Tag Archives: Colorado

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

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Look Who is Coming to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area

Soapstone Prairie
Residents of Northern Colorado often think of their ancestors as the earliest people who lived on the land. Prior to the pioneers, however, there were indigenous people who thrived here by hunting abundant wildlife and gathering naturally growing food. How many of us truly understand the historical time during which early humans survived in this area?
In this photo you can see a gorge which was excavated by the Smithsonian Institute and proved that humans occupied this land since the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago. Clovis points from spears prove early man hunted prehistoric animals in this area. The Lindenmeir Site is not being explored further. Instead the land is preserved.
On November 1, 2015, ten genetically pure American bison will be moved to the unspoiled grassland in hopes of preserving one of the few bison who have not been crossbred with cattle or infected with a disease carried by the Yellowstone bison.
This herd of bison are the largest land animals in North America and will be fenced and protected on 1,000 acres of public land.
To learn more about the trails and programs at Soapstone Prairie and Red Mountain Open space go to: naturalareas@fcgov.com
This park is only open from March 1 – November 30.

Residents of Northern Colorado often think of their ancestors as the earliest people who lived on the land. Prior to the pioneers, however, there were indigenous people who thrived here by hunting abundant wildlife and gathering naturally growing food. How many of us truly understand the historical time during which early humans survived in this area?
In this photo you can see a gorge which was excavated by the Smithsonian Institute and proved that humans occupied this land since the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago. Clovis points from spears prove early man hunted prehistoric animals in this area. The Lindenmeir Site is not being explored further. Instead the land is preserved.
On November 1, 2015, ten genetically pure American bison will be moved to the unspoiled grassland in hopes of preserving one of the few bison who have not been crossbred with cattle or infected with a disease carried by the Yellowstone bison.
This herd of bison are the largest land animals in North America and will be fenced and protected on 1,000 acres of public land.
To learn more about the trails and programs at Soapstone Prairie and Red Mountain Open space go to: naturalareas@fcgov.com
This park is only open from March 1 – November 30.

American Bison

What is a Wickiup?

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This wickiup was reconstructed at the White River Museum in Meeker, Colorado to display how several of the Indian tribes created temporary shelters. They were usually no more than three feet high and were covered with skins. Hot coals or stones were placed in the center. Native American people curled up under their buffalo robes and survived extreme conditions in these tiny huts.

 Do you have any stories about outdoor forts or homemade shelters in which you and your friend spent the night? What would people bring with them for an overnight camping trip in the twenty first century?