On our blog, Forward, History Colorado staff and other writers chronicle the latest preservation success stories, share new perspectives on the past, and peer behind the scenes into the care and documentation of our collections.
Read on to learn about how rare collections of historic artifacts and photographs are stored, cared for, and put on view. Find out what Colorado communities are doing to preserve their past for future generations. And, read in-depth histories of Colorado people and events of the past that still matter to us today.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which banned gender discrimination in voting laws throughout the country. This landmark centennial will see many organizations commemorate a milestone of democracy.
History Colorado. The mission of our institution is captured in our name. Our primary purpose is to tell, collect, and preserve those stories that make Colorado special. We are tasked to serve as a collective memory: from our prehistory before earthen layers rose to become the Rocky Mountains, the earliest human habitation, territorial government and incorporation into the nation state, and our contemporary existence as a collection of people from many nations.
We also know and acknowledge that history museums have fallen short of the lofty missions they espouse. And this could not be more evident in February, during Black History Month.
History Colorado announced the opening of the Rocky Mountain Center for Preservation—a preservation education center, headquartered in Leadville at the Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin. The Center will create and oversee a preservation education program open to the general public, and serve as a resource for preservation information and training to homeowners, business owners, developers, students, and interested novices across the state and region.
In a time of more frequent droughts and growing concerns about hydration, water rights, and resource conservation, some are starting to turn towards a centuries-old tradition of irrigation that still thrives in southern Colorado: the acequias.
Now is our time! This dawn of a new decade is an extraordinary moment for History Colorado. Our goals for 2020 and beyond reflect an inspired, ambitious approach to our work. I am pleased to share them with you today.
The Arkansas River Valley was one of the first areas of Colorado to be settled by colonists, and for good reasons. The area was not far from the established Santa Fe Trail, and also near enough to the mountains to take advantage of the fur trapping trade. The soil was fertile, the summers sunny, the winters mild. By the early 1850s, there were two trading posts along its banks and the beginnings of villages along the river and its tributaries. But Christmas of 1854 changed all of that, and led to the area being practically abandoned overnight.
Another decade-long chapter has been added to the book of Colorado history. While some things in Colorado hold true—for example, Coloradans still love the outdoors, and their pets, and still find ways to help one another—the Centennial State saw plenty of growth and change in the last ten years. So, before we put the 2010s on the shelf, let’s look back on 11 significant turns toward Colorado today.
“Much of the charm of this unique private park lies in its smallness. The kind of smallness that distinguishes a certain square, a court, a single shaded street in every great city…” -- Polo Club Place brochure, 1960s