2.28.2011

Lost in Time at the Library


Saturday afternoon Dan and I decided to head downtown to the library to see if we could track down a copy of Robinson Crusoe and explore the library's historic documents and genealogy department.  

We found it, first try, without the use of the reference computers! Only trouble was that there were approximately 9 different versions and I wanted the exact version that I started reading via free iBooks download... turns out, it wasn't any of the one's above, but a forest-green bound book complete with... pictures!



I could wander the aisles of a Library, just reading the titles (sideways of course) for hours.



Then we headed up to the 5th floor, the Historic Documents & Genealogy Department! I was in heaven. Thanks to several heavy-duty research projects for school, I got to spend a fair amount of time up there, so I wanted to show Dan around. We (okay, mostly just me...) are total geeks for anything and everything related to Denver history- architecture, neighborhoods (after all, we live in a 115 year old house!), mining, cowboys, Native Americans, politics, the Victorian Era... love it!


We pulled open some of the drawers of the archives and found this awesome old map of the United States from 1855!! Dan was trying to pin-point our exact current location.


Dan appearing interested in the artwork, for the sake of a photo ;)


I love this.


We found this gigantic book of East Denver's neighborhoods, complete with building plans and city blueprints from 1940.




We found our house! 



 It was a great way to spend an hour of our Saturday afternoon. We may go back soon to try and find the original building plans of our house to see how it originally looked in 1896 when it was still one giant mansion. We know quite a bit about the original owners thanks to a little guide to Denver historic homes. It was built by General Hall who served as Denver territorial secretary from 1866-1874 and then city treasurer until 1895. He was also the mining editor for the Denver Post and Denver Times, and worked for the Butterfield Overland Dispatch Company which later became Wells, Fargo, and Company. Hall and his wife Susan bought our property in 1894 and lived in the 6,000 square foot home until their deaths in 1917(F.) and 1939(S.)...spooky! In the book there are a few photos circa 1900 and the house looks lovely with a nice green yard and balconies. The same little book says that "many unfortunate changes have been made to this house over the years", and we have to agree! In 1980 it was tragically converted into condos... luckily, the majority of the original exterior has remained intact and the inside still boasts a lot of historic charm, but the property simply hasn't been cared for as it should have been. We are hoping to get the other residents on board for a major landscape overhaul this summer to get the yard back to decent and an even enjoyable state before BBQ season begins! Wish us luck!



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