The Colorado's Most Significant Artifacts program highlights the importance of historic and cultural heritage and honors and recognizes all the organizations in Colorado that care for and preserve photographs, documents, rare books and manuscripts, audio recordings, film, digital materials, art, and historic, archaeological and natural science specimens.
Stay tuned for 2020's call for nominations in late spring 2020.
The Mountain Index is a bronze structure engraved with prominent peaks and landmarks visible from Cheesman Park in Denver, where it used to stand in the Pavilion. It is approximately 36 x 20 inches. The artifact was designed by Professor Ellsworth Bethel of East Denver High School and James Grafton Rogers, the president of the Colorado Mountain Club. The index was created and engraved by Paul Weiss, a CMC member. It was originally mounted atop a marble column at the Pavilion in Cheesman Park in 1913. It was removed in the late 1960s or 70s, probably due to age, wear and vandalism.
This eight-by-five foot oil painting dominates the Ouray County Museum's Walsh Room. Judging from photographs, the 1925 painting is a fairly realistic, albeit flattering, likeness of Evalyn at age 39. She stands between her two young sons. Evalyn, in a diaphanous lavender dress and satin slippers, is "dressed down" for the occasion, wearing a single long strand of pearls in lieu of her customary diamonds. The mantel in the background suggests the painting was done at the McLeans' mansion in Washington D.C..
Originally used by the Littleton Volunteer Fire Department, this red-painted wooden hose cart is the first piece of firefighting equipment purchased by the town of Littleton. The cart is comprised of two spoked wheels, a T-shaped handle, and a spool to wind hose around. This cart aided the volunteers, who acted as the city’s main fire defense. Teams of volunteers dragged these carts holding hoses and leather buckets to each fire. Related items in the Littleton Museum’s collection include the cart’s original bill of sale to the department, the original nozzle, and a wooden hose clamp.
The Kersey Surprise, a weekly newspaper published in Kersey, Weld County Colorado from 1912-1915, is the only known surviving issue. Another newspaper published in Kersey after the “Surprise, ceased publication during the depression and it was 46 years before Kersey again had a newspaper. On the front page of this issue of the Kersey Surprise is an article titled, “Railroads will Help the Farmer.” It explains how market bureaus will be established along the lines to take farm products to market. There is also a review of the upward trend in the price of sheep and lambs. Most articles relate to the agricultural endeavors of the area.
The thresher for grains is made of wood, it is horse drawn and horse powered It was burned in the Meeker massacre of 1879. It had metal parts which were salvaged by Adam Fiske and his sons in 1884 and rebuilt.
On November 1,1955, at 6:52 pm, United Air Lines Flight #629 departed from Stapleton Airfield in Denver. Eleven minutes later the plane exploded, killing all 44 people onboard and scattering debris over Longmont, Colorado farmland. This fragment, held by the Denver Police Department and preserved by the Denver Police Museum, displays what is thought to be a shrapnel hole from the cargo hold explosion beneath the passenger cabin of the plane. It was used in the subsequent murder trial and stands as a symbol of the first confirmed case of sabotage against a U.S. commercial airliner.
This collection is composed of various materials related to Anna Wolfrom's life and business the Wigwam Tea Room. It includes photographs of Wolfram, her 1904-1905 diary, photographs of the Wigwam on Wind River Trail, the buildings' original signage, newspaper clippings, and two plays written by Wolfrom during the first half of the 20th century. Wolfrom opened the Wigwam Tea Room in the early 1900s, when Estes Park was fast becoming a popular mountain town in the United States, and continued to manage the establishment till her death in 1950.
A large (16" high x 26") cast iron cooking caldron (pot or vat or tub) used by Steve Demos to make tofu in the early days of the White Wave company. The cauldron has two handles and 3 small feet. After soybeans were soaked and mashed, the milk was extracted and transferred to the caldron where a coagulating agent was mixed in to make the milk into curds. Then the tofu was pressed into blocks. This caldron was used in the late 1970s at the 17th & Pearl Street location of Demos’ business, then named “Cow of China.”
This Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&) ledger begins with the firm’s original Articles of Incorporation on October 21, 1892, when William Jackson Palmer’s Colorado Coal and Iron Company merged with John Osgood’s Colorado Fuel Company. It continues with Board of Directors Meeting Minutes through October 29, 1903, just before the company was sold by President John Osgood to the Rockefeller family. It documents the purpose of the corporation, the rights and liabilities of the shareholders and directors, and subsequent Board activities. Measuring 14.25” wide x 17.75” long, the ledger contains 345 pages, handwritten in ink.