Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Posts Tagged With ‘ boulder history ’

Why Name a Lady Buffalo “Ralphie”?

March 23rd, 2016

This title question, and the more general “Why a buffalo for a mascot?” answered below. Time to brush up on Buff history. Ralphie is the female buffalo mascot for CU Boulder. But why does this female buffalo sport a male name? And why did CU choose a bison mascot in the first place? The tradition began in 1934 when the university newspaper selected “Buffaloes” as the nickname for the university students. Three weeks later, a few students paid a rancher $25 to rent a bison calf and a cowboy to handle her. The calf had to be managed by all 4 students plus the ranch hand... Read More

Boulder’s Terrifying Mascot from the 1980s!

March 8th, 2016

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

History of Some Badass Boulder Women

November 10th, 2015

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

What the Heck is a Chautauqua?

September 15th, 2015

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

Why Does Boulder Have A “Greenbelt”?

August 26th, 2015

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

Pearl Street’s Quick ‘N Dirty Backstory

August 5th, 2015

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

An Ode to Vertical Adventure

June 12th, 2015

If you have lived in Boulder long enough, you have probably noticed climbers with their callused hands and their chalk-covered capris. You can witness climbers in their natural environment at any one of the six climbing gyms in Boulder, or meandering through the prepared foods section in WholeFoods for a post-workout meal. More commonly though, climbers embark on migrations to outdoor challenges, whether that means the thousand feet of climbing up the Flatirons, or the granite boulders in Rocky Mountain National Park, or the day-long climb up The Diamond on Longs Peak. However, long before protein... Read More

The Unsinkable Margaret Brown.

May 11th, 2015

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

Boulder and the Gold Rush.

May 4th, 2015

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 CU Boulder

April 20th, 2015

Boulder’s first schoolhouse opened in 1860, but it was far from the last school to be built here! The University of Colorado in Boulder was established in the early 1870s when the Colorado territorial legislature made an amendment to the constitution that provided money for three universities. CU was, of course, one. The other two were the Colorado School of Mines in Golden and the Colorado Agricultural College in Fort Collins, both of which still exist today. But at first, there was some debate about exactly where to put the new university. Two cities were competing for it: Boulder and Cañon... Read More

The Secret Life of Mary Rippon

April 13th, 2015

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

The Great Flood of 1894.

March 30th, 2015

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

The Beginnings of Boulder

March 16th, 2015

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

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