In 1900, the bucolic landscape that stretched for miles southwest of Denver was made up of truck farms, dairies, and ranches. While the separate town of Valverde would be absorbed by Denver in 1902, the countryside beyond was the domain of Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties. Isolated sentinels such as Loretto Heights and Fort Logan stood tall on the prairie. As happened in countless American cities, however, the abandonment of urban cores for new suburbs would radically change a rural way of life that had lasted for decades. With an aggressive annexation policy after World War II that helped to double Denver's land area in 30 years, the city set forth gobbling up these new subdivisions and former rural county lands. Some clamored to join Denver; others railed against the giant next door. A new sense of place was created in the process, not quite urban and not quite suburban. A proud heritage remains in the hearts of residents fortunate enough to have been brought into Southwest Denver before the annexation floodgates were permanently closed.
About the Author
Author Shawn M. Snow is a fifth-generation southwest Denverite and is the author of Arcadia Publishing's Denver's City Park and Whittier Neighborhoods. Covering change from 1880 to 1980, the images examine the area's transformation from rural outpost to a stable region of the state's dynamic capital city. Sources include local residents, the archives of the Southwest Denver Herald Dispatch, and the Denver Public Library.
Table of Contents
1 Growing a New Home 11
2 The Earth Gave More Than Gold 15
3 They Had Dirt under Their Fingernails 27
4 Farmland No More 51
5 Ranch Houses, Not Ranches 65
6 Denver Grows Southwest 83
7 Planting a Future Denver 113
8 The Undiscovered Country 119