorado Downtown Streets is] designed to help local leaders, community members, and technical professionals work together to transform their streets into safe, accessible, and vibrant places.

Use this guidebook to learn how well-planned streets can promote health, increase tax revenue and property values, attract tourists, and contribute to the life of the community by giving the city or town its own identity. Design considerations, such as bike lanes, traffic flow patterns, on-street parking, landscaping, lighting, and signage, are provided along with examples from towns and cities around the state. Tips for planning, implementing and funding are also provided, as are tools for enhancing “placemaking” and revitalizing historic areas.

To supplement the guidebook, a webinar and several companion videos were created, which you can view here. The guide was published as a component of the Colorado Main Street Program, which you can learn more about on the Department of Local Affairs’ website. You can also find more resources from state agencies about city planning and transportation by searching our library’s online catalog.

 

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Colorado State Publications Blog

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 civic improvements, such as public buildings and roads. Thousands of out-of-work artists and artisans, architects, musicians, writers, historians, and others who had previously been employed in creative or intellectual fields were given temporary work. Parks, trails, bridges, public buildings, artworks, and literary projects produced by the WPA continue to be enjoyed to this day.

Colorado’s division of the WPA issued The WPA Worker: A Monthly Pictorial Journal for Workers and Citizens of Colorado Interested in the Statewide Projects of Works Progress AdministrationIssues from 1936 and 1937 have recently been digitized by our library. Each issue of this amazing periodical highlights WPA projects in all corners of the state. These included many construction projects like public buildings, roads, bridges, stadiums, and parks, but also included such varied activities as

As Coloradans suffered from the effects of the Great Depression, the WPA enhanced life in every part of the state, and often undertook long overdue projects that in many cases would not have been otherwise completed. Many of the projects continue to enhance our lives today.

For more resources on the WPA in Colorado, see the following publications available from our library:

Aguilar’s city hall was constructed by the WPA.

 

The playground at Lake Junior High in Denver was also a WPA project.

 

Old infrastructure was replaced across the state.
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Colorado State Publications Blog

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 Sawatch mountains, Aspen thrived until 1893, when economic disaster struck. That year, Congress repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, under which the federal government had purchased millions of ounces of silver for coinage. Without a market for the silver, Aspen and the other boomtowns nearly became ghost towns.

Despite a steady decline in population, and area mines and railroads going bankrupt, Aspen managed to survive — but it needed something to sustain it. Tourism, and the newly fashionable sport of skiing, became the answer. In 1924, the Independence Pass Highway was completed, making travel to Aspen easier. Then, in 1936, Aspen’s first ski lodge was opened, ushering in the industry that would give rebirth to the town. Ski enthusiasts and wealthy vacationers descended on Aspen. In 1946, the area’s first chairlift opened, the longest in the world at the time, according to an article in the Colorado Encyclopedia. New ski resorts opened, and Aspen continued to thrive.

It wasn’t just skiing that made Aspen famous, however. It became known as a center for arts and culture, hosting such notable events as the Aspen Music Festival, the International Design Conference, and the Aspen Institute. Today, Aspen is known as a playground for celebrities, with some of the most expensive real estate in the United States — a far cry from the Silver Crash days.

You can read more about Aspen in numerous publications from our library; many are available online. In 1958, William Wardell wrote a delightful article in the Colorado Historical Society’s Colorado Magazine, sharing his memories of childhood in Aspen before the Silver Crash. You can also read about Aspen during the mining years in Aspen: The History of a Silver Mining Town, 1879-1893, which is available for checkout.

Over the past several decades the University of Colorado’s business school has prepared numerous studies on Aspen tourism, including:

The University’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research also published several studies on Aspen environmental issues, including Quality Skiing at Aspen, Colorado (1975) and Landslides Near Aspen, Colorado (1976).

Other historical resources on Aspen available from our library include highway studies, air quality studies, a 1965 report on the Aspen general area plan, and, more recently, Climate Change and Aspen from 2006. Search our online catalog for titles. Finally, be sure to check out the Aspen Historical Society’s website for a historical timeline, digital archives, and more.

 

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The Colorado State Museum

Credit: Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department

Have you lived in Colorado long enough to remember when the State Museum was located at 14th and Sherman, in what is now the Legislative Services Building?

The State Historical Society was established in 1879 and its earliest museum exhibits were located in the State Capitol. By the early 1900s, however, the Society wanted its own home. Architect Frank Edbrooke — who had completed the designs for the Capitol — was hired to design a new structure, which would be located across the street. Built of native Colorado materials including Yule marble and Cotopaxi granite, the three-story Classical Revival-style building was completed in 1915. The museum was best known for its impressive archaeological collections and early Native American artifacts. Later, in the 1930s, WPA activities resulted in a great deal of historical research as well as the creation of the dioramas that became one of the museum’s most memorable features. In fact, the amazingly detailed WPA diorama depicting 1860 Denver can still be viewed at today’s History Colorado Center.

You can learn about the old museum building in Colorado Capitol Buildings, a 1951 publication highlighting the State Capitol and its associated architecture. In addition, a 1972 museum brochure digitized by our library might bring back memories, with photos and descriptions of the exhibits.

The State Museum continued at 14th and Sherman until 1976, when it moved to a new home at 1300 Broadway. That second building was torn down in 2010 and the current building, at 12th and Broadway, opened in 2012. The old museum building became legislative offices, due to its proximity to the Capitol, and is a part of the Denver Civic Center National Historic Landmark District.

The Colorado State Museum under construction, circa 1915. Credit: Denver Public Library Western History & Genealogy Department.

 

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado State Parks: Barr Lake

 

If you’re looking for a quick getaway near the Denver metro area, check out Barr Lake State Park, located near Brighton. The park includes boating, fishing, a nature trail and Nature Center, and wildlife viewing stations. And while boating and fishing aren’t in season right now, there are lots of other things to do at Barr Lake during the winter. Guided nature walks and a lighted holiday trail, a holiday open house, and archery classes are some of the park’s upcoming events. There is also plenty of wildlife viewing in the colder months. Several bald eagles winter in the park, and 350 other bird species have been spotted in the park throughout the year, as well.

150 years ago, what is now Barr Lake State Park was home to buffalo, elk, and pronghorn, which attracted Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Later, the area was used for cattle grazing. The railroad came to the area in 1883 and in 1908 a dam was constructed to combine two smaller reservoirs into what is now Barr Lake, supplying water to nearby sugar beet farmers. Barr Lake State Park opened to the public in 1977.

Visit the park’s website for more details on activities, trails, and wildlife. Also, click here to learn about bald eagles at Barr Lake. You can also watch a video of the eagles.

Barr Lake
Barr Lake’s wildlife viewing gazebo decorated for the holidays.

 

Photos courtesy Colorado Parks & Wildlife

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado State Parks: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA), located just outside of Salida, is a popular spot for kayaking and whitewater rafting. In fact, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the Arkansas River is the “most commercially rafted river in the United States.” The park also offers camping, fishing, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching and features event space, equestrian stables, picnic areas, and a visitor’s center.

With boating being the park’s most popular activity, the park website features many resources including river safety and flow information, current water temps and daily averages, and a river outfitter’s page. Also, be sure to view the park’s River Safety and Etiquette brochure.

AHRA was established in 1989. In 2001 a park management plan was published for AHRA. A revision of this plan is currently underway, which you can learn more about on the AHRA website. The park also publishes an annual report; issues back to 2000 are available from our library.

Additional resources available on the AHRA website include a bird species list; fly fishing etiquette; a bus drivers’ guide; water needs assessment; videos; and volunteer information.

For more about the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area and to plan your trip, see the park’s official map and brochure.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Where to Go to See Fall Colors

“Leaf peeping season” has arrived. Where are the best places to go to view Colorado’s colorful aspens?

For suggestions on Colorado’s most colorful state parks, visit Colorado Parks & Wildlife’s Fall Colors page. Here you can find suggestions not only for where to go, but how – whether you prefer a car trip, camping, hiking, biking, horseback, or a fall-themed outdoor event. Or view their publication Rush to the Gold: 8 Recommended Fall Trips in Colorado State Parks. Find the State Park nearest you with CPW’s Park Finder map. And don’t forget, you can check out a parks pass from your library.

Colorado scenic byways are another great way to view fall colors. The byways program highlights some of the most scenic drives in our state. See the Colorado Tourism Office’s list of 5 Color-Drenched Colorado Scenic Byways. If you still need more ideas, check out these additional articles from the Colorado Tourism Office for suggestions:

Whens the best time to go leaf peeping? See the Colorado State Forest Service’s Planning Your Fall Foliage Experience website for viewing tips and how to pick the peak week to go.  


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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Postcards from Southwestern Colorado

Bird’s-eye view of Durango, circa 1907-1914.

In today’s world of social media and instant communication, the postcard has become a lost art. But the basic idea is the same – the desire to share pictures and updates with friends and family while you’re apart. A century ago, postcards were a popular and cheap way to send a quick greeting. The United States first passed a law in 1861 allowing the sending of cards through the mail, and America’s first postcard was copyrighted that year.

Postcards really gained popularity after 1907, when US laws began to allow the “split-back” postcard – the familiar postcard style with the address on the right and the message on the left. Prior to that time, messages were not allowed on the same side of the card as the address, meaning most postcards were simply a picture on the front and the address on the back. Postcard styles evolved over time, but their popularity began to decline around the 1990s.

During the heydey of postcards, senders all over the country could choose from a variety of pictures of notable local buildings, parks, scenery, or streetscapes. Some picture postcards used actual photographs, while others featured illustrations done from photos. Postcards have become amazing historical resources for two reasons: one, if they contain messages, we’re provided with a glimpse of everyday life in the past, and two, the postcard images are a unique view of scenes of the past – especially the illustrated color images from before the days of color photography. They highlight the places that the city, town, or area believed to be important, the buildings they were proud of, the natural wonders that excited viewers. It’s little wonder that postcards are a popular collector’s item today.

If you’re studying the history of Southwestern Colorado, postcards are a great way to to peek into the region’s past. The Center for Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College has digitized a large collection of postcards from places like Durango, Mesa Verde, Silverton, Telluride, Ouray, and other locales, along with a number of postcards from the area’s narrow gauge railroads. Postcards also featured significant local events, like the 1916 Durango blizzard.

Beaumont Hotel, Ouray, circa 1907-1914.

In 1925 – during an era when postcards were especially popular due to the growth of automobile tourism – the State Board of Immigration published Colorado: The San Juan District, which is available online from our library. This illustrated booklet makes an excellent companion piece to the postcards because it provides context for the places and people of the southwestern Colorado counties. Geography, climate, industry, history, natural resources, education, transportation, businesses, and tourist attractions are described for each of the seven counties in the region, accompanied by photographs. Search our library’s online catalog for more resources on the history of southwest Colorado.

 
Front and back views of a postcard printed in 1906 and mailed in 1907,
just before “split-back” postcards became legal.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

May is Historic Preservation Month

All this month communities across the nation are celebrating their unique places and stories. What events are happening in Colorado? Check out History Colorado’s list of Preservation Month events, including tours, lectures, festivals, workshops, and more.

Our library receives lots of questions about historic preservation in Colorado. Some of the most frequently asked questions include:

Q: I’m thinking of purchasing a specific property. How do I know if it is designated historic? or How do I designate my property as historic?
A: Check History Colorado’s listings of state and national register properties.  This site also includes information on how to nominate properties. Properties can also be designated as local landmarks — check with your county or municipality’s planning office.

Q: How do I apply for historic preservation tax credits for my property?
A: See this publication from the Department of Revenue as well as this page from History Colorado.

Q: How do I apply for grants to restore my property?
A: Click here to learn about the State Historical Fund, a competitive grant program available to owners of designated historic properties.

Q: What are some of the economic benefits of designating structures as historic?
A: In addition to the resources listed above regarding tax credits and grants, see also History Colorado’s 2017 publication Preservation for a Changing Colorado: The Benefits of Historic Preservation. Owners of commercial properties in small towns should also check out the Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Main Street Program.

To learn more about historic preservation in Colorado, and to access additional publications, see our library’s historic preservation subject research guide.

Photo: Main Street, Silverton, Colorado. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Historic Markers

Whether you’re on a road trip or exploring your own neighborhood, roadside markers and “point of interest” signs are a fun way to learn about our state’s history, and establish a connection with events that happened on a particular spot so long ago.

The mid-twentieth century was the heydey for the creation of historical markers in Colorado.  Many markers were installed in the 1930s as WPA projects, such as one in Lakewood near Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  Many other markers were installed in the ’50s and ’60s.  In 1972, the Colorado Historical Society published a guidebook listing all of the state’s historic markers.  This guidebook, Point of Interest, has been digitized and can be viewed online via our library.  It’s an illustrated listing, divided by county, with interesting facts about the marker and/or the event it commemorates.  This guidebook is also a good historical resource because many of the markers listed are no longer very visible, or even still in existence.  For example, the guidebook lists a marker having been placed at the site of Camp Adams, a military camp during the Spanish-American War (see page 28 of the guidebook).  The site is now Denver’s City Park Golf Course, and the marker is nowhere to be found (even before construction on the golf course began this winter).  Other markers still exist, but are quite hidden due to changes in landscaping, urban infrastructure, etc. 

Another fun thing about the old markers is that often times they commemorate events that have long been forgotten.  Where was the old stage stop known as “Fort Wicked?” Which Colorado county claims to have “the oldest oil field in the West?”  On which Denver block can you find the marker erected in 1950 to commemorate the city’s streetcar system, which was retired that year?  Take a look at Point of Interest to find these and hundreds of other interesting sites.

Finally, it’s not just the events these markers commemorate that make them so special.  Often the markers themselves are works of art — bronze plaques and sculptures, folksy wooden signs —
with their own historical and/or artistic significance.  The guidebook lists the medium for each marker, and identifies the parties responsible for creating, funding, or installing them.  So next time you’re out exploring, take a look at some of these markers (and the many that have been erected since), and get to know our state a little bit better.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

The Colorado State Fair

The Colorado State Fair begins today and runs through September 4.  This annual event began in 1869 — before Colorado even was a state — with a horse show in Pueblo.  148 years later Pueblo still hosts the fair.  The State Fair includes a variety of contests and entertainment, including rodeos; livestock and animal shows; concerts; carnival rides; a 5K run; cooking, baking, and brewing contests; arts and crafts judging, and more.

What does the State Fair bring to Colorado?  A 2011 economic impact study of the fair reports that the fair brings about $29 million of economic activity into Colorado.  Our library also has annual financial audit reports for the State Fair back to 1990; see our library’s online catalog for these and other resources.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Agri-Tour Colorado this Summer

If you’re looking for a fun way to experience Colorado this summer, consider the many facets of agritourism.  The Colorado Department of Agriculture has a handy webpage which includes information on how both producers and consumers can take advantage of agritourism in our state.  What is agritourism?  According to the Department,

Agritourism covers a wide variety of recreational, educational and other leisure activities and services, provided by farmers and ranchers and experienced by consumers who value the activity or service they receive and seek it out. Agritourism may be defined as activities, events and services related to agriculture that take place on or off the farm or ranch, and that connect consumers with the heritage, natural resource or culinary experience they value. There are three general classifications of agritourism activities: on-farm/ranch, food-based, and heritage activities.

Use their webpage to find out about farmer’s markets; food festivals and county fairs; fishing, birding, and wildlife watching; wineries, breweries, and distilleries; dude ranches; bed and breakfast inns; and more.  Agritourism isn’t just for summer, either — check back in the fall for a list of corn mazes and pumpkin patches, and in winter for a Christmas tree list.  The site also contains a list of producer workshops and events.

For more about agritourism, see the following publications, available from our library:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Grasslands

On the plains of Colorado, grassland ecosystems provide habitats for many species of plants and animals.  Yet increased human migration and development is causing the disappearance of much of the state’s historic grasslands.  Some, however, have been protected, such as the Pawnee and Comanche National Grasslands, which draw visitors to experience nature and learn about Colorado’s natural habitats.  You can read about grassland species; conservation; tourist information; and much more through state government resources available from our library.  Materials listed without hyperlinks can be checked out in print from our library.

Scientific and conservation publications:

Visitor information:

Photo courtesy USDA/United States Forest Service

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Bent's Fort

If you’re looking for a fun and educational place to take your kids this summer, they will surely enjoy Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site.  Here visitors can learn about early frontier life, including trade and commerce as well as cultural intersections, by exploring a reconstruction of the fort originally built in 1833 by George and William Bent and Ceran St. Vrain.  At the fort, white settlers and fur traders, Native Americans, and Hispanos from nearby Mexican settlements exchanged goods and culture, and with its location on the Santa Fe Trail, the US Army used the fort as a staging area during the Mexican War in 1846-48.  A combination of disruption from the Army, a terrible cholera epidemic, and the waning of the fur trade led to the closure and abandonment of Bent’s Fort in 1849 — a full ten years before the founding of Denver.  Bent’s Old Fort was reconstructed on its original site in 1976 as part of Colorado’s Centennial-Bicentennial celebration.*

Being such a significant site in Colorado’s early history, Bent’s Fort has been the subject of numerous articles and publications.  Some of the resources available from our library include:

  • The entire Fall 1977 issue of Colorado Magazine explores Bent’s Fort, including articles on life in the fort as well as the story of the reconstruction and accompanying archaeological investigations.  See also “The Excavation of Bent’s Fort, Otero County, Colorado,” Colorado Magazine, v.33, n.3, July 1956.
  • “Bent’s Fort:  Outpost of Manifest Destiny,” by David Lavender, was originally published in 1987 in the Colorado Historical Society’s Essays and Monographs in Colorado History and has recently been reprinted in Western Voices:  125 Years of Colorado Writing, also from the Colorado Historical Society.  Both publications are available for checkout from our library.
  • Bent’s Fort on the Arkansas and Bent’s Old Fort are two books from the Colorado Historical Society which can be checked out in print from our library.
  • The use of Bent’s Fort in the Army during the Mexican War is examined in Edgeley W. Todd’s article “Bent’s Fort in 1846,” Colorado Magazine, v.34, n.3, July 1957.
  • Some letters and articles from a St. Louis newspaper regarding Bent’s Fort in the 1840s were republished in the November 1934 (v.11, n.6) issue of Colorado Magazine.
  • The journal of Elias Willard Smith, a fur trader who visited Bent’s Fort in 1839, has also been reprinted in Colorado Magazine (v. 27, n.3, July 1950.) 
  • The Colorado Historical Society’s 5-volume History of Colorado (1927) has been digitized by our library and contains information on the history of Bent’s Fort.
  • History Colorado (formerly the Colorado Historical Society) also produced an episode of The Colorado Experience on Bent’s Fort.
  • A mini-biography of William Bent is available at the Colorado Virtual Library.

In addition to being a historical site, Bent’s Old Fort is also an important natural ecosystem.  See Biological Survey of Bent’s Old Fort Historic Site; Survey of Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site for Breeding Birds and Anurans; and Vegetation Map of Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site for information on the area’s plants and animals.

For further resources, search our library’s online catalog.

*Bent’s Old Fort near La Junta is actually the second reconstruction of the adobe fort.  The Fort Restaurant in Morrison, in Jefferson County, is also a replica.  It was originally built in 1963 as a residence.

Photo courtesy National Park Service

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Main Street Revitalization Act

In 2014 the Colorado Legislature passed HB14-1311, the “Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act,” which provided tax credits for Colorado communities to use to boost economic development — including job creation and tourism — while preserving the community’s unique historic commercial structures.  So how has it been doing so far?  According to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), which administers the Colorado Main Street Program, the Act led to the creation of “266 full-time jobs, 111 part-time jobs and 98 new businesses throughout the 14 Colorado Main Street communities.”  In addition, “The Colorado Main Street program helped reinvest in physical improvements from public and private sources during 2015. These improvements included 17 façade updates and the rehabilitation of 98 buildings in all of the 14 Colorado Main Street communities.”

Are you interested in getting your town involved in the Main Street initiative?  Check out these resources from DOLA, including the official manual and a downtown planners’ guide. When your community has decided to join, go to the Join Main Street page to sign up.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife issues a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) every five years.  The current plan, issued in 2014, covers Colorado recreation planning, funding, and grants for 2014-2018.  According to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website,

Every five years, each state updates their SCORP plan to remain eligible for stateside LWCF dollars, which are administered by the National Park Service (NPS). The Colorado State Trails Program, within Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is charged with distributing these grants to projects that align with SCORP priorities, particularly local and regional trail projects.

In our library you can view previous Colorado SCORPs back to the 1960s, as well as other Colorado recreation plans such as the Colorado State Parks Five-Year Strategic Plan, 2005-2009The 2003 and 2008 SCORPs are available online; the others can be checked out from our library.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Sights and Sounds of Autumn

It’s officially fall, which can be a great time to head outdoors.  It’s still warm enough to hike, and in the high country the fall colors are on brilliant display.  Wildlife are also making their preparations for winter.

Sights and Sounds of Autumn is a publication from the Colorado Division of Wildlife that explores characteristics of animal behavior in this season, from bugling elk to migrating birds, spawning trout to mating mooseColorado Parks & Wildlife has a list of places to go to see migrating birds.  Other wildlife species are storing food and preparing their bodies to stay warm over the long winter.  Another Division of Wildlife publication, Bears, takes a look at how these large mammals increase their search for food and can be a potential hazard to humans. 

Heading up to the mountains to see the fall colors has always been popular in Colorado.  Many of the places nearest the metro area get quite crowded, so if you’re looking for somewhere new to go, state agencies have issued several guides that can help.  Rush to the Gold is a publication that highlights fall color viewing in the State Parks.  Discover Colorado:  Colorado’s Scenic and Historic Byways and the Colorado Department of Transportation’s byways website provide ideas for driving tours of the fall colors.  The Colorado Tourism Office also has a list of suggested sites on their website, as does Colorado Parks and Wildlife You can also search our library’s online catalog for maps and trails guides.  Colorado’s aspen forests are not only adapting to the season change, but are adapting to climate change as well.  What’s Happening to Colorado’s Aspen Forests?, a publication from the Colorado State Forest Service, explores this issue.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Georgetown's Hotel de Paris

If you’re headed to the mountains this summer and are looking for some interesting history, stop in Georgetown — right off I-70 — and tour the Hotel de Paris.  The hotel’s founder, Louis Dupuy, was born in France and arrived in Denver in 1869.  He opened the hotel in 1875, and from that year until 1890 he made numerous expansions to the original building, which had started out as a bakery.  It soon became one of the most popular and elegant hotels in the Rocky Mountains.  Dupuy passed away in 1900, and new owners kept the establishment running as a boarding house until 1939.  In 1954 the Society of Colonial Dames purchased the hotel and turned it into a museum.  In 1978 it was returned to a more accurate representation of the Dupuy era, and since then has been giving visitors a look back into life in a late-nineteenth-century mining town.  Hotel de Paris is also Colorado’s only National Trust for Historic Preservation site.  The museum’s collection includes several thousand objects original to the hotel.

To commemorate the hotel’s rich history and its purchase by the Colonial Dames, the Colorado Historical Society in 1954 published a book on Hotel de Paris.  Hotel de Paris and Louis Dupuy in Georgetown, Colorado:  A Fragment of Old France Widely Known Everywhere in the West provides a quick history for visitors, useful either before or after a visit to the hotel.  You can find resources on other Georgetown attractions, such as the Georgetown Loop Railroad and the Hamill House, by searching our library’s web catalog.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Tourism Office

Have ideas about how Colorado can enhance tourism?  The Colorado Tourism Office is holding public input sessions for development of their new Colorado Tourism Roadmap (which, of course, will be added to our library collection once it is published).  The Roadmap will help “identify future opportunities and challenges, along with a set of strategies and tactics” to bring attention to Colorado tourism.  There will be numerous public input sessions held across the state over the next few months, but if you can’t attend, there is also a survey on the project website.

Search the keyword “tourism” in our library’s catalog to see publications from the past several decades that promoted Colorado, as well as to find statistics on Colorado tourism.

What’s your favorite of the state’s official tourism slogans from decades past?  Add your comments to our blog post.  

  • Where There’s Room to Live and Breathe
  • Colorful Colorado Invites You
  • Colorado Above All
  • Colorado, and No Place Else
  • I’d Rather Be in Colorado
  • Colorado: Possibilities
  • Adventure Colorado
  • Fresh Air and Fond Memories Served Daily
  • Let’s Talk Colorado
  • In a Land Called Colorado
  • Colorado: Come to Life

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Film and Television in Colorado, 1980

One of the seemingly perennial issues at the Legislature and in tourism circles recently is how to attract more film and television production to Colorado.  This issue is nothing new, however.  Back in 1980, the Colorado Motion Picture and Television Advisory Commission submitted a report to Governor Lamm which outlined the challenges of bringing more filming – and accompanying revenue – to Colorado.  “Due to the downturn in filming, the commission has been the target of some people’s frustrations,” writes the Chair.  Further, the report explores the the era’s trend away from filming on location, which Colorado provides excellent scenery for, in favor of lower-cost studio productions in Los Angeles; or filming on location in countries such as Canada and Australia which provided broader incentives.  Finally, the report outlines the commission’s recommendations and their goals for the future, reporting to the Governor their plans for the extra appropriation of funds he had advocated for. 

Since Colorado is still working to attract filming to our state thirty-five years later, this document is still a relevant look at a significant part of Colorado’s tourist economy as well as a helpful resource for anyone researching the history of film in Colorado.

For further resources on Colorado film and television, see the following more recent publications available from our library:

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: The San Juan District, 1925

In the 1920s the Colorado State Board of Immigration published a series of booklets on Colorado’s regions, with the goal of attracting tourists and settlers to the various areas of the state.  In 1925 they focused on the San Juan region of Colorado, including the counties of Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Ouray, San Juan, and San Miguel.  In Colorado:  The San Juan District, the Board promotes the resources, industries, and attractions of the area as a whole, as well as for each county.  The booklet uses pictures to illustrate the beauty and productivity of the area, featuring photos of the Animas river valley; agriculture in the Montezuma Valley and the San Juan Basin; lakes, rivers, and mountains; and even ancient cliff dwellings.  This is an interesting look back at a region that has grown considerably in population and tourism, but also features some of the state’s finest natural and historical treasures.