Cool Colorado

What would you do when it gets too hot for comfort in Skidmore in 1899?  You gather your friends, board a train, and head for Colorado.  Miss Ella Skidmore gives us the details in this account from the July 21, 1899 Skidmore Standard.

Cool Colorado
The Skidmore Party Now Enjoying City Life and Mountain Scenery
Two Days in Denver

Denver, Colorado, July 13, 1899:
Well here we are in Denver – actually in cool Colorado, but I have to carry a palm leaf fan and my booklet entitled ‘Cool Colorado’ to make me aware of the fact for it has been exceedingly warm and rainy since our arrival.  Owing to repairs being made on the railroad track for a number of miles west of the Missouri River our train traveled very slowly, losing much more time than could possibly be gained and the result was we reached this place more than two hours behind time.  After securing rooms, resting a while then eating a late dinner we were ready to see the city and began by visiting the state capitol building, it is a lovely structure made of Colorado gray granite and finished insight with native marble and onyx.  Its cost was about three million dollars but the granite that was used did not cost the state but three dollars as there was a man in the state who had what he thought to be a very valuable granite quarry but being financially unable to open it he offered Colorado all that would be used in a state building if the state would open his quarry.  They accepted his offer and now have a fine capitol building and he (the aforementioned gentleman) has a rich mine.  The basement of the building is used to show or give the visitors some idea of the wealth or resources of the state.  Several rooms are given up to mineral exhibits and Daisy and I soon learned the prettiest rocks were by no means the valuable ones as the richest ores were from Cripple Creek and were of a very ordinary gray color.  One room was used for the horticultural exhibit, another for the G. A. R. headquarters and they have little guns, big guns, short guns, long guns and every other kind of a gun – but I don’t care much for war relics so do not remember much I saw there.  Another room had the birds and animals of the state but they were ready to close that for the night just as we started in and we did not see it all.  We then went up stairs – yes, several flights of them but did not stay long on any floor as the principal rooms were closed, finally we came to a spiral stairway which led to the dome; up, up, we went – one hundred and five steps – where we were landed in a large corridor which opened onto a balcony or gallery extending entirely around the dome.  Oh yes we were scarce of breath just then but glad to be there for the view of the city and mountains was beautiful!  While in the dome we saw a rain storm coming but it was miles away, we watched it while it just seemed to creep nearer to us and when it did reach the city it covered everything with a grayish veil of mist that made it still a fascinating sight.  After leaving the capitol we were so tired we concluded to rest until the next day when we started out at ten o’clock on what is called the ‘Seeing Denver’ car.  A real estate company, having their office in the Brown Palace Hotel, have a very nice way of showing the city and the vacant lots which they wish to sell to the visitor by having the entire control of a gaily decorated street car which they start from their office at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. every day and take visitors to all points of interest in the city, 25 cents for 25 miles is the rate charged and it lasts about two hours.  Of course it is ‘personally conducted’ and the guide usually managed to tell us what a building was and what is cost by the time we were a block past it.

Thursday afternoon was so rainy we had to stay indoors most of the time and we then decided we had had about enough of Denver for the time and would go to Golden at 8:15.  Friday morning, we got up and hustled but missed our train and could not go until 3 o’clock so spent most of the intervening time in the city park.

Our party are all well.
Ella Skidmore.

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