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.

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.

Backroads & Byways of Colorado: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions (Second Edition) (Backroads & Byways)

By Drea Knufken

Countryman Press
Paperback (272 pages)

Backroads & Byways of Colorado: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions (Second Edition)  (Backroads & Byways)
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See Colorado at its most enchanting: along the roads less traveled.

View majestic, snow-covered mountains within sight of desert expanses. Visit ancestral Puebloan settlements along the San Juan Skyway. Camp out in the 2.3-milion-acre White River National Forest. No matter what sort of Colorado adventure you're looking for, there's a trip to thrill you in this book.

In this full-color second edition, the authors have expanded map coverage in each tour chapter, and have fully updated the best places to stay and eat that complement the best places to explore.

 

90+ full-color photographs

Roadside History of Colorado (Roadside History Series) (Roadside History (Paperback))

By Candy Moulton

Brand: Mountain Pr
Released: 2006-05-01
Paperback (277 pages)

Roadside History of Colorado (Roadside History Series) (Roadside History (Paperback))
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Colorado s roads wind through country that is steeped in history, sometimes tracing routes with a history of their own, from the Santa Fe Trail to the Million Dollar Highway. But no matter where you roam in this beautiful state, Roadside History of Colorado can guide you. In this long-awaited volume, award-winning history writer Candy Moulton escorts readers through ancient pueblos, perilous trails, mining boomtowns, and modern ski resorts. Like the other books in this popular series. Roadside History of Colorado is divided into geographical-historical areas, making it easy to explore the state region by region. Mesmerizing tales of adventure and tragedy including cannibalism on the Starvation Trail, the infamous Sand Creek Massacre, the jailing of Mother Jones, and the Big Thompson River flood of 1976 will thrill both Coloradans and visitors. Numerous historical photographs and maps enhance this entertaining and handy guide to the history of the Centennial State.

Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History: Rare And Unusual Maps From The Library Of Congress (Mapping the States through History)

By Stephen Grace

Brand: Globe Pequot
Hardcover (128 pages)

Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History: Rare And Unusual Maps From The Library Of Congress (Mapping the States through History)
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A stirring trip through the history of the Centennial State
through gloriously detailed, fascinating maps from the Library of Congress

- 50 full-color historical maps from the Library of Congress

- Informative captions on each map's origins

- Essays by Colorado author Stephen Grace on how maps reflect the history, culture, and sensibilities of the state and its residents through time

- A foreword by Vincent Virga describing the library's collection and the state's maps

About Mapping States Through History

This is the first series to assemble―in full color, state-by-state―an in-depth collection of rare, historically significant maps of the cities, states, counties, towns, and events that make up each of America's fifty states. Produced in collaboration with the Library of Congress and edited by renowned photo editor and author Vincent Virga, these books offer a glimpse into the history of the United States through the maps and their narrative captions. Each map thus becomes a virtual time machine that tells us much about the places we live in today. Compelling historical essays by a local writer complement Virga's foreword to further help weave the cartographic record into a drama of settlement and change.

Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History (Paperback))

By Colorado Historical Society

Colorado Historical Society
Paperback (132 pages)

Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History (Paperback))
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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

Strange but True, Colorado: Weird Tales of the Wild West

By John Hafnor

Brand: Lone Pine Productions
Paperback (144 pages)

Strange but True, Colorado: Weird Tales of the Wild West
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Strange But True, Colorado is a richly illustrated series of 70 vignettes, each with a surprise ending. The book has been called the defining book in the category of Rocky Mountain historical books of the weird.


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