Arapahoe City: Lonely marker all that’s left of early Colorado outpost

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

A lonely marker off 44th Avenue between Wheat Ridge and Golden is all that is left of one of the first towns organized in Colorado. Settled in 1858, the ghost town once called Arapahoe City lasted only about a decade. Continue reading

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Blonger Gang brought down by honest D.A.

This article first appeared in The Broomfield Enterprise.

A century ago, Denver was a notorious haven for a well-organized machine of hucksters, thieves, and bunco artists. When summertime hit, thousands of tourists came to Colorado, looking for sunshine, recreation and fresh air. These folks were followed by dozens of crooks who wintered in Florida and migrated to Denver at the invitation of the local kingpin, Lou Blonger. Continue reading

Old west cure for feeling pessimistic, irritable, and cross

Is this what the Brits mean when they say “Don’t get your knickers in a twist?”

From Casper Daily Tribune, October 4, 1918

From Casper Daily Tribune, October 4, 1918

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Mill owner Mullens was mired in juicy piece of Denver lore

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

The “Old Broomfield” area bordered by U.S. 36 and 120th Avenue is dotted with remnants and landmarks of historical interest, making life a bit difficult for those managing the 120th Avenue Connection project. The most prominent of these is the pair of grain silos on either side of West 120th Avenue at Old Wadsworth.
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Colorado Front Range life — a hundred years ago

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

If you’ve ever wondered what life was like in the front range a century ago, you can poke around in the online Colorado Historical Newspaper Database or browse through old newspapers at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower library. You’ll find that at least a few things haven’t changed. For example, around New Years Day, 1913, Golden’s Colorado Transcript reported that a “monster” windstorm ripped through the area at “a velocity of at least a million miles an hour,” breaking windows, pulling down chimneys and uprooting trees. Continue reading

Christmas Past in the Front Range

Perhaps it’s just me but Christmas of the past has always seemed just a bit more Christmasy than today’s noisy shopping extravaganza. As it turns out, this perception isn’t always true, particularly in a place like Colorado, with our unruly beginnings. A good example is a charming Christmas poem printed by the fledgling Rocky Mountain News in 1860, penned by a sensitive soul who’d been shocked by the Christmas Eve goings on he witnessed in the streets of Denver. Continue reading

Early schoolhouses of the Broomfield area

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

We’ve all heard of the classic one-room school houses that dotted the mostly uncivilized landscape of the Old West, and Broomfield was no exception. In our earliest days, we had two such schoolhouses, both built sometime in the 1880s. The first was the Broomfield School; the second was the Dry Creek School, which was subsequently renamed the Lorraine School. The Broomfield School was located around today’s East 10th Avenue and Main Street. The Lorraine School sat on today’s northeast corner of 112th and Pierce Streets. Continue reading