Galleries by Katie Rudolph

Dalies Frantz: Denver's Titan of the Keyboard

Long before the days of American Idol, Denver boasted its own musical virtuoso, Dalies Frantz.

Frantz was born in 1908 in Lafayette, Colorado, the son of William Henry Frantz and Amalia Lueck Frantz (a performing soprano). Dalies grew up in Denver in a home at 760 Downing Street, where he began playing piano at age seven. Studying under teacher Blanche Dingley-Mathews, Frantz was considered a prodigy by age nine. At age 14, Frantz won first place in a statewide piano contest conducted by the Charles E. Wells Music Company. He then studied at the Huntington Preparatory School in Boston, where he became captain of the swimming team, breaking several New England freestyle swim records.

In 1926, Frantz won a scholarship with the Julliard Foundation in New York City and was taken under the wing of famous concert pianist and teacher Guy Maier at the University of Michigan. After Frantz received a bachelor of music degree in 1930, he traveled to Europe to study with legendary pianists Artur Schnabel and Vladimir Horowitz. Frantz returned to the US, debuting with the New York Philharmonic in 1932 and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1934. Shortly thereafter, he was signed by Columbia Concerts Corporation and traveled nationwide giving recitals and making appearances with several major American orchestras. Frantz returned to the University of Michigan to continue his musical studies. He married Martha King of Detroit in 1934; five years later, they divorced.

Frantz's notoriety and good looks landed him a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and he starred in three pictures: Sweethearts (1938), Balalaika (1939), and I Take This Woman (1940). He was scheduled to record the soundtrack of a biopic about  Frédéric Chopin (A Song to Remember), but the film was postponed by the onset of World War II. During the War, Frantz served briefly as an intelligence officer, but was discharged early due to medical issues.

Beginning in 1943, Frantz joined the faculty at the University of Texas Department of Music. In addition to teaching, Frantz played war-bond concerts and toured. Two months after playing Carnegie Hall in December 1945, Frantz collapsed and was hospitalized for nearly a year. Poor health would continue to plague him in the years thereafter.

Frantz continued to teach and write until his death in Austin, Texas, on December 1, 1965.

Dalies Frantz's scrapbook (WH305) of correspondence, photos, recital programs, and newspaper clippings is available for research in DPL's Western History/Geneaology Department. 

I've been cataloging letters from one of my squadrons, WW 2 commanders, Col Robert P. Montgomery. He states in a letter dated 6 Jan 1941, 77th Fighter Squadron at Pendleton Air Base OR: "We got a tremendously interesting officer in my squadron the other day perhaps John knows him. His name is Dalies Frantz and he is supposedly one of the four foremost pianists in this country. He has played with the N.Y. Philharmonic and has been on concert tours all over the globe. He is absolutely marvelous on the piano. “

What was the cause of his death

According to the Abilene Reporter News (December 2, 1965), Dalies Frantz died of a heart attack.

Are there any recordings he made?

Hi Harvey,
I have not been able to track down any recordings of Dalies Frantz in Worldcat. I do wonder if the archives at the University of Texas, the University of Michigan, and/or the archives of Carnegie Hall hold any recordings.

My Grandmother Aleonora and Dalies were siblings. I find it fascinating that even after so many years have passed, he is remembered. He was always somewhat legendary in our family because of his musical success.

I just came across a copy of a recording where Dalies was the guest artist. It's Concerto #1 in E Flat Major from The "Philharmonic Symphony Broadcast". Original recording was on 1/5/41. I also have another 78 labeled Brahms Intermezzi-Dalies, possibly from 1940. This one seems to be one that was not commercially produced.

Julie Bley

Thanks for reading and sharing, Julie! Glad to hear that Dalies has such a strong place in your family memory.

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Found In The Archives: Baby Shoes for Hilda, 1898

Nearly ten years have passed since the May Company department store was sold and its name changed to Macy’s. Back in 1877, the May Company began in Leadville, Colorado. By 1889, a headquarters was built in Denver.

DPL’s Western History/Genealogy Department holds a small collection of the May-D & F records (C MSS WH222). One intriguing item from the collection is a small, white box embossed in gold lettering with the words “Baby’s Box.” Written on the box’s cover is: “To Hilda, 1898.”

Inside are two well-preserved leather baby shoes and a note card that reads:

Please accept the accompanying pair of shoes with our best wishes for a long and happy life to baby and mother. When baby grows older and needs more shoes, we shall be pleased to furnish them.

Sincerely yours,

The May, Shoe Department, 16th and Lawrence Streets

While the May Company “Baby’s Box” was a kind gesture to Hilda (whomever she was—daughter of a May employee? VIP customer?), it was also a marketing message that declared May had wares for customers of all ages. This came at a time when children’s clothing was still primarily homemade—it would be another 20 years before a children’s apparel industry would develop in the United States.

While the Western History/Genealogy Department doesn’t have an extensive shoe collection, check out our other treasures at!

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The Summer Bride, 1914

The June Bride of 1914 Was A Rebel

One hundred years ago this month, the Rocky Mountain News proclaimed that the June bride of 1914 “defies traditions in so many ways that old-fashioned persons gasp at her audacity!”

Where her defiance began? The bridal gown.

Wedding dresses had traditionally been satin or silk, with long sleeves, a high collar and train. The up-to-date bride was advised to choose a gown of sheerer, “more perishable” material, such as tulle or mousseline. The preferred silhouette had a “diaphanous” bodice and an open neck. In 1914 gowns, trains were understated or entirely absent. In regard to veils, the article sings the praises of the new, artfully-draped designs, saying:

They are infinitely more graceful and becoming than the styles of former years, which fitted the lace or tulle close about the face and hid every bit of hair. They brought into relief any imperfection of features and gave a singularly hard and set expression to all but the most piquant faces.

On flowers, traditional Lily of the Valley was no longer preferred. White orchids and natural orange blossoms were suggested for the bride’s bouquet.

The Rocky Mountain News also observed another trend. They noted that a bride’s defiance extended beyond the dress to the wedding ceremony, where “...many a bride applies the blue pencil to the wording so that the troublesome little word ‘obey’ is omitted.”

Interested in old-time wedding fashions and customs? Check out:

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This Old House: Denver’s Adolph Zang Mansion

Do you ever wonder about the past lives of old Denver mansions?

At 709 Clarkson Street sits a brick and stone Neo-Classical Revival mansion that once belonged to brewery magnate Adolph Zang (1856-1916).

Denver currently enjoys a reputation as ​a ​craft brewing hotspot, but beer has been part of its industry for many years. Adolph Zang’s father, Phillip, bought the Rocky Mountain Brewery around 1869. Adolph and his wife, Minnie, moved to Denver in 1882, when Adolph took over management of his father’s brewery. Adolph turned the Zang Brewery into one of the most successful breweries west of the Mississippi River. An English syndicate bought the business in 1889, but Adolph continued to manage it until his retirement in 1913.

The Adolph Zang Mansion was designed by architect Frederick Carl Eberley (1844-1915) and completed in 1903. Eberley was the architect of several early buildings in Denver​,​ including the Barth Hotel (17th and Blake) and much of the Tivoli Brewery complex (10th and Larimer).

Adolph Zang's​ 38-room home boasted a ladies’ sitting room with a pastel Parisian canvas ceiling, a third-floor ballroom with white birch floors, and a dining room illuminated by a gold leaf ceiling and Tiffany chandelier. Another highlight? Seven painted glass windows in the home were created by an artist named Brandt, who completed windows in New York City’s famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 

Curious about the history of more Denver homes? Perhaps even your own?

Check out DPL’s Building & Neighborhood History Collection in the Western History/Genealogy Department (5th Floor, Central Library) ​and​ online! This collection contains a wealth of resources for researching the history of Denver buildings, neighborhoods, and architectural styles. Included are early building permits, real estate and fire insurance atlases, and directories.

I was privileged to live in this home from July 1975 until the summer of 1977. I hosted tours through the house every Thursday night for approximately 2 years. I love this house. Great memories. My bedroom was on the 2nd floor above the porch. 3 of the 4 walls were windows and I had every window open during the warmer months and slept soundly with a summer breeze blowing through the room. I explored every inch of this magnificent home. What an adventure for a young boy to live here for 2 years.

Thanks for sharing your story, Mark. What a lucky boy you were! Did you have another favorite room besides the wonderful, window-filled bedroom?

In reply to by Mark Lambourne (not verified)

Do you have any stories, or have you heard of any stories about this house being haunted?

In reply to by Mark Lambourne (not verified)

Ahh you must of lived there when we had those crazy Zang family reunions. I was a little kid and remember really long dining room table with a bunch of grumpy old aunts. But my better memories are of rolling around on the lawn.

Hi, Nicole! We haven't come across any stories of hauntings at the home, but you may enjoy Phil Goodstein's The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill:

I was in Denver as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons (1970-1972). The house served as the mission home which I always thought interesting since Mormons don't drink. The house was beautiful and filled with state of the art conveniences for the era in which it was built, such as windows that were alarmed and if I remember right, a rudimentary intercom system. I remember the stained glass windows. We would link hands and shuffle our feet in the ballroom and the missionary nearest the window would touch the lead between the glass in the window and the one on the other end would get a static spark that would jump 2-3 inches. All thanks to the low humidity. Good memories.

In reply to by Steven Bailey (not verified)

Mr. Bailey: I am doing research regarding a meeting which took place at the Mission House during the 1960s. I am trying to determine if the Mission House used a sign in procedure to recorded visitors? Thanks Bob Hennessey

In reply to by Robert j. Hennessey (not verified)

I'm a great-grand daughter of Adolph Zang. I'm youngest in the family and have fewer memories of being in the home when it was owned by the family, but I remember visiting a few times when it was the mission home, and I seem to remember they had a sign-in book for visitors. I suggest you see if you can find the mission assistants to whomever was the mission president during that time. They could tell you affirmatively.

This is really cool.

This home holds special memories for me having lived there from March 1954 to March 1958. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owned the home as a Mission Home and my father, A.Lewis Elggren, was the mission president. I will always cherish the privilege of living there and the many amazing people we met and grew to love who passed through that beautiful front entrance.

I just inherited a very nice steamer trunk/wardrobe. It has a metal nameplate on it.
Philip A Zang. I’m trying to find out more about this trunk.

It belonged to my grandfather, Philip Adolph Zang, oldest son of Adolph Joseph Zang, the builder of the mansion. He never traveled outside the US, but probably used it when he was a student at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1907.

I just inherited a very nice steamer trunk/wardrobe. It has a metal nameplate on it.
Philip A Zang. I’m trying to find out more about this trunk.

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Hidden Gems at DPL: Babylonian Clay Tablets

You may already know that the Denver Public Library’s Western History/Genealogy Department houses historic items—but did you know that some of its oldest objects date from before 3000 B.C.E?

Three original Babylonian clay tablets (417 B119) in the Douglas Collection of Fine Printing are representative of some of the earliest written records known. Prior to the 3000 B.C.E., Babylonians produced documents by scratching symbols into clay. These symbols were a precursor to cuneiform writing. Clay tablets like these were often administrative notes and lists.

Also in the collection is a reproduction of a “card catalog” tablet from Nippur, Iraq, that notes the titles of 62 Sumerian literary works. Titles were usually created from the first line of each work. The books listed were current in Babylonia from 2000 to 1500 B.C.E.

Interested in viewing these items for yourself? Click here to learn more about viewing items from DPL’s “closed stacks.”

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155 Years Ago Today: The Rocky Mountain News’ First Issue

The first issue of the Rocky Mountain News was published April 23, 1859—mere days after the paper’s founder, William Newton Byers (1831-1905), arrived in Denver.

Byers wrote most of the first issue’s stories while living in Nebraska. Articles included “Farming vs. Gold Digging,” “The World Without a Sabbath” and a “Map of the Gold Region, with Routes Thereto.” Printing equipment, which Byers purchased from a defunct Nebraska newspaper, was moved by oxen to Denver.

Preserved in the Denver Public Library’s Western History/Genealogy Department is the very first copy of the Rocky Mountain News. A press time certification reads: “…the first sheet ever printed in the Pike’s Peak Country at 10pm, April 22d, 1859.”

The final issue of the Rocky Mountain News appeared on newsstands February 27, 2009. The Western History/Genealogy Department holds a final certified copy of the issue and the printing plate from its first and last pages.

Did you know that DPL’s Western History/Genealogy Department has been designated the repository of the Rocky Mountain News archives? This collection is the Department’s largest and contains over 500 boxes of photographic prints, over 1,000 boxes of newspaper clippings, and 350,000 born-digital images. Learn more about this collection.

I just watched a rerun on Death Valley Days television series. It was about the story of the origination of The Rocky Mountain News newspaper. It was titled “The Race at Cherry Creek “.

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Creative Types: Need Project Inspiration?

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? It’s a full floor dedicated to helping you discover your family history and the history of your community.

For creative types, you’ll find historic, rare, beautiful, and sometimes bizarre art, books, photographs, papers, recordings, and more. Either visiting in person or on your computer, inspiration for your next masterpiece is practically guaranteed!

Writers: Creating a story that takes place somewhere in Denver's past? Check out DPL’s historic newspapers! Although DPL subscribes to several newspaper databases, sometimes scrolling through an old-time Denver newspaper on microfilm can be much more inspiring! Why? Browsing microfilm (instead of keyword searching in a database) gives you exposure to many more stories and advertisements—providing a fuller picture of the time period. You’ll get context, and you’ll probably stumble across quite a few interesting stories in the process.

Artists: Did you know that the Western History Department has a photography and fine art collection? You’ll find paintings by such greats as Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Remington on our walls. The Library also owns sculpture and literally thousands of unframed original artworks, etchings, engravings, lithograph illustrations, sketches, and posters dating from the mid-1800s to the present. Check out our digital collections where you’ll find over 1,000 works of art and over 100,000 photographs. Hit up the catalog, too: we have a vast collection of books on Western art, artists, and photographers

Musicians: The Western History/Genealogy Department’s Sheet Music Collection contains over 660 individual scores dating from the 1890s into the 1960s—and many titles are about Colorado and Denver. These scores include cowboy ballads, movie theme songs, rags, and traditional American Indian songs (among many other genres). An index to the collection appears here.

Foodies/Chefs: Looking for recipes from Denver’s Baur’s Candy Company? How about toast recipes from the 1920s? The Western History/Genealogy Department collects cookbooks and recipe collections from Denver and the American West! In the catalog, advance search “recipes,” narrowing down the location to “Western History and Genealogy.” You’ll see a selection of over 300 titles, from 2013’s Keep Cookin’, Cowgirl to 1914’s Bohemian San Francisco: Its Restaurants and Their Most Famous Recipes; The Elegant Art of Dining.

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23 Years in the Making: Edward Curtis's The North American Indian

From 1907 to 1930, Edward Sheriff Curtis devoted his life to a project documenting the cultures of 80 North American Indian tribes living from the Great Plains to as far north as Alaska. The project yielded The North American Indian, a 20-volume photogravure-and-narrative set that the Library of Congress has called “one of the most significant and controversial representations of traditional American Indian culture ever produced.”

At the time of his death in 1952, however, Curtis no longer owned the copyright to the work he spent 23 years of his life creating.

Edward S. Curtis was born near Whitewater, Wisconsin, in 1868. When his parents moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, Curtis apprenticed with a photographer. In 1887, the family moved further west to Seattle. It was here that Curtis purchased a photography studio and captured the ships, shoreline, timber, mountains, and American Indians of the area with his camera. A chance encounter with George Bird Grinnel (then editor of Forest and Stream magazine) while Curtis was hiking with his 14x17 camera and glass plate negatives led to Curtis’s introduction by Grinnel into the Blackfeet and Piegan tribes.

The North American Indian was a project that not only consumed Curtis’s time, but also quite a bit of money. Although the publication of The North American Indian in limited editions from 1907-1930 yielded nearly a $1.5 million return, it did not cover the immense expenses Curtis had incurred to produce the project.

Curtis became friendly with President Theodore Roosevelt, who sponsored Curtis’s many gallery showings and lectures. President Roosevelt introduced Curtis to J. P. Morgan, Sr., who went on to bankroll Curtis’s work. The Denver Public Library’s Western History/Genealogy Department holds three letters that Curtis wrote to Mr. E. Francis Riggs in 1909 and 1910 (Edward Curtis Papers, M175). In a letter dated January 25, 1910, Curtis states:

I am certain you will be delighted to know that Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan is further assisting the Indian work by now furnishing $60,000.00 in addition to his former most generous subscription of $75,000.

Curtis sold the rights to The North American Indian to J. P. Morgan’s son in 1928. In 1935, the Morgan estate sold the rights and remaining unpublished material to the Charles E. Lauriat Company for $1,000 plus a percentage of royalties. Many of these materials sat untouched in a Lauriat basement until being rediscovered in 1972.

DPL’s Western History/Genealogy Department holds the Edward Curtis Papers (M175), The North American Indian (digitized images available here), and several books relating to Curtis’ work and turbulent personal life.

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Wild Woman of the West: Author Helen Rich

The Helen Rich Papers (WH348) detail the fascinating life of a woman who started out as a childhood friend of Sinclair Lewis and went on to become a newspaper reporter, traveling freelance writer, social worker, and bestselling authoress.

Helen Rich was born August 9, 1894, in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. She studied to become a teacher, but instead began reporting for a newspaper in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Soon thereafter, she was incorrectly diagnosed with tuberculosis and moved to Colorado to regain her health. While there, Rich worked as the first female reporter for the Colorado Springs Telegraph.

Rich then traveled across the country as a freelance writer until making her way to France, where she lived until her money ran out. She then spent three years writing in New York City until finally heading west by car with a friend, living out of a tent, and writing articles for business magazines.

In 1937, Rich and retired teacher and author, Belle Turnbull (1882-1970), moved to Frisco, and a few years later, Breckenridge. Here, Rich worked as a social worker handling job placements and welfare payments for the Department of Public Welfare of Summit County. In 1947, Rich’s bestselling novel The Spring Begins was published, followed by The Willow Bender in 1950.

Rich retired from her social work position in 1959 and spent the following 10 years working on an novel based upon the Silverheels legend (dancehall girl nurses miners with smallpox until she catches it, loses her looks, and disappears). The novel was never published.

Rich died in Breckenridge on November 14, 1971.

Helen Rich’s correspondence, writings, and photographs make up the Helen Rich Papers (WH348), available for research in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department. Also available are the Belle Turnbull Papers (WH414).

Thank you for cleaning up the Helen and Belle papers and posting these gorgeous summaries. I only discovered them because Monday (8/9/1894) is Helen’s birthday and I wanted dates fir Belle in my records. Thus discovered your collection. I am Helen’s great niece and used to correspond with her and visited her with my Mama Elizabeth Johnson Anderson in the last summer of Helen’s life. Thanks. Great work!

Thank you for cleaning up the Helen and Belle papers and posting these gorgeous summaries. I only discovered them because Monday (8/9/1894) is Helen’s birthday and I wanted dates fir Belle in my records. Thus discovered your collection. I am Helen’s great niece and used to correspond with her and visited her with my Mama Elizabeth Johnson Anderson in the last summer of Helen’s life. Thanks. Great work!

Thank you for cleaning up the Helen and Belle papers and posting these gorgeous summaries. I only discovered them because Monday (8/9/1894) is Helen’s birthday and I wanted dates fir Belle in my records. Thus discovered your collection. I am Helen’s great niece and used to correspond with her and visited her with my Mama Elizabeth Johnson Anderson in the last summer of Helen’s life. Thanks. Great work!

Very glad to hear you found this blog post, Kirstin! Thank you for reading and commenting!

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Dawn, Day and Eventide: The Unpublished Autobiography of Grace Ensey (1860-1935)

Grace E. Ensey’s 1935 Denver Post obituary tells of her accomplishments as director of the Junior Red Cross (Mountain Division) and as a charter member of the Denver branch of the Society of the Colonial Dames of America. It also describes a project that Grace undertook late in life:

For the last three years, Miss Ensey devoted her leisure time to writing of her experiences in Denver and Colorado without expectation of publication, finding enjoyment in portraying the men and woman who have played notable parts in building the west.

These writings culminated in a 459-page unpublished manuscript (C MSS WH754), now preserved in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department.

Grace Ensey’s autobiography describes her early life, in which she and her mother, Chloe, moved to Columbus, Ohio, to escape Grace’s abusive and alcoholic father. In fear that her husband would kidnap her daughter, Chloe hid three-year-old Grace with an aunt and disguised her as a boy named “Sammie Jones.” Chloe was granted a divorce in 1864.

Chloe and Grace moved to Denver in 1880 and rented “Colonel Platt’s attractive furnished house” located next-door to “Mr. David Moffat’s residence on the corner of Fourteenth and Curtis Streets.”

Grace’s writings provide colorful descriptions of Denver during the 1880s. Her remarkable singing voice allowed her to perform on the stage of the Tabor Opera House. In her manuscript, Grace recalls how she also sang in Augusta Tabor’s home with a group of church musicians:

She [Augusta] thanked the pianist, and said, “Now, will you kindly play my favorite, ‘Yankee Doodle,’ with variations?” We musicians, who were on the programme, could hardly control our laughter, but to our credit we behaved most becomingly.”

Grace Ensey died on November 7, 1935, at St. Luke’s Hospital—a few days after undergoing a major operation. Her autobiography is available for research in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department.

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Found in the Archives: 19th-Century Recipe Notebook

Cookies, Cakes, Sickness, and Sorrow

Several months ago, I wrote about Mira C. Bostwick’s European travels during the 1920s as told through her diaries (part of the Harriet Scott Palmer Family Papers, WH1453). Another fascinating part of that same collection is a recipe notebook kept by Mira’s mother, Harriet Almira Scott Camp.

Who was Harriet? Using Ancestry Library Edition (available for FREE on all DPL computers), I was able to find out. Harriet was born April 7, 1835, and married Leroy Newton Camp (1828-1914) in Summit County, Ohio, in 1854. In 1855, she gave birth to son Edward Scott, who died at the age of eight months. Harriet had two more children: Frank (1858-?) and Mira (1867-1932). During the Civil War, Harriet’s husband Leroy enlisted in Ohio’s Company D in May 1864, but mustered out after three months. Around 1871, the Camp family moved from their farm in Tallmadge, Ohio, to Cleveland. Harriet died February 8, 1889, at the age of 53.

Harriet’s fragile notebook is thought to have been purchased around the time of her marriage. Written inside are nearly 100 recipes. Early entries in the notebook include recipes for puddings (rice, cottage, and corn starch), currant wine, and preserved eggs that keep “sound and good for two years.”

There are several recipes for baked goods such as pies (lemon, boiled cider, Boston cream, and chicken) and cakes with names like Jackson Sponge Cake, Cheap Cake, Railroad Cake, Pork Cake, Hickory Nut Cake, and Lincoln Cake. There are cookies, too—and given the number of recipes jotted down, Harriet may have had a fondness for ginger cookies in particular. There are oddities as well, such as a recipe for a baked dish called “Mountain Dew,” which consisted of “3 soda crackers rolled fine, 1 pint milk, yolks of 2 eggs with salt.”

Harriet’s notebook documents not only her cooking, but the many ways she managed the Camp home. There are instructions for “bleaching with chloride of lime,” creating a “fluid for cleansing gloves, feathers, velvet,” and dying cottons and woolens in shades of orange, blue, drab, and scarlet. Harriet also kept recipes for concoctions meant to treat illnesses like small pox and cholera.

Paging through the many recipes and remedies, it is apparent that Harriet—like many women of her time—acted as the family cook, maid, seamstress, and nurse. Was this a hard life? The melancholy passages that Harriet chose to transcribe in her notebook seem to indicate it was:

Don’t try to be happy. Happiness is a shy nymph, and if you chase her, you will never catch her; but just go on in the way of duty and she will come to you.  (Eliphalet Knott)

Harriet Scott Camp's recipe notebook is available for research in DPL's Western History and Genealogy Department.

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Denver’s Albany Hotel (1885-1976)

A Denver Hotel Built On A Croquet Field, Demolished For An Office Building

In 1882, architect E. P. Brink described plans for a Denver hotel that would combine a traditional American hotel with “a system of palatial French flats.” On the site of a croquet field at 17th and Stout Streets, the hotel was built and opened as the Albany Hotel (named after hotelier W. H. Cox’s hometown of Albany, New York) in July 1885. Appealing to those reaping the benefits of a Colorado mining boom, the hotel was decorated in the style of the elegant 1880s with Persian velvet covering the floors and bronze peacock screens guarding the fireplaces.

The Albany Hotel would go on to host several major events, including the National Elks Convention in 1906 (in which a large bull elk was stabled in the hotel lobby) and the Democratic National Convention in 1908. Wild West Show stars Annie Oakley, Johnny Baker, and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody stayed at the establishment while playing Denver and hotel manager Frank Dutton soon befriended Cody. Personal mementos Cody gifted to Dutton were put on display in the hotel’s Buffalo Bill Bar.

In 1938, the New Albany Hotel reopened after a major design overhaul orchestrated by architect Burnham Hoyt and closed for good on August 27, 1976. Demolition of the hotel building began on November 17, 1976, to make way for Urban Center I, a 29-story office building with adjoining plaza.

Learn more about the Albany Hotel’s story by visiting DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department online or in person. Explore the books, photographs, newspaper articles, and menus that bring this hotel back to life!

I have a safe that belonged to Chester J Roseberry. Owner/ Operator A.J. Clark's drugstore and fountain in the Albany Hotel. 17th & Stout

Chester’s wife Frances had a 1963 Thunderbird that still exists in excellent condition in Texas. Check Find a Grave for pictures.

In reply to by C. Britton (not verified)

I am a descendant of Arthur Clarke -- it's A.G. Clarke's Drugstore.

I would to eat breakfast there every morning on my way to school in Globeville. I can remember the elevators so well. So many memories

In reply to by Kevin Porreco (not verified)

Wow! What a way to start the day, Kevin! Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

In reply to by Kevin Porreco (not verified)

Did you ever have the French toast Kevin?

In reply to by Kevin Porreco (not verified)

Yes! The food was delicious. My sister and I would have to split the cheeseburgers because they were so big!

Why would they allow this beautiful historical building be destroyed? What a waste.

Have an ORIGINAL menu with prices and a picture of W.F."Buffalo Bill" Cody on it....

Looking for any information on family member who was a hote manager at the Albany 1918-?, Cancel (C.B.) Donoho. Family has no record of him after 1918.

My g.grandparents stayed here in 1889 with their little daughter but only lasted one night due to an infestation of bed-bugs in their room (which cost $10/night - $4 each adult & $2 child). Mgt. did not believe them about the bugs until presented with the corpses. My g.grandmother, a Philadelphia girl, termed the decor "decidedly seedy. There is an attempt made at great style & things are supposed to be handsome but have been very much abused..."

I believe my uncle was the owner-manager of the Albany Hotel during the 1940s 50s and 60s his name was John McDonough. I wish I had more information comments welcome!

In reply to by Catherine G. Brown (not verified)

I lived there in 1975 with my mom and step dad I think he manage it or ha something to do with it trying to out his birthday date so I find him

You must be a relative of Don McDonough
I worked with him in the 70s in the finance business on 17th St.
I believe his Father was manager of the Albany...
What ever happened to Don, I don't know?

My father was the Bell Captain of the Albany from 1959 to 1965, when he took his life in the basement of the hotel. He was there in 1963 during a fire that took several lives. I remember him coming home covered in soot and telling my mom that he was glad more didn't perish due to the panic of the guests and employees.
It had a great drugstore like the old movies with a soda fountain that Hollywood movies depict from time to time.
My mother also worked there from time to time helping to set up and break down exclusive trade shows. It was always a great treat to visit Dad at work!

In reply to by Rosemarie Ward (not verified)

Stories like yours give life and meaning to Denver places that we've lost over the years Thank you for sharing, Rosemarie.

I have a utility bag from the Albany Hotel in 1957 with my parents! John T. McDonough was the manager.

If there are some interior shots it would be neat to see the links to those here.

My father bought AG Clark Drug in the late 50's after running 7drug chain stores for decades. I worked there all through high school. The catacombs under the hotel were great to explore, The hotel had it's own spring water pumped up to the roof to supply the building.

I have a Key Faub in brass found in an old suitcase.

My grandfather, an Irish immigrant worked as a chef at the Orpheume Restaurant and Albany Hotel in 1907.

In reply to by Nancy (not verified)

My grandfather’s name is John (Jack) Walsh.

In 1887 there was a Mrs Broderick staying here or perhaps working here. Any one have any info on that or where I might find it?

In reply to by E Ruth Smith (not verified)

Hi E. Ruth,
A Mrs. R.E. Broderick was the proprietor of the Albany Hotel and Restaurant in Victor, Colorado, for several years. Is that perhaps the Mrs. Broderick you are thinking of? For further assistance, please submit a reference request through the link below and we'll be happy to help you find more information:

My grandfather and grandmother had an apartment at 1129 17th Street in Denver. It was a couple of blocks from the Albany hotel where my grandfather worked. I used to visit them in the summer from New Mexico.

I ate at the Albany Hotel restaurant many times in the fifties. The food was great and very inexpensive, about $1.00 for a multi course lunch in the coffee shop. It was in the back of the lobby.
I remember a lot of red furniture in the lobby with stairs going up to the mezzanine. Another very good restaurant was just down the street, Bennetts with an organ player in the window.

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

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.

Soil from the March 26, 1929, groundbreaking ceremonies for Denver’s City and County Building (completed in 1932) can be found in collection M1768. At the event, dirt was collected in a Hendrie & Bolthoff Manufacturing and Supply Co. envelope (now protected by an archival Mylar sleeve) and labeled as such:

The first dirt dug from City Municipal Building cite [sic] City & Co. of Denver by Mayor Stapleton, first steam shovel nosed in at 1:43 pm 3/26/29

On March 27, 1929, the Rocky Mountain News reported on the event, in which “Mayor Stapleton, all smiles, turned the first shovelful of dirt with a gilded spade” before a crowd of 1,000.

Photographs of the groundbreaking as well as the building’s entire construction process are available in the Denver Municipal Building Album, 1929 (C Photo Album 190), which has been digitized.

With newspaper accounts, photographs, and a bit of soil, one could say the construction of a beloved Denver building truly has been documented from the ground up.

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Denver, 1968: Led Zeppelin Makes American Debut

Think Denver doesn’t have much rock n’ roll history?

Nearly forty-five years ago, on December 26, 1968, legendary British rock band Led Zeppelin opened for Vanilla Fudge at Denver’s Auditorium Arena.

Believe it or not, Denver was Led Zeppelin’s first stop on their first North American tour.

As the late Denver concert promoter Barry Fey (1938-2013) recalled in his 2011 autobiography, he nearly passed on Led Zeppelin. When Ron Terry (agent for Vanilla Fudge) approached Fey about adding Led Zeppelin as an opener to the already sold-out Vanilla Fudge show, Fey refused. It wasn’t until Vanilla Fudge offered $750 of their own money to pay for half of Led Zeppelin’s performance fee that Fey reconsidered.

Rocky Mountain News music critic Thomas MacCluskey reviewed the December 26 show and recounted the way Led Zeppelin played their set with a series of emphatic adverbs: “powerfully, gutsily, unifiedly, inventively, and swingingly.”

MacCluskey went on to describe the performance of each band member. While he was impressed by guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones, MacCluskey had fewer kind words for singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham:

  • Robert Plant: “a cut above average in style, but no special appeal in sound”
  • Jimmy Page: “exceptionally fine…used a violin bow on the guitar strings in a couple of tunes…”
  • John Paul Jones: “solid, involved, contributing”
  • John Bonham: “a very effective group drummer, but uninventive, unsubtle, and unclimactic in an uneventful solo"

​Led Zeppelin returned to Denver less than two years later on March 25, 1970, and played to a crowd of 11,500 at the Coliseum. MacCluskey’s review of the band’s performance was more positive this time around, with the critic noting a marked improvement of Plant’s vocals and Bonham’s drumming.

Looking for more Denver rock n’ roll history? A great place to start is the Western History Subject Index—a large, digitized index of newspaper articles relating to the history of Denver, Colorado, and the American West. While this index provides newspaper article citations (meaning you won't be taken directly to the article of your choosing), full-text articles are available in several DPL newspaper databases or on microfilm in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department.

My girlfriend and I were there in 1970. Zep played for three hours. Of all the concerts I attended in the 60s and 70s, it was the grooviest!

In reply to by Marc Morgan (not verified)

Very groovy! Thanks for posting, Marc!

In reply to by Marc Morgan (not verified)

I was 13 years old and the 70 concert was my first. I sat in section ZZ and still have my half ticket. It was an incredible evening!

What an awesome memento, John! Thanks for sharing!

I sat near the front and my ears rang for a whole day after that gig. It was epic but it was loud!!

Epic indeed! Thanks for sharing, Dave!

I was at the 1968 concert and I remember the third band that performed then- Spirit, with front man Randy California. They played a great set, including their hit "Fresh Garbage". Also, the drummers from each band played extended solos, perhaps in response to Ginger Baker of rock group Cream who displayed incredible drumming some months before at this same venue.

I was also there, and it was amazing - and so unexpected since we were there to see Vanilla Fudge and Spirit.

Ditto Stephen! Holiday break 1968. The old auditorium. Wintry night. Came for Spirit. Stunned by LZ!

I remember as if it was yesterday....which is amazing in itself!!

In reply to by Gigi Raffanti … (not verified)

Must have been a pretty amazing night, indeed!

Dear All, anyone of you saw the following rock gigs played in Denver during the Seventies ?
BLACK SABBATH 27 February 1971 (with MOUNTAIN) and 18 October 1971.
TRAFFIC, JOHN MARTYN and FREE 29 January 1973.
DEEP PURPLE 3 & 4 April 1974.
TRAFFIC and GENTLE GIANT 8 October 1974.
GENTLE GIANT 3 & 4 February 1975 Ebbett's Field.
RAINBOW and PAT TRAVERS 30 March 1981.

Any memories to share ? Who knows if vintage press is available for those gigs !
Thanks for your kindly attention !

All The Best,

Poor guys did sing in our elevation. Been at concerts where singer asked the audience “how the heck do you breathe here?!”

We were blown away, when they were introduced everyone said “Who are they?

I was working security for Barry Fey, I was there when Barry Fey said yes to Led Zeppelin. Vanilla Fudge paid Led Zeppelin. Got to meet the band and party with them.

In reply to by Gregor Gable (not verified)

Did you know of any LED ZEPPELIN gig planned in August / September 1975 in Denver (exact gig date still a mistery for all LED ZEPPELIN gig collectors) ? Seems so according to Swan Song press release dated 8 August 1975 anyway this gig was cancelled with all LED ZEPPELIN gigs planned for Summer 1975 when Robert Plant was hurt in a car accident in Rhodes Island 4 August 1975. Thanks for your memories !

In reply to by Alessandro (not verified)

Thanks for reading and sharing this information about the lost Zeppelin shows!

Stones, Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, those were the days. Saw Black Sabbath, and Humble Pie at a roller rink with cardboard admission 🎟️ No seats just pushing back and forth

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Catalog Speak: What Do You Mean By “Closed Stacks?”

Hooray! You’ve found the book you need in the Denver Public Library catalog!

Reading the catalog record, you see that the book is located in the Western History and Genealogy Department (on the 5th floor of the Central Library). But wait— the book’s shelf location is noted as “closed stacks.” What does that mean?

“Closed stacks” are secure, employee-only storage areas. Items located in closed stacks can be “paged” (brought out by employees) when requested.

In the case of closed stack items in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department (also known as “WHG”), these materials can be requested at the information desk on the 5th Floor of the Central Library.

Once the items are requested and paged, you’re ready to check out, right?

Well, actually, no. Closed stack items cannot be checked out. These items are meant to be used in the Western History and Genealogy Department’s Mullen Manuscript Room. Before entering this special room, a friendly staff person will provide you with a free locker to secure your belongings, including any backpacks, purses, coats, bags, laptop cases, books, notebooks, pens, drinks, and food, as these items are prohibited in the room for the protection of historical materials.

Whoa, you say. Why all the rules?

Items in WHG’s closed stacks are often rare, one-of-a-kind, or fragile. It is the WHG’s mission to make sure historical materials are available for generations to come, so items are stored and handled with extra care.

As mentioned before, these items (and all items in the Western History and Genealogy Department, for that matter) are not available for check out. While it may be a bummer that you can’t take these materials home, this policy also ensures that these items are always ready and available for you when you visit WHG!

Thank you so much. I found this article very helpful.

Thank you so much! I found this article very helpful.

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Colorado Ostrich Farm Co. Records, 1907

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. Feathers were used to enlarge hats and bonnets and to create softness around the female face. Most ostrich feathers came from Africa and were exported to Europe and North America where they were sold at high prices and used primarily in millinery.

In 1907, New Yorkers Clarence O. Nichols, Richard O. Pennell, and Herbert J. Lyall created the Colorado Ostrich Farm Co. “for the purpose of carrying on the business of buying, breeding, raising, dealing in and selling ostriches and poultry of all sorts, and their eggs and feathers.”

They located the farm “partly in Denver and partly in Jefferson counties to the north of Edgewater.” The three men, who also owned ostrich farms in California and Mexico, claimed that there was a real need for an ostrich farm in Colorado. At the time, there were reported to be only 1,700 ostriches living in the United States (on farms in Arizona, California, Florida, and Arkansas) and a recent tariff hike on ostriches imported from Africa. Additionally, the men claimed that a farm in Denver would be ideally located, as it was only “only three days by mail from the hordes or [sic] millions of people in the Eastern States.”

Want to learn more? The Colorado Ostrich Farm Co. records (WH536) are available for research in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy department.

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Denver Dining of Yore: The Watrous Bar and Café

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 The Denver Republican.

Established in 1887 by Mart H. Watrous (1859-1918), the bar and café was located at 1525-1527 Curtis Street—today, the site of a parking lot. The place had a reputation for wines and liquors “of known purity and of highest grade” (unlike the cigarette-and-gun-powder whisky Kellen recently blogged about), and its 1906 menu featured 11 types of whisky and six varieties of beer. The Watrous’ large menu boasted fine foods such as oysters, lobsters, and chops, as well as mallard duck cooked to order, limburger cheese sandwiches, and imported frankfurters.

Of its polished hardwoods and mirrored walls, the Republican remarked, “Everything is suggestive of costly luxury.”  This luxury was meant to cater to customers of means—and more specifically, male customers. The establishment was described in 1909 as being “exclusively for gentleman.”

The Watrous Bar and Café, however, was home to some rather ungentlemanly behavior. On February 11, 1899, roadhouse owner Joseph “Rowdy Jo” Lowe was shot and killed at the Watrous Bar and Café.

Of the incident, it has been said that on the evening of February 11, Lowe drove into the city from his roadhouse and left his horses hitched without blankets in single-digit temperatures. The animals were taken to a stable by policemen while Lowe was reprimanded. Lowe made his way to the Watrous Bar and began loudly criticizing the police department, inciting an argument with Emmanuel A. Kimmel, a former police officer. George Watrous, a bartender at the time, later testified that he saw Kimmel draw a pistol and shoot Lowe several times in the kitchen of the restaurant. Lowe died an hour later. Despite Watrous’ testimony, Kimmel was acquitted. George Watrous’ scrapbook documenting the case and other high-profile Denver crimes is available for research in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department (C MSS –M822).

There were, of course, many pleasant things that occurred at the Watrous Bar and Café, too. Mart Watrous established a yearly custom that illustrated the appreciation he had for his employees:

On every New Year's day, the employees conduct the business of the house and are allowed to retain the entire gross receipts of the day, divided in proportion to their salaries and length of service within the year. Last New Year's day [1908] the receipts amounted to $912.25 [which would be the equivalent of around $23,000 in today’s money].

After the death of Mart Watrous in 1918, George Watrous became the president of the incorporated eatery. When George died in 1926, the Watrous Bar and Café ceased operations.

Photographs and a menu from the Watrous Bar and Café (Menu Collection, C MSS WH1509) are available for research at DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department.

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A Party in the Streets: Denver, Armistice Day, 1918

Ninety-five years ago, on November 11, 1918, Denver celebrated the signing of an agreement between Allied forces and Germany that ended World War I.

A very vivid description of the first Armistice Day celebration appears in the November 1918 issue of Municipal Facts, a monthly newsletter once published by the City and County of Denver (1909-1931) that reported on the previous month’s happenings (see the index to this digitized publication here).

The photographs and words used to describe November 11, 1918, certainly depict a joyous Denver—thankful that the war was over and simply happy to be out and about. A killer influenza pandemic had gripped the nation and Denver had placed restrictions on public gatherings to curb the spread of the illness.

The Municipal Facts article “The Day of World's Liberty as Observed in Denver” describes how the party broke out early on November 11, 1918:

The news reached Denver in the dead of night after the city had gone to sleep. Suddenly a great clamor broke forth; whistles blew, bells rang, and the harsh calls of newsboys brought citizens to bolt upright in bed with one word upon all lips—Peace! People poured from hotels and rooming houses downtown; automobiles, piled high with their shouting human freight, came honking from the residence districts into the business section, and a celebration had started that lasted with little intermission for forty-eight hours. Awakened by the tumult in the early morning hours, Mayor Mills proclaimed a public holiday and dav of thanksgiving.

At the time of the Municipal Facts article, there was already talk of designating November 11 as a federal holiday (it eventually became one—Armistice Day—in 1938). Suggestions for naming the day were plentiful: Liberty Day, Wilson Day, Victory Day. As the article notes, “Another proposal is that Thanksgiving Day, instead of being celebrated on the last Thursday in November, should be fixed permanently on November 11.” 

The first celebration of Armistice Day was “wonderful in that it was entirely impromptu.” By morning, many stores and businesses had dismissed their employees for the day. Crowds in the streets grew so large that they halted trolley traffic in the business district. Then, there was a spontaneous parade:

Touring cars, motor trucks, crowded with the cheering employees of the city's industrial houses; wagons, motorcycles, bicycles, everything on wheels paraded up and down Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteenth streets. Speed rules were broken with impunity as motorists stepped on their accelerators to create a greater din with the strings of empty oil cans and tin buckets tied to the rear axles. Hour by hour the throng of pedestrians swelled, marching in the center of the streets and on either sidewalk, while automobiles whizzed wildly between the milling thousands. Yet with all this commotion and excitement and confusion only nine accidents were recorded on the police surgeon's book.

The crowds were composed of all types of Denverites:

…laborers in their overalls, bakery girls and dairy girls in white caps and aprons, stock-yards employees on horseback in cowboy regalia, shop girls, clerks, soldiers, who will never get to France; businessmen, occasionally one wearing a high silk hat to add to the merriment of the occasion; ragged urchins and little girls in costume, pretty girls wearing saucy paper hats and thrusting powdered pom-poms into everyone's face, fantastic figures in carnival attire, sober-clad Red Cross nurses, all united to give that touch of hilarity so typical of the celebration everywhere. As the crowd surged along it scattered into the air gay little clouds of confetti and colored streamers. It stamped and whistled, it tooted paper horns, it sang and it cheered.

Modes of celebration included casting ridicule on German Kaiser Wilhelm II:

[The crowd] laughed and vented its immeasurable scorn upon rag effigies, crowned with saucepan helmets, of that poor, deluded creature that dreamed he could crush liberty in the world…It was one of the favorite modes of diversion to treat with considerable nonsense these effigies of one, William Hohenzollern. He was burned at Sixteenth and Curtis streets, hung to the trolley poles, dragged at the tail-boards of motor chariots, kicked and buffeted, plastered with signs of derision, treated with a vast contempt.

In Denver, the party continued until after midnight on the morning of November 12, and Municipal Facts declared the day would “…go down in history as the first international day of rejoicing.”

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Snarky Comments from Denver Theatergoers, 1881-1911

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.

The sisters were such big theatergoers, they kept record books of the hundreds of productions they saw from 1881 to 1911. Over the course of 20 years, the women reviewed numerous shows, commenting on everything from music (On the opera Martha, 1908: “The ‘quartet’ alone was worth the price of admission” – Birdie) to costumes (On Woodland, 1905: “Mighty pretty, but Bird objected to the tights.” – Flora) to performances (On Edward Emery’s performance in Miss Hobbs, 1908: “Mr. Emery was disgusting.” – Birdie).

In their scrapbooks, Flora and Birdie made sure to record where and when they saw each production, with whom they attended it, and if there were any lead actors and actresses of note. Over the years, the sisters were entertained by stage legends such as Lillian Russell, Sarah Bernhardt, Peter Dailey, Helena Modjeska, Robert Edeson, and Henrietta Crosman.

How did these sisters afford to frequent the theater so often? Older sister Flora was a bookkeeper for Wolfe Londoner and later, a clerk in the County Treasurer’s office. Blanche was a clerk for the Denver and Rio Grande Railway. With both sisters working in the field of recordkeeping, it is perhaps no surprise they kept such meticulous logs of their theatergoing.

This collection of scrapbooks (Birdie B. A. McCune Scrapbooks, WH407)—available for research in the Western History and Genealogy Department— stands as an excellent record of Denver’s theatrical past and a reminder that amateur critics were alive and well long before the advent of IMDb and Yelp.

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The History Of The Denver House That Inspired A Horror Film

A Ghost Story Gets Fact-Checked

Last week, I wrote about Russell Hunter’s paranormal experiences while renting a Denver home near Cheesman Park in the late 1960s. These experiences became the basis for a 1980 Hollywood horror film called The Changeling.

This week, it’s time to fact-check this ghost story! Using genealogy and house history tools available on DPL computers and in the Western History and Genealogy Department, we were able to track down a few surprising tidbits.

1. Did Russell Hunter, writer of The Changeling, really live in the “haunted” house at 1739 East 13th Avenue for two years in the late 1960s?

We’ll have to take Hunter’s word that he actually rented the home.

Denver city directories and telephone books cannot confirm that Hunter lived in Denver at 1739 East 13th Avenue in the late 1960s. Hunter said in interviews that he moved to Colorado from New York City in the 1960s to help his parents manage the Three Birches Lodge in Boulder. According to Boulder city directories, Pearl E. and Russell H. Ellis managed the Three Birches Lodge in the 1960s. Despite their “Ellis” surname, these were in fact Russell Hunter’s parents. “Russell Hunter” was born “Russell Ellis” and presumably made a name change for his career in show business. This name change is substantiated in the 1930 U.S. Census and the Social Security Death Index (both available in Ancestry Library Edition - available for FREE on DPL computers!).

2. In the attic of the 13th Avenue home, Russell Hunter claimed to have discovered a trunk containing “a nine-year-old’s schoolbooks and journal from a century ago.” The journal detailed the life of a disabled boy who was kept in isolation on the third floor of the house by his parents. Later, Hunter said a séance revealed the spirit of a deceased boy lurking in the home. Did any children live in the house at 1739 East 13th Avenue at the turn of the 20th century?

At the turn of the century, a childless couple lived in the home at 1739 E. 13th Avenue.

The couple, Henry Treat Rogers, a prominent lawyer (1837-1922), and his wife Kate Rogers (1865-1931) filed a permit with the City of Denver in July 1892 to build a “brick dwelling” in the Wymans Addition of Denver. Architect Henry Ten Eyck Wendell designed the home.

Though the couple did not have children, they did have a niece and nephew who spent time living in their home.

The niece, Frances Clarke Ristine (1881-1934), came from Illinois to live with the Rogers when she was 10 years old and stayed until her marriage to George Ristine. After living in Chicago for several years, Frances and her husband returned to Denver after the death of her uncle, Henry Treat Rogers, in 1922, and lived in the 13th Avenue house with Kate (who formally adopted Frances as her daughter around 1927). Frances became the longtime secretary for Denver Orphans Home and the president of the Globeville Day Nursery while living in Denver. She inherited 1739 E. 13th Avenue and a small fortune after the death of Kate Rogers in 1931. Frances Clarke Ristine died in 1934.

The nephew, Henry Treat Rogers II (1892-1918), graduated from Yale in 1914 and came to work in his uncle’s law firm, Rogers, Ellis & Johnson, around 1916. This younger Henry Treat Rogers also lived in his uncle’s house on 13th Avenue, however, he enlisted in World War I in 1917 and never returned to the house. He died in 1918 at the age of 25.

There were conflicting reports about Henry Treat Rogers II’s death. While one obituary claimed that he died from physical exhaustion on August 18, 1918, in Cincinnati, another claimed he died in France “from the effects of nervous strain from the close application of his duties.” A memorial fund at Yale was established in his name by his uncle, Henry T. Rogers.

Despite what we've learned about the Rogers family, many other mysteries of the house at 1739 East 13th Avenue remain—and the answers may well dwell within the resources available at Denver Public Library!

This was a great read, and certainly sheds light on a story I have been fascinated with since childhood. The more facts I come across like this, the more Russell Hunter's account 'doesn't add up', specifically, the time frames don't line up with the claims. If Russell found a 'century old journal' in the 1960's, then that would mean obviously the journal would have been written in the 1860's...30+ years BEFORE the Henry T. Rogers house was built. Of course using the term "century old" may have simply been an exaggeration at the time of his quote. But if the journal was written after the house switched residents after the death of Frances Clarke Ristine in 1934, then that was only 30 years before Russell would have taken up residency (allegedly)...making the age of journal claim even more bogus.

Reading all the facts around the claim and studying the story for years, I have came to the following conclusion. It's very possible Russell Hunter did find a journal of some sort in that house (if it's true he did live there). But it was most likely the journal of Russell Hunter II, written during the early 1900's, and probably talked about 'good times and good memories in that house' versus the dark fictional version Russell portrayed. I think finding that journal in a big dark mansion strummed up lots of great ghost story ideas for Russell, who then fictionalized the rest of the story based on that one concept. And since Hunter was a professional script writer at the time, the brilliant premise of the Changeling would have been easy to architect for someone with his background.

I'd love to hear anyone else's thoughts about this, as I am sure there are other great 'Changeling' fans out there too!

Chris M

What if he was forced to hide some of the truth behind this story by obfuscating and muddling up the facts?

In reply to by Chris M. (not verified)

CORRECTION: I meant to say 'journal of Henry Treat Rogers II', not 'Russell Hunter II' in my original post.Sorry for the confusion. I love reading everyone's comments, this is great stuff. Keep em coming!

When I was 9 or 10, I used to bag Mr.Hunter’s leaves. He lived down the street from my family, with his black dog “Loki”. His house was filled with antiques and a large piano, which he played well. I witnessed a few interesting situations at his home. The story he told me, was of a little boy who was killed by a coal cart, in front of the mansion. The boy’s name was “Eric”. That was the spirit that haunted the mansion and supposedly followed Mr. Hunter to his new residence, near me. Great individual. I moved in 88. Never saw him again. I believe he passed in 94?

In reply to by Chris M. (not verified)

During some of the marvelous cast meetings, rehearsals, and parties at Russell's home during production of this musical, Russell readily admitted that some of the story of the Changeling was embellished, but the tale is a WONDERFUL one, and I remember snippets of others he gifted us with as well. He was a wonderful playwright and director, and I loved being part of that show at Loretta Heights.

Thank you for sharing, DB! We'd love to hear more about the memories you have of Russell Hunter.

In reply to by DB, actor in "… (not verified)

Fascinating. I've been trying to find information about his theatrical work (especially 'Little Boy Blue,' his Changeling inspired musical but have found nothing anywhere. Would you be willing to answer a few questions? :)

In reply to by Chris M. (not verified)

It's pretty interesting that many of the facts and fiction do line up. We've had strange and weird incidents but we're living on old Indian burial groundd and living area. Progress. If the Chessman Park area was built on a cemetery area, but it wasn't greed and avarice like moving headstones but not the bodies (Poltergeist ---S. Spielberg ), not all burial grounds are known, it's a believeable story and ever more frightening to know it really happened. I love the film. One of the classiest and scariest spook films ever made w/o the hokiness. Still scares me on my 250th viewing in complete darkness. Dad and I are gluttons for punishment. Love it and the sound/music.

Watching this film in complete darkness sounds very scary! We'll have to try it. Thanks for commenting!

In reply to by Katie Rudolph

I agree!! This has been one of my all time favorite horror films. And one of the best soundtrack/scores EVER. However, unfortunately watching this film in complete darkness doesnt scare me anymore (nothing much does) but I must admit it can give me the heeby jeebies. I was 7 or 8 years old, the first time I watched the film and I'm almost 40 now, I've been a spooky house kinda fan ever since and George C Scott was always my favorite actor. It's made without gore, stupid ghost faces, and the acting is superb!! Even if the inspiration for this horror classic was indeed fictionalized it still inspired a great movie, such as amityville. But, this somewhat unknown horror movie completely out ranks the amityville. Two thumbs way up for me on the movie and two thumbs way up for the score. I loved the music so much I listen to it a lot on YouTube. Bravo

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Summer! The score is definitely an integral part of the film.

In reply to by Summer Evans (not verified)

Dad and I would watch for great spook fulms.....and he introduced me to this. It was always the same. "I'll make the popcorn (w/tons of real butter of course ) and you make the iced tea!!!!" We have always done this---- "Psycho," "Dr. Sardonicus," "Screaming Skull," and a whole host of other really good thriller, suspence, my try and all of the above. Anyone remember that scene in Poltergeist where the guy "gets something to eat?" His movie "Duel" car v 18 wheeler was soooo like the Chessmaster House on the run; wheels and all.

In reply to by Bones Kelley-McCoy (not verified)

Thanks for sharing memories of your film nights with us, Bones!

In reply to by Summer Evans (not verified)

The EVP scene gets me every time and the wheelchair at the top of the stairs.

In reply to by Bones Kelley-McCoy (not verified)

Agree with everything you wrote above, "Bones" - thank you for admitting how many times you've watched this movie - you may have me beat!! Whenever my sister visits from Australia it's a must watch - and I the music is phenomenal. I bought the CD which is rare - was pretty hard to find. We love George C. Scott and the entire cast. I even visited Cheesman Park when in Denver 2 years ago - spent a half a day there plotting out where the house stood and everything! The story is undoubtedly embellished, but that park is truly haunted.

In reply to by Bones Kelley-McCoy (not verified)

Correctly known as, "Cheesman Park" and pronounced like "cheese," it was great fun to look up the address of where the house used to be when I visited Denver, CO, in summer of 2016. I spent a few hours hanging out and reading a book while lying on a blanket on the great lawn of the huge park. Knowing that there are still about 2,000 bodies still buried under the place which used to be a cemetery is pretty spooky indeed. And the story about the con artist to whom they gave the job to move the approximate 5000 bodies is nothing short of horrifying. "The Changeling" will always be my favorite scary haunted house film.

In reply to by Chris M. (not verified)

It's been awhile since you wrote your comment, but I hope you'll see this. I should start by saying that I had a bit of difficulty in trying to figure out Mr. Hunter's timeline of events, as well. I think you're probably correct in assuming Mr. Hunter penned what became a very good haunted house film. The 'long forgotten journal', the 'spooky old house' (which in the 1960's, I'm sure it was so considered) are just perfect for a ghost story. It's long been one of my favorite movies, and I never would have imagined a ball rolling down a flight of stairs could frighten me so. :) It is beautifully shot, well-scored, and the sets are fantastic. And, of course, it has George C. Scott in the lead - one of our finest actors. It's also a movie that depends more on atmosphere and character than it does jump scares or blood-letting. The tragedies of both the past and the present make the haunting and the haunted so believable.

In reply to by Chris M. (not verified)

I loved the movie Changeling so much but always wrongly assumed this was a clever screen play. I'm pleased to know I will next be going to ebay to find a copy to read. Books add so much more detail. I suspect some portion of the story is true. Perhaps the surroundings inspired the author. I've owned several large Victorian mansions and actually had an encounter while refinishing book cabinets in the library, of one. It was the owner that stood staring at me in white shirt, narrow, short, black, 1950 tie, black suit. I'd been to the Kansas City Museum a few days prior to the encounter and found a book listing the homes of my neighborhood. A photo of 320 Benton Blvd from 1890 and Mr Fredrich Heim, owner. It was the same man in the same clothes in my library. Scared the crap out me! I felt I'd been in a deep freeze and was covered in goose bumps. I immediately left the house. I went to my other home in the neighborhood and went back the following day. I never saw Mr Heim again or had anything unusual go in that house. I think was just making sure I was taking care of his house.

Thanks for your comments, Chris. Looking forward to hearing from more 'Changeling' fans--especially as Halloween approaches!

I had originally read this story when it was published as an article on the old ' Denver Magazine' back in the late 70's ( the old Denver Magazine not to be confused with a more recent version with the same name). The account that I read in this article said that the house was on the east side of the park- over nearest to what was a cemetery ( Now the Denver Botanic Gardens ). Anyhow, the premise of the story was pretty much the same, only this account had the 'changeling' being sent away to Europe right before WW I , presumably to convalesce.
The war intervened and he returned home after the conflict and assumed his place in the family. Upon the fathers seat, he inherited the family fortune and went on to become a state senator. Believe it or not, the magazine went as far to disclose the family names as " Phipps" ( yes THOSE Denver Phipps ! ). According to the article, when Hunter published the book, the family took all worst of action to stifle and squelch the book and story. Hunter had claimed that a 'hit' was even put out on him. The article follows more the story of the movie. I have made attempts at researching were the Phipps family had lived at the time ( there was one large mansion on Colfax Ave., and another account of a house at Cheesman Park- but nothing more specific). I have not been able to locate any copies of the article and there seem to be no more copies available of the book itself ( out of print, and non over the internet ). Hunter had claimed that the family made every attempt to see to it that all accounts of this version of the story 'disappear'. If this account is true- then they were successful.

Thanks for reading, Dave! I have not been able to track down any copies of Russell Hunter's book or the script to his musical "Little Boy Blue." But there is some good news! The article you mentioned from Denver Magazine is available here in DPL's Western History and Genealogy Department: "The Changeling: Denver's $8 Million Ghost" by Russell Hunter, Denver Magazine, v. 10, April 1980, p. 48.
Stop on by and see us!

Katie, I would like to get in contact with you. My boss was a friend of Russell Hunter, and invested in some of his work. Long story short, my boss passed away a few years ago, and he left a box of original manuscripts that he got from Mr. Hunter. I now have them and don't know what to do with them. Little Boy Blue is not among them, but The Changeling is. There are several. Anyway, I would like to hear back from you about these. Thanks.

In reply to by CAT in Denver (not verified)

Hello !
Do you still have those manuscripts by Russell Hunter ?

i have written several books on local (denver/boulder) ghost stories, most notably the croke-patterson mansion... i would love to hear more about these manuscripts. the changeling is near and dear to my heart—grew up watching it in boulder, and now i love in seattle (with a degree from UW).

I have copies of some books Russ wrote. He was my husband’s cousin and we spent many hours together. They are some of my most prized possessions.
I would be interested to know who the man in the picture is as it is not Russell Ellis Hunter.

In reply to by Dave Barnes (not verified)

I read the same article. I remember Russell said the last night in that house was horrifying. I thought I read it in "Parade" part of the Rocky Mountain News. I wish we could find the article.

Well, isn't this fascinating! I happened upon this article by sheer chance, and glad I did! Like others who have commented, I too fell in love with this movie when I first saw it via VHS in 1990. It scared the daylights out of me and to this day, I consider it one of the best ghost movies and story that has ever been made. It is truly a masterpiece. In fact, like others on this comment board, I too was so captivated by the story that I also have done research on Treat, Hunter, the home, Chessman Park, etc. albeit on a limited resource basis. I do not know if Hunter's personal experience is true or not, but I will say that I find it VERY interesting that there seems to be little documentation on the home, and those who have lived there, other than what it mentioned in this article. Also, Hunter's book seems to be impossible to find. So, this too is fascinating to me. Little seems to exist in fact about Treat and his wife as well in terms of financial interests, professional documents, etc. I did find a speech that Henry gave to a Yale Alumni dinner once, but that's about it.

In any case, like any good writer would likely do, embellishment and keeping the story alive is part of their job. Shoot, here we are 40+ years later talking about it! And loving it! Ha! I'd say that Russell Hunter certainly achieved his goal in this sense. As to his personal experiences with the story, well, I have legitimate paranormal experience myself and I have to say that his experiences are very similar to mine, so I personally believe most of his story - whether they were obtained at the Treat home or not. I believe he did experience these things at some point as they are too real, and too similar, to my own for me to cast doubt on them.

To Russell Hunter - Thank you for such a great story! Your story lives on!

Thanks so much for commenting, John! You bring up a great point. Russell Hunter did indeed succeed at producing a compelling story that gets us talking even today. Cheers to Mr. Hunter!

I agree an believe that they are real enough to be true I also fill the same of haunting s an have had similar things happen I also remember a story of a Dr Bradley an I believe the physic he refers to is Lorraine Warren I got this information from the DPL artificial from Denver Magazine 1980 at DPL please tell me of anything else that might be remembered I have lived in Colorado most of my life an the 70s were times that people were talking about ghost experiences i was in my teens then now I am 60

Katie, Would you be interested in coming on the Good Living by Design internet radio program to tell a little about this house and Russell Hunter's story? It is very interesting to see how writers and researchers can track down such factual tidbits that may change how the history of an event is perceived. If this is something you would be interested in, please let me know! October 31st is available, we are located in Highlands Ranch.
I look forward to hearing from you..
Victoria H.

Our family, the Richard L. Fenton Family, lived in this home for about 3 years, from 1959 through 1962. We belonged to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and we all went to the Cathedral elementary or high school, located a few blocks north of the Cathedral (the school closed down shortly after we moved). I am the youngest of 7 children who lived at the home. I loved this beautiful home while we lived there and have a few photos of the home during that time frame. My sister had her wedding reception in this home and my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary here, so I also have photos of the dining and living rooms where family photos were taken. Anyway, we did not have any hauntings during our period at the home. I do recall being told that the owners had some of their belongings stored in the attic and we were not to go up there. I don't believe we ever did. The owners also left a baby black grand piano in the front foyer area. There was black and white octagon tile in that area and it looked stunning there. My mother loved playing that piano, although she also had her own upright piano in the living room. The Smiths owned the home behind us on Williams St. Mrs. Smith used to host bridge games at her home and I used to play with her son, Lincoln, until he started school. I remember driving by the home about 9 years later and it was in total disrepair. I was heartbroken at how much the home had deteriorated and it looked like they were renting rooms out. What a shame that this historic home was later torn down to be a parking lot for a high rise building. I believe that any spirits that entered the home later were conjured up by the occupant. We didn't know anything about these hauntings or the movie that was made about the home until about 3 years ago when my sister did an online search of the address.

I now live at Summerhouse where the house used to stand. Is there any way you could possiblely email me some of your pics. we are showing the movie Thurs night the 22. Some pics would be wonderful. if you reply with your email or phone I will get back to you.

In reply to by Parker (not verified)

Sorry, I just now saw your posting! I have two pics of the exterior of the home. We have a few photos of the fireplace in the living room (my sister's wedding party) and one of the dining room (during my parents' 25th wedding celebration) and one of my brother, sister and I sitting on the staircase. I just now saw this posting. If you can give me your email address, I can send them to you. Maybe you can have them the next time you show the movie. -Kathy

In reply to by Kathy A. (not verified)

Oh I would love the pictures if you still have them too. My address is thank you so much

Be sure to check out our two other posts on The Changeling:

Thank you Katie A. (Fenton). I lived in an old house near Colfax when my sisters and I went to Cathedral too!!! We have great memories. I never did like to do the laundry in the basement....

I'm curious about the demolition. He claims a workman was killed when the building was demolished. Has this been verified? Looked like a lovely house. Such a shame it was torn down.

Thanks for commenting, Jane! Great question. We haven't been able to find evidence in our newspaper indexes that a worker was killed when the building was demolished. We have been trying to pin down an exact date on the building's razing, and we believe it occurred either in the spring of 1971 or 1972.

Just watched the movie and loved it. Enjoyed reading everyone's comments.

I was just watching this film. It has been one of my favorite horror movies since I was a child. I recalled it was supposedly based on a true story so I went online and was so pleased to read these articles and comments looking into the past!

Hi, I was at a screening of the film at the Egyptian in Hollywood, CA last night. Peter Medak was there after the film and took some Q&A. I was the last person to ask, "What is the true story of the Changeling?" There was a quick chuckle by the interviewer, then Medak said that there was a murder, and a changeling, and that the wife of one of the producers had researched the story,Diana Maddox. He then went on to talk about another film altogether. Well, at least I tried ; D

How cool that you asked Peter Medak that question, Coneja! Wish he had more to tell:) Thanks for sharing!

Just saw the film again after many years, and it's a masterpiece. This background information is fascinating, and i'm going to read further...wish I lived in CO!

Always a great film to revisit, Selma! Even though you may not live in Colorado, you can still do research--check out all of our digitized resources at!

I saw this movie when it first came out . I saw it again several years later. I was surprised to learn the house was a set and that the interior shots were all on a set. Martin Scorcese named it in his top 10 list of scariest movies of all time. The seance scene was really scary. I don't think this story is all that implausible . There are a lot of people with money and power that feel they live by separate rules or no rules greed, and self entitlement . I'm sure there are plenty of untold stories out there. Probably stories that would shock the hell out of people. I'm very surprised the house was demolished. How did that happen? Such a waste. George C. Scott was great in this film as was Melvyn Douglas. When they dug up that well in that house, I had chills for days. You just never know what's lurking below!!!

Scorcese is right on! Thanks for commenting, Kay!

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A Denver House That Inspired A Horror Film

In The Spirit of Halloween, Ghostly Tales from a Cheesman Park Residence

The 1980 film The Changeling is based on the paranormal events Russell Hunter experienced while living in an old home near Cheesman Park in the late 1960s.

Hunter had worked as a musical arranger for CBS-TV in New York City, but moved to Colorado in the mid-1960s to help his parents manage the Three Birches Lodge in Boulder. In the late 1960s, Hunter began looking for an apartment in Denver where he could live and work on his music. He rented a home at 1739 East 13th Avenue (which has since been torn down).

Hunter claimed that beginning on February 9, 1969, he started experiencing strange phenomenon in the house. First there was the “unbelievable banging and crashing” that occurred every morning at 6 a.m. (and stopped as soon as Hunter’s feet would touch the floor). Then, faucets began to turn on by themselves and doors opened and closed on their own. Walls vibrated violently, tossing paintings to the floor.

Shortly thereafter, Hunter and an architect friend uncovered a hidden staircase in the back of a closet. The stairway led to the third floor of the home where Hunter found a child’s trunk containing “a nine-year-old’s schoolbooks and journal from a century ago.” The journal detailed the life of a disabled boy who was kept in isolation. The boy wrote about his favorite toy, a red rubber ball. A few nights after discovering the trunk, a red rubber ball dropped from the top of a spiral staircase in the home.

Hunter claimed that a séance revealed the story of a sickly child who was heir to a fortune from his maternal grandfather. When the child became gravely ill, his parents worried that the boy’s inheritance would pass to a different branch of the family. When their son died, the couple secretly buried him in a field in southeast Denver and adopted a boy from a local orphanage who perfectly resembled their deceased son. They trained him to take on the identity of the deceased boy (hence, the “changeling” film title) and the boy went on to become well-educated and successful.

Hunter declared that it was the deceased child who spoke through him at the séance, revealing directions to his burial place under a house on South Dahlia Street. Hunter stated that after gaining permission to dig under that home, human remains and a gold medallion inscribed with the deceased boy’s name were found in the grave. A few days later, Hunter stated that he began to experience more violent ghostly activity in his home. He said, “glass doors blew up in my face and severed an artery in my wrist. The inner walls over the head of my bed violently imploded.”

Hunter left the house and only returned to it again to watch its demolition make way for a high-rise apartment building. He remarked of the razing, “As the walls of the wing which had contained my bedroom collapsed, they suddenly flew outward and crushed to death the man operating the bulldozer.”

As Phil Goodstein points out in his 1996 book The Ghosts of Denver: Capitol Hill, the historical details in Hunter’s story don’t exactly check out.

What can historical records tell us about the house and people that inspired the The Changeling? Next Wednesday, we’ll consult resources readily available in the Western History & Genealogy Department to fact check this frightening ghost story!

[Want to hear more about Russell's recollection of his paranormal experiences? See "The Changeling: Denver's $8 Million Ghost" by Russell Hunter in Denver Magazine, v. 10, April 1980, p. 48 — available for research in DPL's Western History Department).

Who cares if he stretched the truth, it's still the best horror movie ever made

It is my all to.e favorite horror movie. It doesn't need blood and goor to be terrifying.

In reply to by Melissa (not verified)

I SO agree!

In reply to by Melissa (not verified)

when we were kids my sister and I would scare each other by whispering in the dark "my father" "my medal" . . . so scary!!!!

In reply to by Melissa (not verified)

That's right. Movies nowadays too much blood and gore sex and language. It and still is a good movie after almost 39 yrs.

In reply to by Melissa (not verified)

That's right. Movies nowadays too much blood and gore sex and language. It and still is a good movie after almost 39 yrs.

It would be even scarier if any of it were true, but unfortunately it’s all fabricated

It was based on TRUE Paranormal event’s experienced by a man named Hunter, who was living in an old mansion in Colorado.

"The Changeling" _ EPIC movie that one scared my kid's, ideal if your OVER your company and need some peace pop it in and BOOM GONE.

It remains one of my favorites to this day!!
I'm watching it now, as a matter of fact!!!

Absolutely! I saw it as a kid and couldn't sleep after that. I saw it last year, and yep, still extremely scary. That soundtrack is perfect for shivers up the spine. Movie poster sucks. They shouldn't give it away like that.

Yes indeed one of the greatest horror movies to this day

I had a boss who knew Russell Hunter and he said it was connected to the Coors family in some way.

This is exactly right. Still the best horror movie to date.

We concur--Hunter's story is one of the best! Thanks for reading.

The Changeling is a classic, one of the scariest films I've ever seen!

I completely agree!! I have a CD of the music and a friend uses the seance scene music for his magic show at Halloween.

Definitely, Ernesto! What's the scariest part of the film in your opinion?

When she looks up the stairs and sees the wheelchair!

Just that red rubber ball bouncing down the stairs soaking wet after it had been thrown in the river gives me the shivers, better than any modern day shock and gore so-called horror.

In reply to by C Hill (not verified)

Ohh man, I saw the ball come bouncing down those stairs! I am like the hell out of that house. All the paranormal stuff I couldn't take that. Would give me nightmares and scare me half to death. I believe in ghosts and that's explation for everything. Still the best horror movie.

Be sure to check out our two other posts on The Changeling:

One of the first scary movies I ever watched as a kid, and still my favorite. to this day, I cannot walk up a flight of stairs without watching the top to see if a goddam little wheelchair comes rolling to the edge...

Thanks for sharing, Jason! It's a classic!

This made me cackle. Thank you. Like everyone else here, I love this movie so much. Doing up the bathroom in a house for a party this Saturday and stumbled on this article. This movie still scares me. I love it!

The Changeling is one of the Best suspense horror movies and with a good cast too used to have it on home video

The Changeling is one of the Best suspense horror movies and with a good cast too used to have it on home video

Hi Francesca! You may interested to know that DPL has two DVD copies of The Changeling in circulation:

"The Changeling" is the best suspense horror movies I have yet seen to this day.

We love it, too! Thanks for reading, Mick!

The bathtub scene scared me to death! After seeing the movie, the lights had to be on in the bathroom and I couldn't look at the tub!

That scene is among the scariest! Thanks for reading!

One of my all time favorite horror movies! A true classic!

We concur. Gotta love The Changeling!

My family (parents w/ 7 kids) moved into this house in '59, when I was 8 yrs.-old. I was a huge house with two separate stair cases leading to the second floor, one with a halfway landing and the other was an enclosed spiral coming off the kitchen (for previous servants). I never experienced any paranormal activities (perhaps the ghost enjoyed the company of all the children). I still have a photo of what it looked like in 1960 ish.

Thanks for sharing your story, Larry!

In reply to by Larry Fenton (not verified)

Larry, I would love to see your photo! My daughter and I will be taking a trip to Denver and plan to visit Cheesman Park.

It's Halloween night and I'm watching it right now on HBO. Can't think of a better film for the occasion. Best horror ever!

Missed that this was going to be on HBO on Halloween! Perfect night for it. Thanks for sharing, Todd!

Favorite scariest part is when that ball comes bouncing down the stairs after John threw it into the river.... Still wet....

Understated yet terrifying. Thanks for commenting, Trent!

In reply to by Trent (not verified)

That and when the girl saw the boy in her bedroom floor. Freaky.

I don't like when the little girl's mother is relaying her daughter's nightmare the previous Monday to John Russell. Don't rally know why, maybe the acting because she was good. I only ever watch it with the wife on DVD.

We did the Banjo Billy's Ghost Tour on Halloween and this was one of the stories they told! The location is called the Summer House now. Never seen the movie, just ordered it!

Definitely my favorite horror movie. I love that it's scary, suspenseful, and investigative. Have it on VHS and DVD. I watch it at least once a year and it still gives me chills. I enjoyed reading this article that inspired the film.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Joe!

Does anyone know who the child actor was? I have tried looking but it doesn't appear anywhere I have looked. I love this movie and have since the first time I saw it. the basic premise of this movie is perfect he doesn't need blood it doesn't need or it is a truly terrifying movie and you become part of the movie. I love that it makes you actually scared because you think about it , not using cheesy visuals to make you scared.

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The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Archives

October Is American Archives Month...But Wait, Do You Know What An Archives Is?

1. Archives go beyond books. An archives is a place where people go to find information. However, rather than gathering information from books as one would in a library, researchers in archives often gather firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, audio and video recordings, and other primary sources. In order to preserve these unique resources, archival records are not available for check-out and are stored in acid-free folders within acid-free boxes in closed stacks with temperature and humidity control.

2. Archives contain more than just old stuff from prominent people. Archives come in all shapes and sizes and contain records that document a variety of organizations and individuals (prominent as well as unknown) from the past to the present (yes, the present!).

3. Archivists preserve archival records and make sure you can find what you need. Archivists (pronounced "AR-kiv-ists" by those in the know) are professionals who make sure archival records are preserved and made accessible to researchers. Archivists typically attain post-graduate degrees and specialized training/certification that prepares them for the task of assessing, collecting, organizing, preserving, maintaining control of, and providing access to archival collections. The bottom line: archivists strive to make sure researchers for generations to come can find what they need in the archives.

4. Denver Public Library has thousands of archival collections. Located on the fifth floor of Central Library in the Western History and Genealogy department, the Denver Public Library's Archives Collection comprises material on the American West, particularly Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region; on the twentieth-century environmental conservation movement in the United States; and on the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division of World War II. In addition, the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library archives provide important documents regarding the integral role and history of the African Americans in the Rocky Mountain West.

5. Finding aids are the GPS of archives. Finding aids are detailed guides to archival collections which provide more information (including biographical/historical notes and inventories) than normally contained within catalog records. Although all DPL Archives Collections are cataloged and a brief record is available through the Library catalog, only a portion of the Archives Collection has extensive online findings aids. See a listing of finding aids with electronic access here.


Sources: ”Say What? Talking Points on the Value of Archives,” Society of American Archivists, 2007. “What Is An Archives,” Society of American Archivists, 2007.

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Paris, 1924: Mira C. Bostwick Travel Diaries

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.

Two travel diaries from the Harriet Scott Palmer Family Papers (WH1453) have nearly the same time travel powers.

Written by Mira M. Camp Bostwick (1867-1932), the diaries detail the adventures of Mira and her daughters Prudence (1897-1988) and Dorothea (nicknamed “Bit”) as they traveled throughout France, Great Britain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Syria, and Romania, from July 1924 until July 1925. The family spent several months in Paris, studying art and the French language, and witnessed the 1924 Summer Olympics:

July 17, 1924 Thurs. We all went with Harrie and Miss Henderson to Musée des Arts décoratifs, in the end of Louvre. Saw furniture, chairs, etc. with wonderful rooms whose walls were entirely of wood decorated with wonderful hand carving. Saw swimming in Olympic games with Mr. Kelley, Natation,  Mercredi 16 Juillet ’24. Never ride in a taxi anywhere and have it wait for you if there is any other feasible to return!

Like most travelers, Mira, Prudence, and Bit experienced many "ups" (touring the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, visiting excavations in Pompeii, watching Rudolph Valentino in Monsieur Beaucaire at the London Pavilion Theater ) and a few "downs" (eating an “unsatisfactory” breakfast of biscotti in Rome, swimming in frigid waters off Wales, suffering through days of rough seas in the Atlantic).

These diaries capture the incredible travels of the Bostwick family—women who had the means, education, and adventurous spirit to live a year of life abroad during the mid-1920s.

See the Harriet Scott Palmer Family Papers (WH1453) and many other fascinating manuscript collections in the Western History and Genealogy Department at the Central Library.

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NEW! Exhibit: Back to School in the Archives

Go back in time to an era when typing class was mandatory and kindergartners were taught hand saw safety!

Pop quiz! How did kids let loose on the playground in 1910? Were there actually horse-drawn school wagons before buses? Just how big was a computer in a 1980 high school computer class?

Find out the answers to these questions and more by checking out a new display in Central Library’s Schlessman Hall (Level 1)! Back to School in the Archives provides a fun glimpse into bygone school days using historic photographs, papers, pamphlets, and textbooks from DPL’s Western History & Genealogy Department.

Focusing on life in Denver-area schools, this exhibit paints a picture of the curriculum and technologies experienced by students during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. While reading, writing, and arithmetic were staples of the education system, students also attended classes often absent in today’s course catalogs, including blacksmithing, sewing, typing, cooking, and carpentry.

On display through the end of September, Back to School in the Archives commemorates American Archives Month (October). If you’ve ever wondered what kinds of materials are in archives and how they are preserved, check out this link from the Society of American Archivists or stop into DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department on the 5th floor of the Central Library.

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Denver's Bygone Markets

What Happened To Denver's Wazee and Denargo Markets?

Long before the era of King Soopers and Whole Foods, stagecoaches and ox-drawn wagons hauled produce to the Denver area. As a result, Denver’s earliest consumers endured high prices. A pineapple was rumored to sell for $7 and a single apple could cost $1.25!

As Denver’s population grew, more sellers and more goods rolled into town. By 1883, three curb markets on Fourteenth Street, Lawrence Street, and Welton Street were established by city ordinance. A permanent market (Barth Market) was set up at 23rd and California Street, but by 1899 it was moved to the west bank of Cherry Creek, north of West Colfax Avenue. Despite lacking railroad access, this was the center of Denver’s local produce trade for nearly 40 years.

By 1938, the City of Denver looked to relocate the Cherry Creek market to Jerome Park (West 8th Avenue and Osage Street), but their plan failed as the site’s location was deemed inaccessible to northern Colorado growers. Two other sites were favored by Denver’s business community due to their adjacency to railroad tracks. Although it was believed the growing city of Denver could only support one market, both sites became successful city markets.

The Denver Market & Produce Terminal, Inc. built the Wazee Market at a cost of $1 million on a historic Auraria site that extended between 9th and 13th Streets along Wazee Street. The Wazee Market had four large produce buildings containing 27 store units, four sheds that accommodated 248 growers’ stalls, and what was hailed as “the most modern banana handling plant in the country.” The market opened on Colorado Day, August 1, 1939, and was serviced by five railroad systems. After World War II, the market expanded to include the sale of refrigeration equipment, furniture, radios, shoes, and clothing. Shortly after the Denver Urban Renewal Authority purchased the five-block Wazee Market for $2.7 million in 1974, it was demolished.

The second market, Denargo Market, was built by the Growers’ Market Association on thirty acres of land at 29th Street and Broadway. The Denargo Market had access to the Union Pacific railway and boasted 504 growers’ stalls, an administration building, refrigeration plant, restaurant, and its own barber shop. It opened on May 20, 1939. On July 7, 1971, a four-alarm fire devastated the market. Today, the Denargo Market is the site of a major redevelopment project.

To learn more about the Denver’s Wazee and Denargo markets, check out the Western History and Genealogy department's Western History Subject Index, newspapers on microfilm, and digital photo collection.

I don't believe that the fire at the Denargo Market occurred in July of 1991 as I worked for a produce operator based in the market then as a semi driver, at least not in the main market warehouse building. I worked for D.C. Metzger there that summer, who was around the middle south end of the building. When was the building finally torn down? Probably not until a decade ago if that long ago, though by then a lot of the former produce businesses had long moved away. Back then Federal Fruit and Produce was on the north end of the building as I had to drive by their trucks there every time too.

Mark, thank you for reading and catching my typo! The four-alarm fire occurred at the market on July 7, 1971, not 1991.

My father worked for Amato Fruit and Produce Co. They bought out Bourke Donaldson-Taylor in 1938. At that time they were located in the 1600 or 1700 block of Market St. In 1939 Amato.. moved to the Denargo Market as one of the first tenants. The facility had a modern banana ripening system in which there were several rooms where the temperature and amount of ethylene gas could be adjusted to control the ripening process. Dad was manager of the Banana Dept. He had to check on the controls seven days a week. We lived at South Downing and Alameda and dad would take the trolley to work on Market St. When they moved to the Denargo Market he bought a used 1933 Chevrolet because there was no convenient public transportation. Occasionally, my mom would take us three kids on the Downing St. bus to somewhere in the five Points area and we would walk across the Broadway Viaduct to meet dad for dinner at the Denargo Grill. There was also a garage and mechanic in the market where my dad had his car serviced while he was at work. While I was in Korea in 1951 my dad went to work for Federal Fruit and Produce in the market. I just thought I would add some background to your article on the Denargo Market. Thank you. It brought back some memories of my youth.

Thanks for sharing your memories with us, Robert! This adds so much more to the story of the market. Thank you!

In reply to by Robert Brockish (not verified)

I loved those great lunch at Rossi, I which I could fine some pictures from the late 60’s and 70,s

In reply to by Robert Brockish (not verified)

My grandfather had his business there. Walter Van Wert. He was in the wholesale fruit and vegetables business. I remember my grandmother talking about Carl Amato.

In reply to by Robert Brockish (not verified)

Hello- If your still in the area I would love to visit-

My uncle Tony Sabell and his family had a produce business (Sabell's produce) I remember the big blocks of ice downstairs in the ice room. My cousin was shot and killed there in 1976. Miss going down there

In reply to by Paul Quillen (not verified)

Yes I remember when your cousin was shot. We were customers of Sabells amongst other vendors at the market. Spent years going to market every morning at 4-5 am to get the best ideas. It’s nice to reminisce about those days.

Lloyd Barker was a manager at Denargo Market in 1949 when he was shot dead at his back door by his mentally ill wife. He was the only one of four sons of George Elias and Arizona Donnie (Clark) Barker to try to turn his life around, and he had served honorably in the Army during World War Two, after being released from prison in 1938. His brothers Herman (died 1927), Arthur "Doc" (died 1939), and Fred (died 1935) all met violent ends at the hands of law enforcement.

My association with Denargo Market was strictly because my uncle owned several 18-wheelers and hauled produce into Denargo from as far away as California, Arizonia, Rio Grande Valley, Florida, etc. Along the Platte River and close by was a large truck terminal, Truck Denver, offering parking, service, food, fuel, etc. Between the river and the truck terminal was a pallet manufacturer with a rail spur and sitting next to it was Lester's Produce Brokerage. During the summer, it was common to see 18-wheelers parked along the riverbank selling watermelons, canteloupes, etc Safeway, Associated Grocers, the smaller businesses in the Denargo Market would use this brokerage to arrange for loads into their business. As a young boy it was absolutely fascinating being around all this activity and observing it first hand.

How lucky you were to be able to observe all this activity as a kid. Thanks for sharing your memories with us, Billy!

In reply to by Billy Hollaway (not verified)

Billy, was your uncle Harold Hollaway? My father was Stanley Ranch and I vividly remember Harold. My father as well as Uncle Wesley and Johnny also owned trucks that hauled produce. I would love to hear from you and if you remember my father or uncles.

In reply to by Carol Wong (not verified)

Yes it is for a while longer! He doing well for nearing 95 this June. He lost Lillian in ‘98 to cancer and he now lives in Bowie, TX. Were you part of the group that camped in the RMSP in ‘56 or ‘57? I know Johnny, Vicky went, Wes (we called him Fats) and family, Stanley, Harold and some others I believe. My dad, Harold’s brother Clay, drove for him. Spent a lot of summers hawking melons Long Platte River, riding back and fort in trucks to Safeway, AWG. Thanks for replying.

Can someone please provide a history of the Grower's Café? When did it open and close? Thank you.....

Does anyone recall or have any history of "Tom, the produce man" who drove the streets and alleys of the Highlands selling fresh produce from the back of his early '50's green Chevrolet truck.
The last I saw of him was the late '70's or early '80's.

In reply to by Stephen Anthony (not verified)

Tom Figgolino was my neighbor! I have lived here for 43 years and knew he and his wife Emily till they passed. His truck was cool and loved his rose garden, Good folks!!

In reply to by Stephen Anthony (not verified)

Tom Figgolino was my neighbor! I have lived here for 43 years and knew he and his wife Emily till they passed. His truck was cool and loved his rose garden, Good folks!!

In reply to by Stephen Anthony (not verified)

I’ve been trying to remember his name. Tom. What a wonderful man My grandmother lived in sunny side and he was a part of my visits with her. I also would love to know about him

I remember in the wazee market in the sixties, there was a bar and grill, The Old Number 7. Great food and drinks. It also burned down in the seventies

In reply to by Tony B. (not verified)

I am trying to figure out Johnny the fruit man that drove a black truck. He would stop at my Grandmothers house.

In reply to by Deb (not verified)

I think you might be thinking about Johnny Losasso, I believe he was the watermelon man and eventually worked (I think more for fun) at Federal Fruit and produce for my grandfather Joe Naiman; more to come in a coupleof weeks.

In reply to by Deb (not verified)

I think you might be thinking about Johnny Losasso, I believe he was the watermelon man and eventually worked (I think more for fun) at Federal Fruit and produce for my grandfather Joe Naiman; more to come in a coupleof weeks.

We have an old water well drilling truck sitting on a corner in our county. "John Stamison, Denargo Market Wholesale Produce, Ph: Keystone 6523
I took photos and have been trying to find its history

The Denargo Market supposedly was named such because it was halfway between downtown Denver and the Argo Smelter. My Uncle, Louie Lotito, had a tavern at the Denargo Market called “Luigi’s”.

Just fyi, William L. Rossi, who operated the Rossi restaurant at Denargo Market, passed away this week due to COVID.

In reply to by Robin Ellzey (not verified)

My brother I worked for Rossi on the weekends making marinara sauce for his events.

In reply to by Robin Ellzey (not verified)

My brother I worked for Rossi on the weekends making marinara sauce for his events.

In reply to by Robin Ellzey (not verified)

When I arrived in Denver back in 1960, found work at the Rio Grande Motor Way trucking company, located under the Speer Blvd bridge at the time. But a bunch of us would go to Rossi's for lunch back then, it was terrific as I recall, low cost, good Italian food. the Denargo Market, what a spot, the 'good old days' really were.

My dad worked for bill rossi as a cook at his rossi denargo grill and I sometime worked as a busboy. We would also go to their home and get a couple of fishnets full of trout from their trout farm great memories

In reply to by Daley washington jr (not verified)

I also worked for Bill and Mom Rossi ( the real boss).I was 17 in 1968. Dishwasher, then busboy. There was Eddie working there and a tall black chef who absolutely freaked if he cracked an and found blood in it. Eddie and I loved that. We’re you there in 1968? A waitress was named Elsie.

In reply to by Daley washington jr (not verified)

I also worked for Bill and Mom Rossi ( the real boss).I was 17 in 1968. Dishwasher, then busboy. There was Eddie working there and a tall black chef who absolutely freaked if he cracked an and found blood in it. Eddie and I loved that. We’re you there in 1968? A waitress was named Elsie.

In reply to by Elia Kaye (not verified)

*cracked an egg.

Does anyone remember the Dutch Cafe in the Denargo market? My Dad, Stanley Ranch had many lunches in this historic cafe. Please respond if you know anything about it?

Kerouac writes about the Denargo Market in On The Road - the original scroll, which led me to this article-

In reply to by Dawn Zarubnicky (not verified)

Thanks for reading and commenting, Dawn!

Love learning this history and reading the comments.

Has anyone heard of Walter (Walt) Wager, Rhea Saxton Wager, or George Wager? I have heard that my family was involved in the Denver produce trucking business in the 1930's.

Thank you!

Does anyone remember the Duchess Cafe in Denargo Market during the fifties and sixties? My father ate there an awful lot

My grandfather, Rocco Archer (Arcieri) peddled NW Denver from the 1910s-1950s. He typically left for the Denargo Market around 4:30am and came back home from his route about 4:00PM. First by horse-and-buggy, later in a green 1930 Dodge truck with bright orange flaps.

I remember going to the Denargo Market growing up. We’d do a lot of browsing and some shopping (if I remember correctly, as I know it was mostly wholesale) and then having lunch at Rossi’s. I miss that.

My father Tony Simeone and and his brother Bill Simeone owned Simeone Brothers Potato Company on the Denargo Market from 1948-until 1975. I worked every holiday and weekends from the time I was 10 until going to work for Rio Grande Motorway. In 1970. Eventually end up the Principal officer of Teamsters Local 17. Everything I learned on the Denargo Market made me successful. Great times.

My grandmother (Margaret Theisen) my mom and I would go to Denargo’s market every summer and fall to buy Fruits and Vegetables for canning. My Grand Mother was in a wheel chair and there was always someone there to help push here. The venders would offer me fruits. I loved being there, good Memories.

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Denver Dining of Yore: Pell's Oyster House

Why Was Denver Oyster-Crazed During The Late 19th Century?  

Pell’s Oyster House was part of the Denver dining scene for 56 years. In 1881, George W. Pell moved to Denver from Brooklyn, New York, and opened his restaurant along Arapahoe Street, between 13th and 14th Street. Pell was no stranger to Denver—he had visited in 1870 while traveling with a circus, and again in 1879, when he operated a stage coach line with a final stop in the Queen City.

Denver—one thousand miles from the nearest ocean—may have seemed like an odd place for an oyster house, but during the oyster craze of the late 19th Century, “oyster saloons,” “oyster bars,” and “oyster and coffee saloons” popped up in cities and towns across the country. Denver had several of these establishments. The completion of the transcontinental rail line in 1869 certainly facilitated the popularity of the food, making it possible for oysters to be shipped more quickly than had been possible with horse-drawn transportation. Live oysters nourished with oatmeal or flour could withstand the long rail journey in water and ice-filled containers. Upon arrival, the shellfish were distributed to oyster houses that were often located in basements (in order to take advantage of naturally cooler temperatures).

Pell’s Oyster House spent the 1880s and 1890s moving from place to place along 16th Street before settling at 520 16th Street from the late 1890s until around 1921. An article appearing in the January 1, 1909, Denver Republican noted that the restaurant served oysters, fresh and saltwater fish, lobsters, crabs, and clams sourced from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, northern lakes, and inland streams.

A well-known proprietor in Denver, George Pell was considered eccentric and independent. He closed his restaurant every summer (perhaps heeding the popular notion of the time that oysters should only be eaten in months with an “R” in them) and never adhered to strict hours of operation. Pell detested smoking and did not allow it in the café section of his restaurant. He is said to have thrown a wealthy customer out by his coat collar after the gentleman lit a post-meal cigar. Pell died at St. Luke’s Hospital from a bout of “nervousness” on December 24, 1911, at the age of 60. His granite headstone at Fairmount Cemetery is fashioned with carvings of fish.

Pell’s Oyster House continued to operate, managed by Pell’s wife and son, George, Jr. In the early 1920s, the restaurant moved to 1514 Welton Street, where it was enlarged to seat over 200 customers. In 1923, George, Jr. died of a stroke at the age of 36. Mrs. Mary Sharp Pell died in an automobile accident in 1926. Pell’s Oyster House continued to operate under Sbarbaro & Williams, Inc. until Jesse Washburn of the RKO Hotel took it over in 1933. Washburn closed the restaurant in October 1937, citing high overhead costs and a marked loss of profitability.

To learn more about restaurants that were once part of the Denver dining scene, check out the Western History and Genealogy department's newspapers on microfilm, city directories, digital photo collection, and menu collection (C MSS WH1509).

Wondering if there is any connection to this other old establishment:

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The Denver That Never Was: 1976 Winter Olympic Games

How Denver Became the First City in History to Reject the Olympic Games

On May 12, 1970, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose Denver to be the host city of the XII Winter Olympic Games (1976). Denver edged out Sion, Switzerland; Tampere, Finland; and Vancouver, Canada.

Initial Colorado sites chosen for the Games included:

  • University of Denver for Olympic Village and speed skating facility
  • Loveland Basin and Mt. Sniktau for alpine events (changed to Vail in 1972)
  • Denver Mountain Parks for Nordic, bobsled and luge events (changed to Steamboat Springs in 1972)
  • Denver Coliseum for free skating and ice hockey events
  • Currigan Exhibition Center for a press center

On November 7, 1972, Colorado voters, concerned about the financial burden and environmental impact of the Olympic Games on their state, rejected a $5 million bond issue that would fund the event. Shortly thereafter, Innsbruck, Austria, replaced Denver as the host of the 1976 Winter Olympic Games.

Although Denver never did bask in the glow of the Olympic torch, the plans set out by the Denver Olympic Committee from 1967 until 1972 remain in the archives of DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department (WH1143, The Denver Organizing Committee for the 1976 Winter Olympics records) and are open for research. See them for yourself and discover the Denver that might have been!

Thank you for the informative history. I was under the impression when I lived in Denver from 1983-2016 Olympic Village was going to be at the high rise at 20th and Park Avenue.

Didn't the Denver '76 organizing committee go as far as sign a $10 million TV deal with ABC for those Olympics which Innsbruck agreed to accept after Denver backed out and got replaced by Innsbruck, rather than putting the United States TV TV rights going out to bid again?

In reply to by Joseph Gallant (not verified)

Hi Joseph,
I'm not seeing evidence of this in newspaper articles. In a March 29, 1972 Denver Post article ("Price Tag on '76 TV Coverage Closer" p19)

"The DOC can't begin to sell its television rights until after the International Olympic Committee (IOCC releases final ground rules at the Munich Summer Olympics in September. . . .The DOC's original revenue estimate from TV rights was $10 million."

Even as late as October, it appears no deal had been reached.

On December 9, 1973, the Denver Post reported (p. 276):

"ABC has been awarded exclusive television rights to the 1976 Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, Feb. 4-15. Previously, the network had gained exclusive U.S. coverage of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal."

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Anatomy of a Forgery: Salem, Massachusetts Death Warrant, 1692

Guilty of Witchcraft or Fraud?

In the archives of DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department lives a Salem, Massachusetts court order to Sheriff George Corwin declaring Martha Currier a witch and condemning her to be hanged (C MSS -M1429). It is dated June 10, 1692.

But 1692 may actually be 1932.

In 2005, the American Antiquarian Society’s Common Place published an article by Steven Biel, now Executive Director of the Humanities Center at Harvard University. The article, titled “Brother, Can You Buy a Salem Witch Death Warrant?” describes a morning in October 1932, when Captain E. Newman Bradley, an antiques dealer down on his luck, knocked on the door of A. B. MacDonald, a feature writer for the Kansas City Star and collector of Americana. Bradley told MacDonald his sad story. Bradley was a World War I veteran whose antiques business had dried up during the Depression. He had traveled to Kansas City from Houston for the promise of a job—upon arrival, however, he found the position already filled. On top of that, he had just been informed of his wife’s death via telegram.

Bradley offered MacDonald an opportunity to purchase the death warrant of Elizabeth How (a woman found guilty of witchcraft and hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692) at the deeply discounted price of $20—thousands of dollars below its value. MacDonald bought the document and then tried to sell it to other collectors, including Howard Corning, secretary of the Essex Institute in Salem. Upon studying the How death warrant, Corning concluded it was a forgery.

How did Corning know the How death warrant wasn’t real? The ink on the document was modern and the staining on the paper appeared unnatural. Corning compared the How warrant to a facsimile of the well-known death warrant of Bridget Bishop and found the wording and handwriting different. In addition, the forged How warrant had curiously been signed by well-known Puritans of the time, while the Bishop warrant had been signed only by William Stoughton. In addition, the forged 1692 How document had been signed by Wampanoag Chief “King Philip” Metacomet, despite the fact that he had been killed in 1676.

As it turns out, “Captain Bradley” scammed not only MacDonald, but several collectors in Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. In November 1932, Corning began warning collectors of Bradley and the forgeries circulating throughout the South and Midwest.

The exact origin of WHG’s Martha Currier death warrant remains unknown as documentation of its acquisition is not available. Examining the document, however, several similarities to the forged How document are apparent. The handwriting and staining patterns match, and like the forged How warrant, the signatures of several Puritan “celebrities” including Cotton and Increase Mather are present. Then there is the date—just like the How death warrant, the Currier death warrant is dated June 10, 1692. Although Bridget Bishop had been executed on that day, there hadn't been any trials on June 10, 1692, as Professor Bryan F. Le Beau points out in “The Carey Document: On the Trail of a Salem Death Warrant” (Early America Review, Summer 1997).

With so many similarities to the forged How death warrant, it is believed that WHG’s Currier death warrant is likely to be the Depression-era work of “Captain E. Newman Bradley.”

[Note: “Martha Currier” is believed to be Martha Carrier, who was executed in Salem on August 19, 1692.]

I have the Carey Document. Fake or not, its a cool conversation peice

Me too lol. Says to George Corwin. From Wm Stoughton with a wax seal

Intertaining Paragragh

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Toast of the Town: The Denver Bread Company (1916-1945)

A Return to the Days Before Sliced Bread

A fun, new addition to DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department is Toast and Its Various Uses, an informative recipe booklet published by the Denver Bread Company in 1924.

Toast is perhaps best known for its prominent role at the breakfast table, but this booklet endorses toast as the perfect main dish at any meal. Welsh Rarebit Toast and Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast are recommended for luncheon. For dinner, Toast Omelet and Toast Chowder are promised to delight diners. But what to make for dessert? Toasted Brown Betty (a baked pudding with spiced fruit and buttered bread crumbs) and Chocolate Toast Pudding, of course.

While this recipe booklet promoted the use of the Denver Bread Company’s products, it also acknowledged rather recent technological advancements in toastmaking. The first electric toaster was sold by Crompton & Co. in Great Britain in 1893. These early toasters lacked timers, outer casings, and the ability to toast both sides of a slice of bread simultaneously. In 1919, American Walter Strite remedied this situation when he filed a patent for an automatic, pop-up toaster. In 1921, Strite’s patent was approved, and in 1926 Toastmaster began selling domestic toasters in the United States. Shortly thereafter in 1928, U.S. bakeries began offering customers a toaster-friendly product: pre-sliced bread.

In 1916, the Denver Bread Company first appeared in Denver’s city directory as a bakery located at 39 South Pearl Street. The company moved to a more modern facility at 600 W. 12th Avenue by 1918. The Denver Bread Company prided itself on its cleanliness. Toast And Its Various Uses describes how the business sold its products:

The pleasant salesman brings to your door every day a basket containing a variety of bread, rolls, cookies, and cakes. You inspect his wares, choose those you want and never leave your door. You get bakery goods that are not handled by customers and clerks nor placed in contact with vegetables or other contaminating products.

By 1945, the Denver Bread Company was no longer. Toast and Its Various Uses, available for viewing in DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department, serves as a reminder of a time when bakeries made deliveries, toast was a new convenience food, and the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread” wasn’t in the American lexicon.

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Found in the Archives: Ina Zager Bookmark Collection

Bookmarks Hold a Place in Our History

Long before a “bookmark" was a shortcut to a spot in an eBook or a link to a favorite website, it was an actual object—a treasured placeholder to mark one’s progress in a paperback or hardcover book.

Should we someday forget just what these artifacts are, rest assured that DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department houses the Ina Zager Bookmark Collection (WH1588), a set of bookmarks accumulated during the latter half of the 20th century. This collection features bookmarks made of paper, yarn, wood, leather, pewter, and even what appears to be a coconut shell.

The Ina Zager Bookmark Collection illustrates the many ways bookmarks have been used to promote products, places, and causes.

As one might imagine, many of the bookmarks endorse the virtues of reading, the services of the local public library, and the release of new books and movies. Some bookmarks are public service announcements, warning of the dangers of smoking cigarettes or playing near power lines. Others are simply souvenirs of vacations gone by.

Check out a sampling of the Ina Zager Bookmark Collection below or visit DPL’s Western History and Genealogy Department at the Central Library to see more!


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