Tag Archives: Arapaho Indians

Westminster Castle: the Big Red Castle

Have you ever wondered about the big red castle at 3455 West 83rd Avenue? It stands out because it was built at Crown Point, which is 5,552 feet above sea level. The sandstone tower is another 175 feet high, well above the Mile-High City, Denver, Colorado.

Even though it is much shorter than the many skyscrapers of Denver, Westminster Castle overlooks precious land. Looking west from the tower, you can imagine a prairie where Arapaho Indians once camped and hunted buffalo.

Stretching your vision towards the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, there are remnants of the Cherokee-Overland Trail. From 1849 until the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869, Native Americans, pioneers, and gold seekers traveled here between the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail seeking a better life.

Built in 1893, the three-story castle became a Presbyterian university. In 1915, the Board of Trustees decided to exclude women from the university. Within two years, they discovered they had no students at all. All of the young men had gone to fight in World War I.

Today you can tour the castle, now used by the Belleview Christian Schools. There will be a winter open house sponsored by the Westminster Historical Society on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Prepare to join the Historical Society for $15. per person or $25. per family. Meet at the Westminster History Center, 7200 Lowell Boulevard by 10:30am, then drive to the Castle to take a tour between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Wear your walking shoes and plan to climb the steep and narrow steps to the tower for a stunning view.

If you miss this opportunity, check the Westminster Historical Society Calendar for the June Open House or request a personal tour.

View from the Westminster Castle Tower

View from the Westminster Castle Tower


Lake Haiyaha

The trail to this natural wonder requires some strength of mind and body. Beginning at the popular Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park a person can hike to Bear Lake, Nymph Lake, Dream Lake and finally find the uphill climb to Lake Haiyaha. You can boast about the completion of a 4.2 mile hike, out and back. The name comes from the Arapaho Indian language meaning rocks. Be prepared to climb over some huge boulders to gain a view of this hidden lake.
Arapaho Indians lived in southeastern Wyoming and eastern Colorado during the 1800’s when white men began to settle the western territories. They were known for their beadwork, bravery and buffalo hunting. Today the Arapaho live in Oklahoma and on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.
Think about Enos Mills and F.O. Stanley, who were determined to protect this area by establishing Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915. Why did they choose an Indian word for one of the 150 lakes in the park? Can you name other places which use the word Arapaho?