National Great Outdoors Month

East Longs Peak Trail, Estes Park vicinity, Boulder/Larimer Counties, listed in the National Register in 2007.

What better way to celebrate National Great Outdoors Month than to explore some of Rocky Mountain National Park’s National Register-listed trails? Many of the Park’s buildings, resources, and trails are historic.

The trail to the Longs Peak summit embodies National Park Service naturalistic design from the 1920s. Active use of the trail begin in 1873, when lodge owners began to maintain it as a tourist attraction. Enos Mills acted as a guide to the summit between 1900 and 1906, honing his skills as a lead spokesman in the effort to create Rocky Mountain National Park, established in 1915.

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PrideFest: A History of Denver’s Gay Pride Celebration


The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Colorado (today The Center) was founded in 1976. The first salaried employee, Phil Nash, began as a volunteer before serving as coordinator from 1977 to 1980. Nash shot this photography of Denver’s 1981 parade.

Although no designated landmark pays tribute to Denver’s gay and lesbian history, the annual PrideFest celebration has anchored the community since June 1974. The event’s evolution in Denver reflects social and political changes affecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) community through the decades. Not only does PrideFest serve as a time for members and friends of the GLBT community to connect, have fun, demonstrate gay pride, and show support for gay rights; it also commemorates a pivotal moment in gay rights history, the Stonewall Riots. Continue reading “PrideFest: A History of Denver’s Gay Pride Celebration”

Keys to Historic Preservation: Estes Park’s Baldpate Inn

Imagine that your grandfather was a San Francisco ferryboat captain who transported the notorious gangster Al Capone to Alcatraz Island, and that, as a memento of the occasion, he quietly pocketed the key to Capone’s handcuffs. Now imagine that this small key—this tiny piece of history—stayed in your family for a few generations, until one day you got the idea that perhaps it should be rescued from your sock drawer and sent to a museum somewhere. But where should it go? Is there a museum for keys?

As a matter of fact, there is. And it’s in a mountainside inn near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Located near Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, the Baldpate Inn is one of thousands of locations that have benefited from History Colorado State Historical Fund Grants. (Photo courtesy of the Baldpate Inn.)

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Reel News: Yesterday’s News Today — “Some Freak Bills”

Heaven forfend! Women on bicycles! In bloomers! (Illustration from Puck, June 19, 1895, Library of Congress) (

“A bill was presented to the legislature of one of the eastern states making it a criminal offense for women to wear bloomers for bicycle riding. Some years ago there was a hue and cry because women wore Mother Hubbard dresses on the streets. They could wear Mother Hubbard cloaks or jackets, but not dresses, and there was a great deal of wonderment at the difference. Continue reading “Reel News: Yesterday’s News Today — “Some Freak Bills””

Auto Record-Setter and Murderer’s Friend: Frank P. Loveland

Frank P. Loveland on the rocky summit of Mount Falcon. Denver Post, June 6, 1910.

The first automobile appeared in Louisville, Colorado in 1904. The year the first Denver resident bought a car is not known. But, the first trip by automobile from Morrison to the top of Mount Falcon, an elevation change of over 2,000 feet, took place in 1910.

The man who at age twenty-four accomplished this feat was Francis Percy “Frank” Loveland. He was a member of the social elite and of a prominent Colorado pioneer family (hint: Loveland Pass). Born in Denver on June 11, 1885, Frank attended East High School which was on Stout Street between 19th and 20th at the time. His parents sent him to Yale University, where he graduated in 1908. Continue reading “Auto Record-Setter and Murderer’s Friend: Frank P. Loveland”