Market Street's troubles are nothing new

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Hi Tom - Thanks for reading and commenting. It's been rumored that Wazee Street was named for a different Indian woman who had a relationship with McGaa (and certainly wouldn't be surprising) but that's never been confirmed. Wewatta, however, was definitely his wife and that has been confirmed. The haze of history creates lots of interesting interpretations! 


Back in the '80s there was a restaurant/bar in lower downtown called The McGaa Lounge. I'm assuming it was on Market Street but so much has been torn down and rebuilt in that part of town I can't recognize where it might have been.

I think that Wazee is also named after McGaa's wife? He had more than one wife, and Wazee and Wewatta were Native American.

Hi Jude - According to Phil Goodstein's book "Denver Streets" (our go-to for any Denver street question) Wazee was "allegedly" named for one of McGaa's mistresses - though that's never been confirmed. Thanks for reading and commenting!


I enjoy information about Denver’s history, anything from the early beginnings up to today. Hard to believe all of the recent growth in the area that used to be under the viaducts.


Besides being one of William McGaa's wives, I read somewhere that Wewatta was the first woman to give birth in the newly incorporated city of Denver. Of course I read that more than a decade ago and cannot find it. Perhaps I just imagined it...

Hi Rob - Thanks for reading and commenting. It's generally agreed that William Denver McGaa, the son of McGaa Sr. and Wewatta was the first recorded baby born in Denver. That said, there are competing claims and their credibility is determined by how you frame the question. We dug into this very subject in some detail in a blog we did back in 2020. We hope you enjoy that one, too!


William McGaa was married to Jennie Adams when she was 15 years old and he was 38. Jennie was my great-great-grandmother, and she was half Oglala Lakota (Sioux). Their cabin, a very nice one by the standards of 1859, was on Indian Row on Cherry Creek. Their son, William Denver McGaa, was born there in 1859, and he was the first predominantly white child to be born in Denver. I am currently writing a family history book so have been doing considerable research. McGaa disappeared for several years and was presumed dead. Jennie then married Joseph Brown, my great-great-grandfather, in 1868. Meanwhile, McGaa resurfaced and was heartbroken that Jennie had remarried. He started drinking heavily and it is very likely he sought the comfort of Native women, hence Wewatta and Wazee. Jennie Adams McGaa Brown is definitely the mother of William Denver McGaa.

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