Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mapping Colorado History



This month my article, "Mapping Colorado History" appears in the April 2010 issue of Colorado Country Life magazine. I loved researching this article and learning about the map history of Colorado. I learned so many facts about Colorado and its maps that I couldn’t fit all of the information into the article. I’ll be writing blog posts this month about the maps I mentioned in the article and offer more how-to’s on using Colorado maps.

Colorado Country Life is the Colorado Rural Electric Association magazine sent to homes in many of the rural electric coops in the state. “Mapping Colorado History” is my second article in Colorado Country Life. I’ve read the magazine since I was a child, having lived in the Mountain View Electric Association area almost all of my life. My connection to Mountain View became stronger when I married. My husband, John, began working for Mountain View 25 years ago in March. He started as a meter reader, spent twenty years keeping the lights on as a lineman, and now works as an inspector inspecting newly constructed power lines.

I have added a page for Colorado Maps which has a slideshow of Colorado maps, many of which are mentioned in the article. The Colorado Maps page is just below the Colorado Reflections header. I will also add more to the maps page.

I’m excited about interacting with readers of this article. Please leave your comments and questions on this blog. You can also become a fan of Colorado Country Life on Facebook and leave comments on their fan page. I’ll respond to comments and questions there, too.

18 comments:

Renaissance Women said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing. I will point out that the link for Colorado Country Life did not go through. I'll try to access another way.

Gayle Gresham said...

Thanks for letting me know about the link, Doris. I replaced it and it seems to work now.

Joyce Lohse said...

Wow, Gayle -- You made the cover headline as well! Way to go!!!
Congratulations -- Joyce

Jean Henry Mead said...

Your love of research certainly shines through in your work, Gayle. Fascinating!

hamms said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I am a geographer who loves cartography and making maps! Always love seeing & reading about them!

Eunice Boeve said...

Good job, Gayle. I have a fondness for Colorado because of the many vaction trips we took when the kids were growing up. We usually stayed around Idaho Springs, Evergreen, Golden, sometimes Nederland, Boulder, Loveland. Enjoyed the article. Isn't it neat to walk where you know your people before you walked?

Dean said...

As I live on the same place in Yuma County that my Grandad and his brother homesteaded in 1886 and as my Grandad worked in the silver mines in Ouray and Silverton at that time to help finance his farm, I have naturally become sort of fascinated with Colorado history. I really enjoyed your article in Colorado County Life. I do have a pet peeve for accuracy in some details. When I saw your map on page 17 as Colorado Counties existed in 1890, I knew it was a mistake. By 1890, Yuma and most NE Colorado counties had already been established from Weld County.
You made me dig out my 8th grade Colorado History Book (The Colorado Story by Hafer and Hafer). From their maps, your map could possibly be the map of when Colorado became a Territory in 1861. Their maps show that by 1876, Summit County had been divided into Summit and Grand counties.
Present day Yuma County was once a part of Weld (north of 40th Paralell) and Arapahoe (south of the 40th). In 1887, the southeast portion of Weld became Washington. In 1889 Washington was split east and west to become Washington and Yuma. The southern portions of present day Washington and Yuma remained Arapahoe. Because of the great distance to travel to the county seat in Denver, this area was carved out of Arapahoe and became Adams in 1902, but the county seat was still in Denver. In 1903, this far eastern portion of Adams became the south half of present Yuma and Washington counties.
Sorry to be a stickler or details. I still enjoyed your article very much and hope you keep up your work with history of Colorado.

Gayle Gresham said...

Dean, you are absolutely correct. The map published with the article is definitely from a much earlier date than 1890.

Thank you for writing. It's always fun to hear from another Colorado history enthusiast who has deep roots! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I had fun researching and writing it.

Big Wheel said...

Great article in Country Life on maps!! Meet another map "junkie" but a generation or two older. Both of my grandfathers were here in Civil War days, Have lived near Buena Vista last 29 years so know this country well including Cache Creek where our local Trout Unlimited chapter has installed gates, cleaned up several dump trucks full of trash, and done some stream rehabilitation. Have even caught a few brookies out of the Creek.
Worked the Summer of 1942 for the Dept. of Interior's General Land Office resurveying the Minturn quadrangle long before anyone thought of the Vail Ski area. The original survey (ca.1870) was botched, only the east, south, and west boundaries actually done and not very well --rest was guesstimated from a high point and a traverse down Gore Creek and the Eagle River. but we found most of the old boy's corners that he did set. Minturn quad published after that shows our work. Pretty rugged country. Climbed the Holy Cross on the 4th of July that year.

More info my map experiences if you are interested. Could do some on E-mails with pict. More space. Vern Rutherford, alias Big Wheel

Gayle Gresham said...

Thank you for your kind words, Vern. Please e-mail me at gcgresham@msn.com Look forward to visiting with you about mapping and our Chaffee County heritages!

LUVINBV said...

Hi! I just read your article in Colorado Country Life, and was so excited to see the first chapter about Cache Creek and Granite. We owned the Granite Store and Country Peddler Cafe' for years. I became an avid collector of history, pictures and general knowledge of the area when we lived there. I have always been an advocate that Granite and the surrounding area are some of the most historical and ‘colorful” areas in Colorado. Owning the Country Peddler I had the fortune of meeting many people who grew up in the area or had family that had wonderful vivid memories of Granite and the surrounding areas. My love of the area and history in general, created an obsession in collecting articles, pictures which I accumulated over the years we lived in Granite. So thank you for making the first part of your article about Cache Creek and Granite. It truly holds some of Colorado most colorful and early history, which has sadly slipped through the cracks of time. One of my favorite pictures I have is of a flat buckboard wagon with a man and child coming out of Cache Creek looking over the Arkansas and Granite. Have a great day - and thank you for the article. Donna Snyder

Gayle Gresham said...

Donna, thank you for your comment. I would love to visit with you about Cache Creek and Granite sometime. Will you please e-mail me at gcgresham@msn.com I'm giving a presentation on Cache Creek at the Gold Prospectors of Colorado meeting in May.

Glenn G. Poole II said...

Gayle, thanks for the great article. Nice, concise history of Colorado. I'm a map lover myself and pouring over maps planning for the next hike or backpacking trip is part of the fun.

Glenn

Doris Baker said...

Gayle, I'm a little behind, but I've now read your Colorado Country Life article. I enjoyed both the information it contained and the enthusiasm it transmitted. Keep research and writing. We're waiting for more! Doris

steve said...

Hi. Very nice article in the REA magazine. I am finishing up a book about John C Fremont's ride through Northern Colorado in 1843. If you have time, please email me at schell.stephen@gmail.com for three books you will enjoy if you haven't alreay seen them. steve

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Anonymous said...

Gayle-
I thought you might be interested in our "map room" in an old Victorian house in Georgetown, Colorado. The previous owners took old maps (Geological Survey maps I think since they have elevations on them) and used them for wallpaper in our bathroom. And on top of that they wrote in interesting facts about all the old mines and towns. If you are ever in Georgetown I would be happy to show them to you. I will email you our information if you want to come sometime.
Sue

Anonymous said...

I went to the Granite cemetery, And I was wondering if you have any info,on that cemetery,And about some type of house or building that burned down behind it.Please contact me @. mdt282002@yahoo.com. Thank you.