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From the infamous Sand Creek Massacre to the building of Coors Field, It Happened in Denver gives readers a unique look at some of the most intriguing people and episodes from the history of the Mile-High City. Discover why Denver nearly burned down in 1863 and why it was flooded a year later. Learn how wine barrels helped lay a foundation for the ski industry. And meet David Moffat, the man most responsible for building a rail line across the Rocky Mountains. In an easy-to-read style that’s entertaining as well ...
From the infamous Sand Creek Massacre to the building of Coors Field, It Happened in Denver gives readers a unique look at some of the most intriguing people and episodes from the history of the Mile-High City. Discover why Denver nearly burned down in 1863 and why it was flooded a year later. Learn how wine barrels helped lay a foundation for the ski industry. And meet David Moffat, the man most responsible for building a rail line across the Rocky Mountains. In an easy-to-read style that’s entertaining as well as informative, author Stephen Grace recounts some of the most famous (and infamous!) moments in the history of Colorado’s largest city.
In the early winter of 1862, as a blizzard swirled through the sky, a volunteer army departed Denver. Trudging through deepening snow, the men climbed into the mountains. Though they were exhausted and cold, they wouldn’t stop marching. The fate of the Union depended on them crossing Raton Pass. Just six weeks after Colorado became a territory, the Civil War began. Confederate sympathizers flew a rebel flag over a store in Denver; Unionists tore it down. Most Denverites had immigrated to the West from Northern states, so the majority of the town’s citizens were loyal to the Union. Denver’s first mayor, however, was a Confederate. When the Civil War began he fled Denver and returned to the South. William Gilpin, a strong defender of the Union, was appointed Colorado’s first territorial governor by President Abraham Lincoln. Afraid that Confederate sympathizers within Colorado would attack the territory, and afraid Confederate Texans would take over the Southwest and then head north toward Rocky Mountain goldfields—and even afraid that his own life might be in danger from Confederates lurking in Colorado—Gilipin decided to act immediately. He would do what needed to be done; he would worry about the consequences later. Gilpin raised Union volunteers, most of them miners from the mountains around Denver, and he issued $375,000 in federal promissory notes to pay for the formation of the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteer Infantry. Though Gilpin lacked the authority to issue these promissory notes, he believed the U.S. Government would gladly honor them because the notes were being used to finance the defense of the Union.
(1) Preface (2) Acknowledgements (3) The Pikes Peak Gold Rush, 1859(4) The Rise of Judge Lynch, 1859 (5) The Founding of a Frontier Mint, 1860 (6) Gilpin’s Gamble to Save the Union, 1862 (7) The Great Fire, 1863 (8) The Great Flood, 1864 (9) The Sand Creek Massacre, 1864 (10) A Race to Build a Railroad: The Iron Horse Arrives, 1870 (11) The Hop Street Riot, 1880 (12) Building a House of Mirrors: The Prostitution Boom, 1889 (13) The Silver Panic, 1893 (14) The Great Blizzard, 1913 (15) The Epidemic, 1918 (16) The Denver Mint Robbery, 1922 (17) The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan, 1925 (18) Constructing Moffat’s Dream: The Quest to Link to the West, 1927 (19) Water for a Thirsty City: A Small Tunnel Pioneers the Way for Big Growth, 1936 (20) Wine Barrels Save Winter Park: The Development of Denver’s Ski Industry, 1938 (21) The Creation of Red Rocks: A Natural Amphitheatre Rocks the World, 1941 (22) Jazz and “A Certain Racy Wild Smack”: Denver Feels the Beat—1947 (23) Saving Molly Brown: Women Lead the Way for Historic Preservation, 1970 (24) The Blast Heard Round the City, 1973 (25) The Event That Didn’t Happen: The Odd Case of the Almost Olympics, 1976 (26) The Great Airport Gamble, 1989 (27) If You Build It, They Will Come: The Baseball Boom in LoDo, 1995 (28) A Potpourri of Denver Facts (29) Bibliography (30) About the Author