Western History & Genealogy Blog

Hidden Gems

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-


So Many Fun Stores ~

Soda Fountain at Home Public Market

Let's Go Shopping!

Going to get groceries is something almost everyone experiences, and remembers doing all their lives.

Spectacular Book Covers of the 19th Century

Ballads of a Cheechako

Eye Catching Book Covers of Yore

They say "Don't judge a book by its cover," but book makers have always known that platitudes aside, the cover of the book is often what catches people's interest and influences their decision to m

Snapshots of the Modern Past


Lloyd Rule's Photographs Peek into Idyllic Times

Another of the lesser known Colorado photographers represented in our database is Lloyd Warren Rule, a commercial photographer who after serving in the Army during World War II and Korean War, and

Lillybridge's Everyday People


Defying Adversity, Charles Lillybridge Captured the Soul of an Era

Many of the photographers in our database are reknowned as national figures, and many others are private individuals who enjoyed the new technology of photography as a hobby.

Paris, 1924: Mira C. Bostwick Travel Diaries

Dorothea "Bit" Bostwick, passport photograph. From the Immigration & Travel Collection, Ancestry Library Edition.
Mira C. Bostwick, passport application photograph. From the Immigration & Travel Collection, Ancestry Library Edition.
Entry regarding "Bit" bobbing her hair, July 19, 1924
Prudence Bostwick, passport application photograph. From the Immigration & Travel Collection, Ancestry Library Edition.

A Year Abroad During the Roaring Twenties

If you’ve seen Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, you’ll recall how a vintage taxi transported main character Gil (Owen Wilson) back to 1920s Paris each evening.