Monthly Archives: January 2010

History Repeats

Denver Welcome Arch

Denver Welcome Arch Early 1900s

My research route took me once again to the Denver Post Card Show. Do not overlook post cards as a fun and fabulous source for historic images from the past. Another Denver Post Card Show is scheduled for April 30 and May 1 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. Be careful. Collecting historic post cards can be addictive. Check E-Bay and online sources as well.

There is a movement afoot to rebuild the Denver Welcome Arch, pictured in the post card image above. The arch, built about 1906 in front of Union Train Station, was torn down around 1930 as a traffic impediment. Rumor has it that pieces of the original arch still exist in dark corners of basements in the LoDo section of Denver. History buffs are collecting money, interest and energy to rebuild it. History repeats, indeed!

A productive history week in Colorado continued. With the sun on our faces and snow crunching under our boots, my research pal, Christie, and I enjoyed the outdoors while tracking down cemetery facts in the bone yard. The next day found me indoors at Denver Public Library. While DPL struggles through construction woes, I sailed through reels of microfilm to collect data for a research client. Repeating visits to familiar haunts and repositories often yields new material and interesting experiences. This week was no exception to that rule.

History repeated on the front page of the Denver Post this week. Mayor John Hickenlooper announced he will run for state governor. My favorite pioneer governor, John L. Routt’s photo, appeared on the same page. Routt, the subject of my book, “First Governor, First Lady”,  was the first Denver mayor to run for governor, as Hickenlooper has chosen to do. Ah, yes, history repeats. Hickenlooper is a literary fellow. He introduced Kurt Vonnegut for a speech I attended about a decade ago. It was a stunning moment when I realized I would fulfill my destiny as a writer. So it goes.

Joyce Lohse, 1/15/10

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Posted by on January 15, 2010 in Denver history


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Holiday Traditions


Holiday grinches are not allowed in Colorado.

During the holidays, we can enjoy many opportunities to revisit and exercise traditions. They provide important links to the past, and a foundation for future generations to relate to their family history. These important historical links take the form of celebrations, decorations, rituals, and routines. When past rituals no longer work, we make up new ones. This year, we celebrated the week before Christmas, the actual day, and New Years weekend with those who were available at the time. Grinches are not allowed at our house. Thanks to good weather and good cheer, it all worked out.

Sometimes new traditions evolve. At our Columbine Genealogy Society, I learned about a Southern tradition of eating black eyed peas for good luck on New Years Day. We can all use good luck. I cranked up the crock pot and cooked a batch as a side dish with our New Years roast. They were pretty darn good! I can’t say I’ve had especially good luck in the tentative first days of the new Year, but I haven’t had any bad luck either. Yet.

As I pack away Christmas decorations and ornaments, I recall stories brought to mind about how each one was acquired, or about people who gave them to us as gifts. Once the holidays are boxed up and stashed away for the next eleven months, many interesting prospects and challenges await. It is exciting to anticipate a clean slate with new possibilities for writing, touching history, and preserving stories of pioneers.

Joyce B. Lohse, 1/5/10

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Posted by on January 5, 2010 in Family history


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