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Con Job

A Young Man was walking down 17th street towards Union Station. His eyes fixed on a sign, “railroad ticket office” about a block away. He was unbothered by the chaotic chorus of horse-drawn carriages and trolleys pulling businessmen in dapper suits and dirt-caked workers alike up and down the streets of downtown Denver. As he... Read More »

Revisit 1948: Denver Mansions

A house is as much alive as the people who had it built. The house carries the personality from the families that dwell within. They are born out of brick and mortar and live for an underdetermined amount of time, protecting the people who dwell in them from the elements. Unfortunately, sometimes they are torn... Read More »

Denver Legends: Soapy Smith, Part 2

Soapy Smith and his gang set up shot in Creede, Colorado where he opened the Orleans Club saloon and gambling hall. Soapy ran the town, by corrupting local officials to intimidating any that wouldn’t take a kickback. The gang killed with near impunity claiming self-defense if anyone spoke up or questioned the cons they fell... Read More »

Denver Legends: Soapy Smith

Early Denver was built on promise. The promise of fortune was to be had in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. The promise of finding a fresh start by striking it rich on a claim. The promise of showing off your wealth with the comforts home in the middle of the Wild West. However, the... Read More »

A Funeral for Denver’s Gyspy Queen

Since its founding, Denver’s sunny disposition hides an underbelly of con artists, grifters, fortunetellers looking to make a quick buck. This was brought to light in the autumn of 1970, when Denver residents were witness to a rare event, a funeral befitting a Gypsy Queen. At least that is how it was described in newspaper... Read More »

Throwback Thursday: Denver newspaper reporter explores marijuana scene

In the summer of 1951, Rocky Mountain News reporter Jack Gaskie went on a quest to see how difficult it would be for a regular Joe to buy marijuana in Denver. This was 15 years after the film “Reefer Madness” cemented the idea that marijuana was as dangerous as opium and heroin, Gaskie’s journey confirmed... Read More »

Ink! Coffee Continues the Tale of Two Denvers

“The West is an interrupted dream. Different groups of people that have come to the west have interrupted the natural evolution of the groups that they found there. We have a constant metting and migration of groups and the real story is how the groups affect each other.” I heard this on a recent viewing... Read More »

Theodore Coneys: Denver’s Spider-Man

Theodore Coneys: Denver’s Spider-ManFor a brief time in the 1940s, a two-story Folk Victorian home in Denver’s West Highland neighborhood spooked residents and vexed police. Neighbors jammed the operator lines for the police department on their rotary phones to report “ghost lights’’ coming from the home with the peaked roof and windows that resembles eyes. Two would-be housekeepers... Read More »