Monday, March 17, 2014

Queen City of the Plains


A display of images that fall into the ‘now and then’ category - 'yesteryear & present day' - is a useful and entertaining way of viewing history. My research tours to the US have led me to Denver twice and it is one of my favourite cities, one I would always be happy to return to. The photos in this research montage are from my album ‘Western Odyssey’, acknowledging  Denver Public Library and Denver Union Station.

Denver was dubbed ‘Queen City of the Plains’ and for good reason. Like so many western towns, in her early days she was rough, but on the back of the mining of precious metals this hard-working, hard-drinking mining town soared to prosperity, surpassing all expectations. Mining, manufacturing, smeltering, ranching, the railroad and much more delivered wealth, culture and a large population. Denver became a world-class city.

The rough elements  - prostitution, crime and corruption - remained, their notoriety and function deftly incorporated into one booming city of enormous wealth, whose inhabitants stretched from poor migrants working the gardens along the creek to millionaires of supreme power and influence.

By the 1880’s, when The Liberty & Property Legends are set, and where volume three First Country takes the reader to Denver, this city epitomises the Gilded Age in The West.

'Toward Denver City let us know propel,
of its strange sights and startling wonders tell.'

Pike's Peakers of '59 ~ Lawence N. Greenleaf 

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