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A Cautionary Tale ~ Part 3

A Cautionary Tale ~ Part 3

On January 6, 1919, four-year-old Ralph E. Waldo, Jr. remembered running up and down the aisle in a “theater,” but most likely it was a mortuary. At the end of the aisle Ralph stopped numerous times to peer into the casket holding the remains of his mother, Alfa Frances Warton Waldo, and his stillborn baby brother. The impact of the 1918 influenza epidemic lingers in the annals of Waldo family history. 

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A Cautionary Tale ~ Part 2

A Cautionary Tale ~ Part 2

Earlier this month, a friend sent a photo of a lone gravestone in an abandoned cemetery near Briggsdale. The inscription on the stone piqued my interest, as I wondered if Catherine was a victim of the 1918 flu epidemic.

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A Cautionary Tale ~ Part 1

A Cautionary Tale ~ Part 1

As the coronavirus pandemic continues in its unrelenting strangle-hold on people’s lives, from the confines and comforts of home, I recalled a program I researched and presented years ago about the Spanish influenza epidemic in Greeley and Weld County.

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Buckskin Bill’s Imaginary Love Affair with Rattlesnake Kate

Buckskin Bill’s Imaginary Love Affair with Rattlesnake Kate

One might feel like they are intruding while reading the personal correspondence between Colonel Charles D. Randolph, who called himself “Buckskin Bill” the “Poet of the Plains”, and Kate Slaughterback, a.k.a. Rattlesnake Kate. The reality is that the poems are a reflection of the story-spinning abilities of this “Poet of the Plains.”

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Things I Learned while Looking Up Something Else

Things I Learned while Looking Up Something Else

Historian Carol Rein Shwayder began researching her family genealogy in the 1970s. She was “dismayed, and shocked” to find there was no book written for Weld County history. In 1983, Shwayder self-published Weld County Old & New: History of Weld County, Colorado, Vol. I, Chronology 1836-1983.  It is described by the author as “A chronological compendium of interesting, useful, and hard-to-find facts and information about the history and development of Weld County, Colorado. Herein follows a sampling of excerpted entries.

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Out of the Cold

Out of the Cold

Keeping warm was a priority in the winter months of Greeley’s early days. During the 1870s, The Greeley Tribune reported many incidents of people who had frozen their feet and hands while working on the plains in severe weather conditions.

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It is safe to say that these are historic and challenging times. Across our region and throughout the world people are grieving the loss of Elijah McClain, Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many other African Americans and people of color that have been harmed by the abuses of power in our society. Though City of Greeley Museums’ sites are closed, we are continually working to create a more welcoming space for all, to share a more inclusive narrative, and to document and preserve the rich and diverse history of our community.

One way Greeley Museums is working towards these goals is by continuing its participation in the Dearfield Dream Project. Museums Manager Sarah Saxe joined Emeritus Professor Bob Brunswig, Professor George Junne, and students Yessica Berumen and Edwardo Maya, all from University of Northern Colorado, UNC, in their archaeology field program at the early 20th century African-American town-site of Dearfield, Colorado, 24 miles east of Greeley. Current Colorado State Historical Fund-supported fieldwork focuses on the former residence and workplace of Dearfield’s blacksmith and mechanic, Squire Brockman, who lived there from 1919 through 1953. This summer’s fieldwork is just one aspect of the Dearfield Dream Project, a collaboration between UNC, Black American West Museum & Heritage Center, City of Greeley Government, Colorado State University, and others to preserve the Dearfield town-site and to increase knowledge of Dearfield’s contribution to African-American efforts for economic self-sufficiency and social justice. Greeley Museums will store artifacts uncovered during this summer’s field program and plans are in progress for an upcoming exhibition.
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