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Museums celebrate the women who made Colorado

A black-and-white paper cutout of Rattlesnake Kate adorned with a red t-shirt that has an image of Rattlesnake Kate on it and the word "grit" underneath it.
Dylan Simard
A paper cutout of Rattlesnake Kate, who in 1925 killed over 140 rattlesnakes to protect her infant son, wears a new t-shirt made in her honor at the Greeley History Museum on March 2, 2023. After killing the snakes, she crafted a dress from the skins that is on display at the Greeley History Museum.

March is Women’s History month, and Colorado has no shortage of incredible female figures to celebrate.

Kimberly Kronwall is the exhibits and loan registrar with History Colorado. She’s a big fan of the tale of Rattlesnake Kate, a Greeley woman who fought off a horde of rattlesnakes.

"Kate gets off her horse, she immediately starts shooting all of the rattlesnakes. She runs out of ammo very quickly and takes a nearby no hunting sign, which I think is just the best little bit of irony, and she starts using that no hunting sign as a club," Kronwall said.

The encounter happened in 1925 while Rattlesnake Kate and her infant son were duck hunting. At the end of her two-hour battle, over 140 snakes lay dead. She later skinned the snakes and made them into an infamous dress which is on display at the Greeley History Museum.

In honor of Women's History Month, the museum has released a commemorative Rattlesnake Kate t-shirt this month. The shirt is available for purchase in the museum's gift shop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Other ways to celebrate local women's history in Colorado include free tours of The Center for Colorado Women’s History galleries in Denver, which will run every 30 minutes from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 8. History Colorado in Denver also has two exhibits focused on women on the museum's fourth floor: Return of the Corn Mothers and What’s Your Story.

As a general assignment reporter and backup host, I gather news and write stories for broadcast, and I fill in to host for Morning Edition or All Things Considered when the need arises.
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