Colorado History | KUNC

Colorado History

Jim Hill / KUNC

The recent protests against police brutality and systemic racism across the country have led to a lot of soul-searching — including here in Colorado — about common blind spots when it comes to the ways white supremacy is embedded in the culture. This includes reconsidering memorials and place names honoring controversial legacies.

Courtesy Sawyer D'Argonne/Sky-Hi News

The 4 Bar 4 Ranch near Fraser in Grand County was a welcoming site for travelers who had endured the bumpy stagecoach ride over Berthoud Pass in the late 1800s. As they made their journey west, many would stay at the cozy Stagecoach Hotel. It was known for its good food and rooms with a view.

History is full of famous art heists. In 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The Scream was stolen, twice, in 1994 and 2004.

Those works were ultimately recovered, but in some other cases, there's more to the story.

In KUNC's four-part series, "Stolen," arts reporter Stacy Nick looks at an almost 100-year-old mystery in Fort Collins, the time a lifted cartoon of a flatulent unicorn made headlines, the repatriation of Native American artifacts and how a vandalized artwork in Loveland ended up bringing people together.

Black Hawk City
Jeffrey Beall / CC BY-SA 2.0

Welcome to the town of Superior, a "friendly" and "quaint" community nestled into Colorado's front range. At just over 13,000 people, it is also larger than half of Colorado's cities.

If population size doesn't set "city" apart from "town" in Colorado, what does?

Stacy Nick / KUNC

Steamboat Springs prides itself not only on its world-renowned ski slopes, but for its agricultural and ranching roots. But it hasn't always been able to hold on to that history.

At the Tread of the Pioneers Museum, curator Katie Adams walked through the latest exhibit.

"Steamboat Springs was founded in 1875 by the Crawford family and had really modest beginnings," Adams said.

Jonny Barber
Stacy Nick / KUNC

At 26.5 miles, Colfax Avenue is the longest commercial street in the country. It began as a major thoroughfare during the Gold Rush, lined with lavish mansions of the area's elite. Later it became a haven for tourists with the mansions making way for motels and restaurants.

Over the years, Colfax Avenue lost some of its luster, becoming known more for crime, drugs and prostitution than its history.

Granada Relocation Center
U.S. Department of the Interior

A University of Denver team is using drone images to create a 3D reconstruction of a World War II-era Japanese internment camp in southern Colorado, joining a growing movement to restore U.S. historical site linked to people of color.

Researchers last week dispatched the drone from the Switzerland-based company senseFly as part of a mapping project to help future restoration work at Camp Amache in Granada, Colorado.

John Meissner
Stacy Nick / KUNC

When John Meissner strolled into Greeley antique shop Lincoln Park Emporium recently, it didn't take long for a display of postcards near the counter to catch his eye.

"These are amazing because you never — see this is like, new 'old' stock," Meissner said, flipping through the rack. "So they're perfect."

The cards, placed next to some boxes of candy, depict a variety of Colorado tourist spots. They're all from Denver's Sanborn Souvenir Company. The cost? 25 cents apiece.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

In the foothills outside Longmont, Colorado, tucked high in a narrow valley, sits an ugly, cement slab. It's the size of a train car and juts out into North St. Vrain Creek, a shallow alpine stream that serves as the city's main drinking water supply.

A tiny sign greets hikers as they pass the structure. It reads: "Chimney Rock Dam." A small arrow points to the right.

What the sign doesn't tell you is how that cement slab ended up there.

Rae Ellen Bichell / Mountain West News Bureau

Walking through forests across the Mountain West, you might not realize you’re walking past historical artifacts big enough to crush you. These artifacts are pine and cedar trees that have had their bark peeled off in a special way. The trees are a bit of a mystery to archaeologists, and one they’re running out of time to solve.