Colorado History - the history of Colorado
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Colorado   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Colorado History

   
 

Colorado History


Prior to the arrival of European settlers, Colorado, was inhabited by a number of Native American tribes. These included the Apache, who inhabited the eastern plains in the 18th century but then migrated southward into Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The void left by the migration of the Apache was filled by the Arapaho and Cheyenne, who had both come from the East, however they were both relocated out Colorado in the 1860s. Additionally, the Shoshoni inhabited a number of valleys, including the Yampa River valley, in the North of the state, until the late 19th century, and the Ute were an established tribe in the Rocky Mountains for many centuries but were relocated almost entirely out of the state in the 1880s.

The first Europeans to arrive in the area were Spanish, French and American fur traders, trappers and explorers. The land that would eventually become Colorado, was acquired in part by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France, and in part from Mexico by the 1848 Mexican Cession (following the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War).

In 1858, gold was discovered in Colorado, and when news got to the East, large numbers of settlers arrived in the 1859 Colorado Gold Rush. The population exploded in many places, but later fell back down again when the ore ran out, leaving many ghost towns.

Colorado was organized as a U.S. territory on February 28, 1861, and was admitted to the Union as the 38th state on 1876.

In 1970, the 1976 Winter Olympics was awarded to Denver. However, Colorado voted to prohibit public funds from being used to support the games, so the games were instead relocated to Innsbruck in Austria.


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A Colorado History, 10th Edition (The Pruett Series)

By Maxine Benson-Cook & Carl Ubbelohde

WestWinds Press
Paperback (512 pages)

A Colorado History, 10th Edition (The Pruett Series)
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Experience Colorado with this new, enlarged edition of A COLORADO HISTORY. For fifty years, the authors of this preeminent resource have led readers on an extraordinary exploration of how the state has changed―and how it has stayed the same.
From the arrival of Paleo-Indians in the Mesa Verde region to the fast pace of the twenty-first century, A COLORADO HISTORY covers the political, economic, cultural, and environmental issues, along with the fascinating events and characters, that have shaped this dynamic state.
In print for fifty years, this distinctive examination of the Centennial State is a must-read for history buffs, students, researchers―or anyone―interested in the remarkable place called Colorado.

Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, Fifth Edition

By Carl Abbott & Thomas J. Noel

University Press of Colorado
Paperback (572 pages)

Colorado: A History of the Centennial State, Fifth Edition
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Since 1976, newcomers and natives alike have learned about the rich history of the magnificent place they call home from Colorado: A History of the Centennial State. In the fifth edition, coauthors Carl Abbott, Stephen J. Leonard, and Thomas J. Noel incorporate recent events, scholarship, and insights about the state in an accessible volume that general readers and students will enjoy.

The new edition tells of conflicts, shifting alliances, and changing ways of life as Hispanic, European, and African American settlers flooded into a region that was already home to Native Americans. Providing a balanced treatment of the entire state’s history—from Grand Junction to Lamar and from Trinidad to Craig—the authors also reveal how Denver and its surrounding communities developed and gained influence.

While continuing to elucidate the significant impact of mining, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism on Colorado, the fifth edition broadens and focuses its coverage by consolidating material on Native Americans into one chapter and adding a new chapter on sports history. The authors also expand their discussion of the twentieth century with updated sections on the environment, economy, politics, and recent cultural conflicts. New illustrations, updated statistics, and an extensive bibliography including Internet resources enhance this edition.

Colorado: A Historical Atlas

By Thomas J. Noel

University of Oklahoma Press
Hardcover (368 pages)

Colorado: A Historical Atlas
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This is a thoroughly revised edition of the Historical Atlas of Colorado, which was coauthored by Tom Noel and published in 1994. Chock-full of the best and latest information on Colorado, this new edition features thirty new chapters, updated text, more than 100 color maps and 100 color photos, and a best-of listing of Colorado authors and books, as well as a guide to hundreds of tourist attractions.

Colorado received its name (Spanish for “red”) after much debate and many possibilities, including Idaho (an “Indian” name meaning “gem of the mountains” later discovered to be a fabrication) and Yampa (Ute for “bear”). Noel includes other little-known but significant facts about the state, from its status as first state in the Union to elect women to its legislature, to its controversial “highest state” designation, elevated by the 2013 legalization of recreational cannabis.

Noel and cartographer Carol Zuber-Mallison map and describe Colorado’s spectacular geography and its fascinating past. The book’s eight parts survey natural Colorado, from rivers and mountains to dinosaurs and mammals; history, from prehistoric peoples to twenty-first-century Color-oddities; mining and manufacturing, from the gold rush to alternative energy sources; agriculture, including wineries and brewpubs; transportation, from stagecoach lines to light rail; modern Colorado, from the New Deal to the present (including politics, history, and information on lynchings, executions, and prisons); recreation, covering not only hiking and skiing but also literary locales and Colorado in the movies; and tourism, encompassing historic landmarks, museums, and even cemeteries. In short, this book has information—and surprises—that anyone interested in Colorado will relish.

A Wild West History of Frontier Colorado: Pioneers, Gunslingers & Cattle Kings on the Eastern Plains

By Jolie Anderson Gallagher

The History Press
Released: 2011-11-02
Paperback (144 pages)

A Wild West History of Frontier Colorado: Pioneers, Gunslingers & Cattle Kings on the Eastern Plains
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Jolie Anderson's collection of wild west tales focuses on the early frontier history of Colorado's plains and includes a look at some of the state's early pioneers like the "59ers" who promoted the state through travel guides and newspapers, exaggerating tales of gold discovery and even providing inaccurate maps to promote settlement in the plains; the perils of living and traveling the major gold routes the town of Julesburg relocated four times in a decade; feuds; Indian fights; outlaws, and even early rodeo history. These stories and events shaped the Colorado territory and are a rich glimpse into the early history of the state.

Weird Colorado: Your Travel Guide to Colorado's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

By Charmaine Ortega Getz

Brand: Sterling
Hardcover (272 pages)

Weird Colorado: Your Travel Guide to Colorado s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
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For weirdness to flourish, it requires a combination of dramatic history, amazing environments, and truly unique, off-the-grid characters. Colorado is blessed with all three! From the strange tale of Alfred Packer to Fruita's annual commemoration of Mike (the rooster that lost its head but not its will to live), there's no shortage of bizarre history and happenings in this Rocky Mountain locale.

Colorado: A History (States & the Nation)

By Marshall Sprague

W. W. Norton & Company
Paperback (232 pages)

Colorado: A History (States & the Nation)
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  • ISBN13: 9780393301380
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Those who travel to look at Colorado will find as much meaning in Marshall Sprague’s well-told story of its historical conflict as will those who live with the beauty―and the challenge.

Mountains―so beautiful, the land dominated by the Colorado Rockies, that miners who “thought of returning to the comfort and dull security of their homes back east,” in Marshall Sprague’s words, “found themselves held by the appeal of their giddy environment, the spaciousness, the violence and serenity of the climate, the brightness of stars and the gorgeous sunups.” The beauty itself could encourage a miner’s belief that surely his luck would turn.

River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado

By Wade Davis

Island Press
Paperback (176 pages)

River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado
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Plugged by no fewer than twenty-five dams, the Colorado is the world’s most regulated river drainage, providing most of the water supply of Las Vegas, Tucson, and San Diego, and much of the power and water of Los Angeles and Phoenix, cities that are home to more than 25 million people. If it ceased flowing, the water held in its reservoirs might hold out for three to four years, but after that it would be necessary to abandon most of southern California and Arizona, and much of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. For the entire American Southwest the Colorado is indeed the river of life, which makes it all the more tragic and ironic that by the time it approaches its final destination, it has been reduced to a shadow upon the sand, its delta dry and deserted, its flow a toxic trickle seeping into the sea.
 
In this remarkable blend of history, science, and personal observation, acclaimed author Wade Davis tells the story of America’s Nile, how it once flowed freely and how human intervention has left it near exhaustion, altering the water temperature, volume, local species, and shoreline of the river Theodore Roosevelt once urged us to “leave it as it is.” Yet despite a century of human interference, Davis writes, the splendor of the Colorado lives on in the river’s remaining wild rapids, quiet pools, and sweeping canyons. The story of the Colorado River is the human quest for progress and its inevitable if unintended effects—and an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and foster the rebirth of America’s most iconic waterway.
 
A beautifully told story of historical adventure and natural beauty, River Notes is a fascinating journey down the river and through mankind’s complicated and destructive relationship with one of its greatest natural resources.

Colorado Excursions with History, Hikes and Hops (History & Guide)

By Ed Sealover

Arcadia Publishing
Released: 2016-07-04
Paperback (272 pages)

Colorado Excursions with History, Hikes and Hops (History & Guide)
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Colorado is replete with natural beauty, award-winning breweries and a history that reflects its wild and rugged character. Author Ed Sealover offers this detailed guide to ten three-day excursions full of nature, history and unique watering holes. Discover sprawling parks and celebrated landmarks throughout the state. Visit oddball destinations like the trail of America's favorite cannibal and the renowned ghost town of Saint Elmo. Work up a thirst on the hiking trails of Rocky Mountain National Park and unwind on the single block in the state that is home to a brewery, a winery and a distillery. Uncover the craft, creative and cultural gems that make the Centennial State a curious wanderers dream.

Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History)

By Colorado Historical Society

Colorado Historical Society
Paperback (132 pages)

Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History)
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Denver turned 150 just a few years ago--not too shabby for a city so down on its luck in 1868 that Cheyenne boosters deemed it "too dead to bury." Still, most of the city's history is a recent memory: Denver's entire story spans just two human lifetimes.

In Denver Inside and Out, eleven authors illustrate how pioneers built enduring educational, medical, and transportation systems; how Denver's social and political climate contributed to the elevation of women; how Denver residents wrestled with-and exploited-the city's natural features; and how diverse cultural groups became an essential part of the city's fabric. By showing how the city rose far above its humble roots, the authors illuminate the many ways that Denver residents have never stopped imagining a great city.

Published in time for the opening of the new History Colorado Center in Denver in 2012, Denver Inside and Out hints at some of the social, economic, legal, and environmental issues that Denverites will have to consider over the next 150 years. Finalist for the 2012 Colorado Book Awards

Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps

By Sandra Dallas

University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback (264 pages)

Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps
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Prospectors lured to the West in hopes of striking rich settled a thousand towns in the Colorado mountains. The cry of “Gold!” or “Silver!” or a few flecks of color in a tin cup sent them to remote, often inhospitable locations to search for the precious metals.

Close on the heels of the miners were the merchant, the gamblers, the prostitutes, the washerwomen, the capitalists, and the con men. Together they turned the mining camps into bustling towns where saloons never closed and the safest place for a man to walk after dark was down the middle of the street with a gun in each hand.

Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps is the first new book in more than twenty-five years to document these mountain communities. Most of the early settlers are gone, leaving few persons with any oral tradition to pass on to future generations. For many of the 147 towns and camps listed in this book, not much remains to be preserved beyond what Dallas and photographer Kendal Atchison have recorded.

The book is lavishly illustrated with 290 photographs. In addition to those by Atchison and early historical photographs, rare photographs from the 1920s and 1930s are included, many never published before. Some of Atchison’s superb photographs evoke nostalgia with views of abandoned buildings deteriorating amid meadow wildflowers. Soon nothing will remain but the Colorado landscape, with the eternal mountains towering close by.

The town histories are traced from their beginning in strike-it-rich excitement and glittering boom years, through the declines, to the present day. Some of these hopeful towns, such as Lulu, were deserted as quickly as they were settled, lasting barely more than a season, while a few, including Aspen and Breckenridge, are as lively today as they were a century ago. But most of them, like Animas Forks, flourished until the gold or silver played out and were abandoned, leaving a few lonely cabins or picturesque ruins. Towns such as Aspen, Crested Butte, Cripple Creek, and Breckenridge have lived on to become popular ski resorts, and these places warrant additional vignettes that add color and to the text.

Written to inform and entertain the general reader, this book will be a delight for armchair adventurers as well as invaluable for vacationers interested in visiting the sites of these Colorado boomtowns. Most of the places are no longer shown on modern road maps, and special maps of the region have been prepared for this book.



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