Colorado History

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.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

It just makes sense to meet with CU Denver history professor Tom Noel -- also known as “Dr. Colorado” -- at History Colorado Center’s exhibit "Zoom In: The Centennial State in 100 Objects." From the Native American pottery of Mesa Verde to John Denver’s guitar, each of the 100 items tells a part of the state’s history.

“I like to tell my students, those who flunk history are doomed to repeat it,” he said.

Depending on the story, that might not be so bad.

Courtesy of Denver Fire Department

For the second time in a week, parts of Denver’s Civic Center Park have been damaged.

Over the weekend, a hit-and-run driver took out part of the park’s more than 100-year-old marble balustrade. Wednesday, the interactive installation “Tree of Transformation” was set on fire. The sculpture, which features an antique piano with a steel tree growing out of it, was a total loss.

“The edge of the park in particular has taken a bit of a beating lately,” said Scott Robson, executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy. Especially the part of the park along Colfax Avenue, which Robson described as a bit of a “war zone.”

Stacy Nick / KUNC

You may know Chris Daniels best as the energetic frontman for blues band Chris Daniels & The Kings, but lately it’s other people’s music that’s been on his mind.

Daniels is the new executive director of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

Courtesy of the Amache Preservation Society

In the spring of 1942, official posters went up across the West Coast and Arizona. All people of Japanese ancestry had one week to report to assembly centers. Ultimately, more than 100,000 Japanese-Americans were forcibly imprisoned in internment camps, many of them located in the Mountain West. This week is when we remember those camps and the people who lived in them.

One of them was a 13-year-old boy named Minoru Tonai.

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