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Thursday - May 19, 2022

Archive for the ‘ History of Boulder ’ Category

 

Boulder and the Gold Rush

May 18th, 2022

Up until 1858, few people from the East Coast had any interest in the area that would one day be the state of Colorado. It was not until the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush that settlers came to the region and laid the roots of the town that would become Boulder. Even though small amounts of gold were discovered in Colorado as early as 1850, they went largely ignored; the country was too caught up in the potential wealth to be had in the California Gold Rush. But when the gold of California was exhausted, heads began to turn towards Colorado–or what was then known as the Kansas Territory. The gold... Read More

A Brief History of Some Incredible Boulder Women

May 18th, 2022

Revealing Our Routes: Women of Boulder County was originally developed by the Women of the West Museum back in 2002. Now the exhibit is now hosted by Boulder History Museum’s site. There are dozens of dynamic ladies documented in this collection, and today we’ve brought you a few of our favorites. Ruth Cave Flowers (1903-1980) was a native Boulderite who graduated from Boulder high in 1920. Because she was African-American they refused to award her a diploma featuring her catchy name. Despite her lack of diploma, CU accepted Ruth Flowers as a student. She earned a doctorate in Romance... Read More

Boulder, Colorado – The Great Flood of 1894

May 16th, 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

6 Famous Boulderites You Should Know

May 7th, 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

What the Heck is a Chautauqua?

May 6th, 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

Are the Boulder Flatirons Remnants of Ancient Beaches?

May 4th, 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

The Unsinkable Margaret Brown

May 1st, 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

Complex Origins of Boulder’s Fox Theatre

April 30th, 2022

The grand red sign and huge white marquee of Boulder’s Fox Theatre give the building a sense of purpose and permanence. This strong identity boldly contrasts the complex and confusing history of the building itself. This nearly 90 year old space has housed vaudeville acts, a cafe, and a other interesting things in between. The building sitting at 1135 13th Street on The Hill was constructed in 1926 by Adrian G. Diez, but was first owned a Mr. William Beach. Beach sold the building to Diez in 1926, and the building changed hands no less than 8 times to become what it is today. Its first... Read More

3 Inspired, Innovative, Boulder-Based Inventions

April 29th, 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

Lights, Camera, Action! – The history of movies filmed in Colorado

April 27th, 2022

To start off with, I want to look back on some of the famous movies that have been filmed right here in Boulder and in some of our close neighboring cities. Perhaps the most famous recent film shot in Colorado was “The Hateful Eight”, Tarantino’s latest film which featured a bounty hunter and his prisoner seeking shelter in a cabin inhabited by some nefarious criminals. The film is bloody, funny, and excellently written, and located not too far from Boulder in Telluride, CO. Tarantino put out feelers in Utah and Wyoming, before settling on the Colorado location. Tarantino wanted a mountain... Read More

Girl Power! The History of Women in Boulder

April 27th, 2022

In a recent study in Boulder, it was found that the city is leading the nation on gender equity. Currently, the national average for women’s wages are 84% of what men make. In Boulder the average is 88%. Boulder is obviously a special city, leading the nation in multiple avenues from preventative measures for climate change to progressive gender equality. This got me thinking about famous women in Boulder and the steps they have taken to catalyze change in their city and nation. If you were lucky enough to visit the Pioneers: Women Artists in Boulder exhibit at the Art Museum at the University,... Read More

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

April 19th, 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

Boulder’s Controversial Holiday Decoration: Flagstaff Star

April 17th, 2022

If you’ve spent an evening in Boulder since November 11, then you have noticed the giant, lighted star outline on the western face of the Flatirons. What you might not know is how one simple holiday tradition became a hotly contested issue for Boulder citizens, and a medium of political commentary. The Flagstaff Star was originally displayed in 1947 but the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, who still own the start to this day. It was meant as a simply Christmas decoration aimed at uniting Boulder in the spirit of the holiday. The next year, the star began to transform. Shifting between a Christmas... Read More

Pearl Street’s Quick ‘N Dirty Backstory

April 15th, 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

What’s in a name? Boulder?

April 13th, 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

Coffee Nation

April 12th, 2022

Coffee; the sweet, dark ambrosia that keeps us going throughout the day. In recent years, coffee has become a phenomenon that has seen the proliferation of Starbucks on seemingly every busy street corner, and Boulder has been no exception. However, luckily enough, Boulder possesses it’s more eclectic, independent coffee shops that have proven to be more popular hotspots for locals.           First, a brief history of coffee: Coffee drinking is thought to date back to the 15th Century in Ethiopia. Legend goes that a healer was exiled from his city and sent to live in... Read More

Boulder’s Terrifying Mascot from the 1980s!

April 11th, 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

Explaining Boulder County’s Name and Shape

April 9th, 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

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

April 8th, 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

Why Does Boulder Have A “Greenbelt”?

April 7th, 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