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Denver Inside and Out

By Jeanne E. Abrams, Betty Jo Brenner, Michael Childers, Eric L. Clements, B. Erin Cole, Marcia Tremmel Goldstein, Rebecca A. Hunt, Modupe Lobode, Azusa Ono, Melanie Shellenbarger, Shawn Snow, and Cheryl Siebert Waite

Publication Year: 2011

Denver turned 150 just a few years ago—not too shabby for a city so down on its luck in 1868 that Cheyenne boosters deemed it “too dead to bury.” Still, most of the city’s history is a recent memory: Denver’s entire story spans just two human lifetimes. In Denver Inside and Out, twelve authors illustrate how pioneers built enduring educational, medical, and transportation systems; how Denver’s social and political climate contributed to the elevation of women; how Denver residents wrestled with—and exploited—the city’s natural features; and how diverse cultural groups became an essential part of the city’s fabric. By showing how the city rose far above its humble roots, the authors illuminate the many ways that Denver residents have never stopped imagining a great city. Published in time for the opening of the new History Colorado Center in Denver in 2012, Denver Inside and Out hints at some of the social, economic, legal, and environmental issues that Denverites will have to consider over the next 150 years.

Published by: University Press of Colorado

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pp. v-vi

Denver, Colorado, turned 150 in 2008—not too shabby for a city so down on its luck in 1868 that Cheyenne boosters deemed it “too dead to bury.” Europeans, of course, can point to Paris, London, or Rome to show American upstarts how recent their antecedents go. And in the United States, 2008 saw the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, ...


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pp. ix-x

Building Denver

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Rails to the Rockies: How Denver Got Two Railroads (Sort of), but Not the One It Really Wanted

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pp. 3-10

Isolation was the greatest problem confronting Denver City in 1860. Horace Greeley, visiting in 1859, noted Colorado goods selling “at far more than California prices.” He recommended “a railroad from the Missouri to the heads of the Platte or Arkansas.” The locals certainly agreed, but Colorado’s first railroad wasn’t ...

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Denver’s Pioneer Medical Community: 1858–1900

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pp. 11-20

In its infant stages, Denver had to develop a system of medical care even as it created a legal system, schools, and the other amenities of civilization. Many doctors came west, attracted by the same dreams as other pioneers. Some were well trained and competent; others moved from town to town as their mistakes ...

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“A Premonition of Our Future Grandeur”: Building Denver’s First Schools

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pp. 21-32

When Denver was founded in 1858, the area seemed a “howling wilderness” to its new residents. Development came in many slow steps, the greatest of which was perhaps the city’s effort to educate its youngest citizens. Owen J. Goldrick started the first school on October 3, 1859,1 but it would not be until 1873, ...

Women’s Space

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Assembling a More Perfect Machine: Denver as the Birthplace of Women in Party and Electoral Politics, 1893–1897

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pp. 35-48

On the morning of April 3, 1894, nine hundred women dutifully cast their ballots “in their own sweet way” in Highlands, a middleclass suburb of Denver.1 “The day resembled a holiday,” the Rocky Mountain News reported, “and the election was original, being the first municipal election since the enactment of the equal ...

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Denver’s Disorderly Women

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pp. 49-58

Move Out! Tonight is the Deadline,” Denver Chief of Police Felix O’Neill ordered the women of the red-light district on February 23, 1913.1 After several months of debate between Mayor Henry J. Arnold, the city’s aldermen, and the Fire and Police Board about what to do with Denver’s social evil, ...

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The Colorado Women of the Ku Klux Klan

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pp. 59-68

In the 1920s, from Maine to California, in the cities and in rural communities, large numbers of men and women joined the Ku Klux Klan to promote the cause of 100 percent Americanism. They believed the United States needed to be saved from the influences of recent immigrants, African Americans, Catholics, and Jews. ...

Cultural Identity

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In Search of Wealth and Health: Denver’s Early Jewish Community

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pp. 71-82

Colorado was still an “untamed wilderness” when the discovery of gold near Pikes Peak in 1858 brought the area to the nation’s attention. By the spring of 1859 fortune seekers began to reach the rival infant camps of Denver and Auraria in droves, men and women from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds. ...

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“I Am a Denver Indian!”: The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Relocation Program and Denver’s Native American Community

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pp. 83-92

Located at the center of states with large reservations, Denver has long been depicted as a “crossroads” for Native Americans.1 Until the mid-nineteenth century, when pioneers and prospectors occupied the region, the Denver area had been a major hunting ground for the Cheyenne and Arapaho. ...

Urban Nature

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A Gateway Into the Mountains: Denver and the Building of a Recreational Empire

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pp. 95-104

On a cold February day in 1909, newly elected Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer stood in front of a small crowd at the Denver YMCA and talked of his vision for Denver’s future. He spoke of a city of parks, open vistas of the snowcapped Rocky Mountains, and tree-lined boulevards radiating outward from the center of the city. ...

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Modern Mountain Views: Constructing Summer Homes and Civic Identity in Colorado

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pp. 105-114

The perceptual, physical, and political appropriation of the Colorado Rocky Mountains highlights complex and often contradictory notions of tradition and modernity that characterized the early decades of the twentieth century. This essay raises a question that remains as relevant today as it was then: ...

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Inventing Cherry Creek: 150 Years of the Making of an Urban Environmental Landscape

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pp. 115-125

This is the story of a river that gets little respect. Cherry Creek, one of the two rivers running through the City and County of Denver, is a slight river, shallow and sandy.1 In its natural, undammed state it contains little water, unless heavy rains swell its current. Yet Cherry Creek has often occupied a place ...

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pp. 126-127

Jeanne E. Abrams is a professor at the Penrose Library and the Center for Judaic Studies (CJS) at the University of Denver. She is also the longtime director of the Beck Archives and the Rocky Mountain Jewish Historical Society at Penrose and the CJS. She is the author of Jewish Women Pioneering the Frontier Trail: ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780942576566
E-ISBN-10: 094257656X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780942576559
Print-ISBN-10: 0942576551

Page Count: 132
Illustrations: 47 b&w photos, 3 line drawings, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2011