Western History & Genealogy Blog

Hidden Gems

Creative Types: Need Project Inspiration?

Thomas Moran, August 1915. By Henry Havelock Pierce. X-22164
How Long is Always, 1969. Watercolor by Jo Polseno. C75-7 ART
Dessert toast recipes from Toast and Its Various Uses: There's a Difference in Bread, 1924

You may love your neighborhood DPL branch, but it might be time to branch out!  

Did you know that DPL’s Central Library has a Western History/Genealogy Department on Level 5?

Twin Sisters: African-American Poet Wanda Coleman And Punk Icon Exene Cervenka

Beef. V. 16, N. 18-19, Spring-Summer 1986. San Francisco.

What do award winning Los Angeles poet Wanda Coleman and punk icon Exene Cervenka have to do with one another, and why are they being featured in a blog for the Western History and Genealogy Depart

Found in the Archives: 19th-Century Recipe Notebook

Harriet Scott Camp's recipe notebook, believed to date from 1850s through the 1880s. WH1453
Recipe for cholera remedy that calls for one tincture of opium. WH1453
Recipe for crullers that uses "1 coffee cup of sour milk or cream." WH1453

Cookies, Cakes, Sickness, and Sorrow

Several months ago, I wrote about Mira C.

In the Archives: Documentation of a 1929 Groundbreaking—Soil and All

Denver City and County Building
Envelope containing soil from the groundbreaking event
Mayor Benjamin Stapleton dumps a shovelful of dirt during the groundbreaking cer

Think archives only collect papers, photos, and films? Think again!

One collection found in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department has the dirt on Denver’s past.

A Joy Day: Sundays in Denver, circa 1901

A crowd of people gather around the pavilion and line the shores of the large lake, in City Park, ca. 1900. By W. H. Jackson.
32nd Avenue at Meade Street, Denver, between 1910 and 1930. By Louis Charles McClure. MCC-3852
Outdoor portrait of a picnic in City Park, between 1904 and 1915. By Charles S. Lillybridge. CHS-L1621

Reminiscences of a Blissful Sunday in Denver, circa 1901

Pearl Stevens Andrews (1896-1988) grew up in Denver’s Highland neighborhood during the early 1900s.

The Department Store Experience, 1917

Interior view of the Daniels and Fisher store, circa 1902. X-22884
Daniels & Fisher building, 1911. By Louis Charles McClure. MCC-1564
Displays of dinnerware, silver, crystal, flowers, and lamps at Daniels & Fisher store, circa 1902. X-22888
Daniels & Fisher French Room, March 1903. X-22800
Page from Jessie Thompson's autograph book, 1881. WH1870

Does the stress of holiday shopping make you long for a stroll through an early 20th-century department store?

Teenager Elizabeth Thompson wrote about her visit to Denver’s legendary Daniels & Fisher Department Store in an English class composition dated March 12, 1917.

Colorado Ostrich Farm Co. Records, 1907

Harry M. Rhoads at ostrich farm in California, by Harry M. Rhoads, between 1900-1920. Rh-36
Portrait of woman wearing an ostrich feather hat, by Fisher, 1908. Z-6588
Ostrich buggy at the Flower Carnival in Colorado Springs, by H. S. Poley, August 1896. P-2318

With turkeys taking the spotlight this week, let us not forget our other feathered friend: the ostrich.

Ostrich feathers were used extensively in 19th-century fashion, as the ideal silhouette called for fullness in the upper body, neck, and head.

Denver Dining of Yore: The Watrous Bar and Café

Interior view of the Watrous Café showing the trout pool (center), circa 1906. X-29454
Watrous Bar and Café menu, 1906. Menu collection, WH1509
Newspaper illustration of Kimmel trial, 1899. George F. Watrous scrapbook, -M822
Beer list from Watrous Bar and Café menu, 1906. Menu collection, WH1509

In 1909, the Watrous Bar and Café was called “the largest, finest and most completely equipped bar and café in the West” by the newspaper

Snarky Comments from Denver Theatergoers, 1881-1911

Florence E. McCune, Denver High School, 1879. Z-8022
Scrapbook, 1907-1909. Birdie B. A. McCune Papers, WH407.
Review of The Great Divide by Blanche McCune, 1908.

To say that Denver sisters Florence E. “Flora” (1860-1932) and Blanche A. “Birdie” McCune (1869-1943) liked going to the theater is an understatement.

Industrial Designer's Connection to our DPL Collection

Raymond Loewy
Company logos designed by Loewy and his design team
Image of the shroud design to be retrofitted to the 3768

I had this tribute in mind for today, but leave it to Google to beat me to the punch-