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Archive for the ‘ History of Boulder ’ Category

 

Flashback: Something Old, Something New – Boulder History Museum

September 27th, 2022

The story goes that “Boulder” was discovered by Anglo-Americans when gold was first discovered in Gold Hill in the fall of 1858. Chief Niwot, of the Southern Arapahoe tribe, came down to the camp on Boulder Creek, and asked the men to leave his land (oddly enough Chief Niwot spoke English! His sister had married an English speaking fur trader, and he learned it from them). They said they were just staying for the winter, and then going deep into the mountains. Of course, you can deduce what really happened. By 1859, one hundred thousand people came to the Rocky Mountains looking for gold. The... Read More

The Unsinkable Margaret Brown

September 27th, 2022

While she never lived in Boulder, Margaret “Molly” Brown benefited from the same incredible good fortune as Boulder itself due to the mining industry in Colorado. Molly grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, the daughter of poor Irish immigrants. From ages thirteen to eighteen, she worked in a tobacco factory to help support her family. The harsh working conditions there inspired her interest in reform and labor movements later in life. Molly and her brother Daniel moved in Leadville, Colorado in 1886, where Molly went to work in a department store. There, she met and soon married mining engineer... Read More

What’s in a name? Boulder?

September 24th, 2022

Boulder is a pretty interesting name for a city, don’t you think? Both a pronoun and a noun gives it a fairly unique affect. I was thinking about the reasoning behind of the name of the city, deducing (incorrectly) that it must have been named for some of the world class bouldering found around the Flatirons and in the surrounding area. But after some digging, I discovered that it was thought to be named after Boulder Creek, the thirty-mile creek flowing through downtown and outwards from the Rocky Mountains. There is no real consensus on this matter however, and very little information on the... Read More

Are the Boulder Flatirons Remnants of Ancient Beaches?

September 22nd, 2022

You will learn how Boulder’s iconic Flatirons formed. Turns out, Boulder was once beachfront property. The Flatirons are Boulder’s favorite portion of the Fountain Formation, a geological formation of mostly red sandstone. This sandstone, more appropriately called “arkose” gets its color from the pinkish feldspar contained it it. This red rock makes up the Red Rocks of Morrison and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The Fountain Formation stretches from Colorado Springs all the way to Wyoming. The reddish color is due to the concentration of feldspar in the sandstone,... Read More

6 Famous Boulderites You Should Know

September 19th, 2022

We can’t say for sure if being in Boulder makes you a better or more successful person, but these celebrities from our fair city lend some credibility to the notion. And since we aren’t a gossip site, these won’t all be film and TV stars. We are showing you real people from Boulder who did, and are doing, interesting and popular things with their lives. 3OH!3 Sean Foreman and Nathaniel Motte make up the electronica group 3OH!3, which received national success with their song “Don’t Trust Me”. They gained even more attention when they collaborated with Ke$ha... Read More

Explaining Boulder County’s Name and Shape

September 13th, 2022

Most of the West was divided up into straight-edged, boxy regions and subdivisions (take a look at poor Yuma County). Boulder County escapes the purely rectangular form of other counties in Colorado, and today we will tell you why. Plus, we will tell you why it’s named Boulder (but we bet you can guess). The need for Colorado to become a territory coincided with the secession of several southern states from the Union in 1861. Colorado applied for statehood that year, and offered the Union secure access to precious mineral deposits. Boulder County was one of the original 17 counties of... Read More

Boulder’s Intellectualism Shapes its True Character

September 8th, 2022

Some of you have heard that Boulder is “25 square miles surrounded by reality”. Which is one way to say that the character of the city of Boulder is extremely different from other nearby cities. Today we will discuss how intellectualism has helped to create this unique reputation. There is a huge focus on anti-intellectualism in the United States. Many folks, especially politicians, discredit Education, Literature, Philosophy, Art, and Science as pursuits which are mostly impractical. None of these subjects seem vital for the “common man” to know. None of them will help... Read More

Ghosts, Galas, and Gatsby? The Hotel Boulderado is the one-stop-shop for all three

September 5th, 2022

I love this place. Not only for its colorful amalgamation of Colorado and Boulder (I see what you did there), nor for it’s weird synesthesia-effect of bringing to mind old  Eagles hits, but because it’s been around for over one hundred years, and that’s pretty frickin’ cool. I’ve bypassed the Hotel on my way to Ozo Coffee or after window-shopping and drooling over at the fjallraven store (*envious sigh*), but it wasn’t until recently that I realized this hotel had some pretty hefty history behind it. A plaque on the outside of the hotel reads: “Hotel Boulderado opened January 1st,... Read More

3 Inspired, Innovative, Boulder-Based Inventions

September 1st, 2022

Maybe you already know that the comfortable (and allegedly edible) innovation; the Crocs shoe, was created in Boulder County. Today we’re checking out some less explosive, but equally clever, Boulder-based inventions. This is one smart city, and the products created here prove it! Nimbus Cloud Dome The Nimbus Cloud Dome is a deceptively simple invention created by Boulder resident Cindy Litchfield. As a jewelry maker, she struggled to create close-up, glare-free photos of her products. No one had addressed the problem before, so she took on the challenge. The result was the Nimbus Cloud... Read More

The University of Colorado’s Early History

August 30th, 2022

Before Thomas Jefferson signed the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and before Colorado became a state in 1876, the area was settled by numerous Native American tribes, predominantly inhabited by the Arapaho. The Arapaho were successful nomadic hunters, expanding their presence through trade, warfare, and alliances with other tribes. They were closely allied with the Cheyenne, which allowed their hunting territory to expand greatly and made them a formidable force. Much of their culture revolved around the idea of a warrior, which included not only skills in combat, but also in keeping peace, and in... Read More

CU’s Ice History

August 27th, 2022

Students and professors at the University of Colorado, Boulder have been studying the effects of black carbon on ice and snow in ecosystems around the world. Black carbon is the byproduct of fossil fuels and wildfires and can be carried long distances via atmospheric transport. Researchers use molecular analysis and have so far proved that Greenland’s ice sheet has been effected by wildfires burning all the way in the Canadian Arctic. Wildfires are predicted to increase in the future, threatening to negatively impact other ice sheets across the globe. According to Scientific America, climate... Read More

Why Does Boulder Have A “Greenbelt”?

August 23rd, 2022

You may hear Boulderites referring to a “greenbelt,” but what is that and why does Boulder have one? There was huge population growth in Boulder between 1950 and 1970. This growth was due to the presence of the University of Colorado, the intellectual diversity surrounding the university, and a strong local economy. At an annual growth rate of about 6%, the population of the city was set to double every 11 years or so. Being all about sustainability and preserving local culture, the citizens of Boulder took action against the human tsunami threatening to wash out the city. In 1967... Read More

The Secret Life of Mary Rippon ~ First Female Professor at CU Boulder

August 20th, 2022

Most people know the name “Mary Rippon” from the spectacular outdoor theater where the Colorado Shakespeare Festival performs the works of William Shakespeare every summer. But did you know that Mary Rippon was actually the first female professor at CU Boulder? She caught German there between 1878 and 1909, making her not only the first female professor at CU, but one of the first educators to work there as well there as well. Although born in Detroit, Rippon was offered a teaching position in Boulder after she graduated from university herself. Eager to explore the West and its fascinating... Read More

Pearl Street’s Quick ‘N Dirty Backstory

August 18th, 2022

A Boulder resident in the 1940s remarked that Pearl street is “a good place to buy a pair of socks.” I think this adage holds true today, and that Pearl offers Boulder exponentially more to go along with those socks. Pearl Street is supposedly named for one of the wives of the original 54 founders of Boulder. However, I have also heard whispers that “Pearl” was a madam of a brothel once located near what is now Pearl Street. The first explanation is more likely, though I find the second more provocative and appealing. If I had to describe Pearl Street, I would say it’s an intermingling... Read More

The Beginnings of Boulder

August 17th, 2022

The story of Boulder, Colorado begins roughly 300 million years ago when our iconic Flatirons formed the seabed of the ocean that covered the better part of the North American continent. This sea, the Western Interior Seaway, ate away at the sandstone beneath it until it began to resemble the shape of the Flatirons we all know and love. It was not until about 40 million years ago that the Flatirons shifted into their present position when the Rocky Mountains were created, becoming part of the “Fountain Formation.” This formation includes other spectacular Colorado landmarks including the Red... Read More

Where was Boulder’s Dushanbe Teahouse Made?

August 16th, 2022

One of the most common pieces of advice a Boulderite will give to a new resident is “Go check out the Dushanbe Teahouse,” but what’s so special about a teahouse? Well, ours was handcrafted in Tajikistan during the Cold War, and kindly shipped by our sister city of Dushanbe. The rebuilding of the teahouse in Boulder was an awesome accomplishment which nearly did not happen. The idea of a sister city or twin town developed from the Cold War following WWII. The point was to form legal and social bonds between disparate cultures, and even promote relationships between former enemies.... Read More

Boulder’s Terrifying Mascot from the 1980s!

August 12th, 2022

Meet “Buddy Boulder,” the mascot proving that even the gleaming citizens of Boulder sometimes make bad decisions. Or eerie ones at the very least. How was this grinning stone created? Well, in 1984 the Boulder Hotel and Motel Association had a “Mascot Mania” event whereby people were allowed to submit mascot ideas for the city of Boulder. The winners received cash prizes. You would think money would be incentive to create something inviting and recognizable. Sure, Buddy has the Flatirons on his head, but we just can’t stop looking at his cold, shifty, doll eyes. The... Read More

What the Heck is a Chautauqua?

August 5th, 2022

Every Boulderite knows that Chautauqua is up on 900 Baseline Road in Boulder, but how did it get there? And what is a Chautauqua anyway? The Chautauqua movement of the late 19th century was an effort to educate rural communities who lacked access to the mass culture being developed in cities. The movement lasted from the 1870s all the way into the 1920s. Rural peoples were hungry for entrainment and brain food, but lacked a way to easily travel because automobiles weren’t widely available until 1910. The “Mother Chautauqua” (which sounds a bit like a spaceship name to me) was... Read More

Boulder’s Great Flood of 1894

July 26th, 2022

After the flood that took place in the fall of 2013, most Boulder residents are sadly acquainted with the destructive power of rain and the Boulder Creek–normally a source of pleasure and entertainment. Many believe we had suffered from a 100 year flood when over nine inches of rain fell in the Boulder County area that September. Misleadingly, a “100 year flood” is not an event that takes place once every 100 years, but one that has only a 1% chance of occurring each year. But this was not the first time Boulder had experienced a disaster of this scope. Between May 31st and... Read More

Taking a Stand! History of Protests in Boulder

July 19th, 2022

Boulder has been known for quite some time for being the ‘cradle of the hippie’, known for its dedication to nature and the environment, liberal ideologies, and a place for both artists and intellectuals to gather in a friendly, local space. In light of the recent holiday, and some of the protests we have seen around town, I thought it would be interesting to take a trip through history and remember some of the past protests in Boulder that has helped shape the city. In the 1950’s the Rocky Flat Plant was established in Denver, CO to manufacture and produce nuclear weapons during the Cold... Read More