Monday, March 19, 2018

Fences and gates in Globeville

Globeville has been around for more than a century and a walk through the neighborhood is almost like viewing an archaeological site: remnants of every stage of its development are still visible. Before the 1880s, the prairie north of Denver was grassland, sparsely settled by American-born farmers and homesteaders. With the arrival of the railroads, three large smelters, factories, foundries, brickyards and meat packers, the area evolved into an industrial town populated by immigrants. The newcomers built what they could afford on tiny lots, often using railroad lumber purchased from the Burlington shops. Property was hard to come by in the old country and the settlers from eastern Europe and Russia took great pride in owning a home.
Once the house was built, owners would build a fence to keep livestock out and the children in the yard. Many of those iron fences and gates remain - sturdy reminders of those proud pioneers.

Beautiful ironwork, flagstone sidewalks
Photo ® Mary Lou Egan

A heritage rose hugs and old fence
Photo ® Mary Lou Egan

Richter Iron Works, a foundry at 32nd and Blake
Photo ® Mary Lou Egan

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Community Activist - Sarah Wolf

--> “The highways ruined Globeville.-->” Sarah Wolf explained.“Before the highways, Globeville was the best place in the world. We had people from all over the world - Austrians, Swedes, Germans, Russians, Polacks, Irish and one black family - and we all got along.For years, rumors about construction of interstate highways were whispered and debated. In 1950, the Valley Highway (I-25) sliced off the western edge of the neighborhood, and in 1960 work began on I-70, the east-west thoroughfare that cut through the heart of the community. Battling the Valley Highway led to Sarah
-->s first experience fighting the city. “We had meetings at St. Jacobs Hall, at churches, businesses and at city hall. When its your home, you have to stand up. The neighbors even hired lawyers, but the decision to build the freeways through Globeville had been made long ago. Construction began and many long-time residents moved away. Not Sarah Wolf. I was born in this house.The house was built by her father, John Wolf. Sarah had a faraway look in her eyes. “My dad worked for the Globe Smelter for a dollar a day, using a wheelbarrow to move ore around. He worked nights, and during the day, he built this house. As soon as he saved a little money, he sent for other family members from the old country. My dads family and my mothers family were all here and we all lived on Leaf Court.
“When they were in Russia, they had no say about their lives and had to answer to the czar. In this country, my dad, a poor immigrant, was elected a trustee of Globeville. He really liked having a say in making his town a good place to live. 
Sarah inherited her fathers pride in his community as well as his talent for organizing. When plans to enlarge the Mousetrap were revealed in the mid 1970s, ramps to the neighborhood had been eliminated. Sarahs voice rose. Globeville would be cut off. There would be no access for the people who live here, fire trucks and ambulances would take longer to answer calls, and trucks would have to go through the neighborhood to get to their plants. 
We held meetings at the churches, the lodges and the Globeville Civic Association. I persuaded the presidents of Noble Sysco and Anheuser Busch to write letters, and I got Councilmen Eugene DiManna and State Representative Ted Bendelow involved.” 
The letters and meetings paid off.
A  bridge at 48th Avenue to the Pecos Street interchange was built and dedicated on August 30, 1978. Shortly after the bridge opened, Sarahs neighbors petitioned the city to have the bridge named in her honor. In 1988, their wish was granted by Mayor Federico Peña. A bronze plaque that read Sarahs Bridgewas embedded in the base on the east side. The plaque represents much of what Sarah believed: that in America, an immigrant can make good, that persistence can prevail, and that the city government can be held accountable to all its citizens.   

The family of John Wolf about 1914.
Front row, left to right, Grandfather Peter Wolf, David,
John Wolf Sr., Sarah, Ann Marie (nee Kilthau).
Standing, left to right, Christine, Katherine, Adam, John and Hulda.
Used with written permission from Sarah Wolf.

Dedication ceremony, August 30, 1978
Left to right, Manager of Public Works Harold Cook,
Councilman Sal Carpio, Sarah wolf and Councilman Larry Perry.
Used with written permission from Sarah Wolf.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Carpio Sanguinette Park

Pioneers. When brothers William and Louis Sanguinette arrived in 1876, the area was open prairie, populated by the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and scattered homesteaders. The brothers were soon joined by their father Peter, who purchased 10 acres of land from homesteader William H. Clark, and began building a home for their large, extended family. (Louis and his wife Mary had 14 children). Smelters and railroads built into the region and other settlers found work, built homes and incorporated their growing village, naming it Globeville.
Sanguinettes raised enough vegetables, turkeys and chickens to support themselves and to sell to local markets, delivered by horse and wagon and later by truck. But low crop prices during the Depression crippled farmers and, in 1936, the family sold part of their property to the City of Denver for a sewage treatment plant. Many members of the large family moved away as larger industries, trucking companies, and salvage lots took over the area.
Another pioneer associated with Globeville is Sal Carpio, the first Hispanic to represent District 9 on Denver’s City Council. Carpio served three terms on city council and gave a voice to the district’s growing Hispanic community. He led the Denver Housing Authority from 1994 to 2007 and helped bring low-income housing options to the city. Carpio was also known as a teacher and mentor. “He knew city politics about better than anyone else,” said former two-term Denver Mayor Federico Peña, who met Carpio in 1973. “I consider him to be the brightest mind in city politics at the time.” Sal Carpio died September 25, 2014 at the age of 73. 1.
Use of the sewage plant was discontinued in 1966 and the area weathered neglect and abuse until 1999, when the city transformed the site into a 13-acre park. The legacy of former plant remained, with the large concrete forms that once treated wastewater painted with graffiti murals.
Residents referred to the park as “Northside Park,” but wanted to find a name that honored the history of the neighborhood. On October 9, 2017, Denver City Council voted unanimously to name the park Carpio-Sanguinette Park to honor two pioneers, Sal Carpio and the Sanguinette family.

 Sanguinette Farm. Members of the family remain in Globeville.
Photo used with written permission from Nora  Landberg

Looking west. Photos ® Mary Lou Egan 

1. Denver Post, September 27, 2014

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Year's in Globeville

Today, the week between Christmas and New Years is a frenzy of activity - gift returns, end-of-year car sales, the ubiquitous mattress sale, parties and non-stop Bowl Games.
In Globevilles early years, New Years Eve was also a busy time, with celebrations of old-world traditions with friends and coaxing good fortune in the year ahead with feasts.
The New Year was celebrated at midnight by whistles from the smelter, the meatpacking plants, and brickyards. Random gunfire from intoxicated revelers also punctuated the night.
Church bells rang on January 1st, as Globevilles Orthodox Christians, Poles, Slovenes and Croats observed the Circumcism of Jesus with attendance at Mass.

The New Year was welcomed with special foods symbolic of good luck, health and prosperity.
  • Fish, particularly those with silver scales, were thought to symbolize money.
  • Pork, with its rich fat content, was a harbinger of prosperity. Serving roast pork loin and sausages was common.
  • Greens, usually cabbage, were associated with money and were thought to bring good fortune.
  • Ring-shaped breads, cookies and doughnuts represented the year coming full circle.
  • There were also tortes, nut rolls, strudels and povitica.
  • And vodka, slivovitz, whiskey, home-made wine and brandies.
New Years Day was the occasion for German Russians to visit family members: older aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, and godparents. A child wishing an older family member a happy new year might receive a coin (Wünschgelt or wishing money). Adults visitors might be offered a shot of whiskey, a glass of wine or beer.
German Russian traditions 
Many of these traditions have been passed down while some only live in memory. Whatever your family traditions include, we wish you Szczesliwego Nowego Roku (Polish), Sretna Nova Godina (Croatian), Srečno Novo Leto (Slovenian), Štastný Nový Rok (Slovak), Ich wünsche euch ein glückseliges Neues Jahr (German Russian).

Greeting cards, one from 1911 and one from 1907

Monday, November 6, 2017

With Our Men in Service

Volume II, Number 14. The weekly bulletin from Holy Rosary Parish was packed with information about the upcoming carnival, a Sunday ham dinner and bingo event, and notices of Men’s Sodality and Ladies Altar Society meetings. But during World War II, the news most appreciated was from those in the armed services. Tidbits were gleaned from letters home and shared among parishioners.
Members of the First German Congregational Church formed the Blue Star Letter Writing Committee to keep the congregation’s 175 service members informed about church activities, and a newsletter called “The Minister's Mailbag” to keep the men in contact with each other as well.
The students at Garden Place School collected scrap and saved their pennies for bond drives, while the young women of Holy Rosary Young Ladies’ Sodality volunteered at the Catholic USO at 16th and Logan. The Polish Harmony Club, a young-people’s group affiliated with the Polish National Alliance, entertained servicemen at Fitzsimons Army Hospital and sponsored weekly dances at the Polish Hall for military personnel.
Mary Canjar joined the Red Cross and attended classes to become an air raid warden. She was issued a uniform with a shirt, pants, helmet and armband, and made sure that windows were covered and lights turned off during blackout periods. Canjar won an award for persuading every family on Logan Street to purchase War Bonds.
Victory gardens, meatless meals, grease collection and scrap drives all supported the war effort. Women filled vacancies in factories when men left for the service. Carol Christensen worked on aircraft (including Eleanor Roosevelt’s plane) at McClellan Field near Sacramento.
On both V-E and V-J Day, church bells, factory whistles and car horns sounded. Twelve young men from Globeville lost their lives in the war; the nation and the neighborhood were forever changed by the conflict. Globeville honored its veterans from World Wars I and II with a memorial in Argo Park, dedicated August 25, 1948. Joseph Zalar, a casualty of the Korean War, would be added later.

The memorial in Argo Park honors veterans
from World War I, World War II and Korea.
Photo ® Mary Lou Egan

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Queen of the Holy Rosary - Kraljica sv. Roznega Venca

The dedication program is written in Slovenian. The community of Southern Slavs wished to both celebrate their religion and preserve their culture in their new country. (And working twelve hours a day, six and seven days a week didn't allow much time for learning English).

Slovenes and Croats had been arriving in Globeville since the late 1880s and found low-paying, industrial jobs in one of the area's three smelters, its foundries, brickyards, railroads and meatpacking plants. At the urging of Bishop Nicholas Matz, Catholics attended St. Joseph's Polish Catholic Church in the neighborhood, but Slovenes and Croats didn't contribute financially, since they were saving to build a parish of their own. In 1918, new bishop Henry Tihen gave his approval for a Slovenian church and the fund raising continued in earnest. Money was raised in the lodges; St. Jacob's Croation Lodge, KSKJ, the Western Slavonic (WSA) and the American Fraternal Union. And there were concerts, plays, and a week-long festival to raise funds.

Ground for the new parish was broken in May 1919 and construction moved swiftly. The parish was dedicated on July 4th, 1920 to the Queen of Holy Rosary - Kraljica sv. Roznega Venca.

Today, a new group of immigrants shares this devotion to the Queen of Holy Rosary. A bi-lingual Mass will be held on the feast day of the parish, Saturday, October 7th at 7:00 pm with refreshments and fellowship in the parish hall. Holy Rosary Parish is located at 4688 Pearl Street in Globeville.

A Slovene Glee Club gave concerts to raise money
Photo ® Betty Zalar Praprocki

Father Cyril Zupan celebrates May crowning at Holy Rosary
photo ® Mary Lou Egan


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

African Americans in Globeville - Charles Lilburn Cousins

4200 block of North Broadway, ® Mary Lou Egan

Today the site is occupied by nondescript warehouse and distribution structures, but Sarah Cousins Sims remembered when North Broadway was a block of small family homes. “We came to Denver from Kansas. My father decided he could progress more in Denver than he could in Atcheson so we came out here in 1909 and he purchased a house at 4229 North Broadway. North Denver at that time was a mixture of all nationalities: we had an Italian family on the south side of us and, on the north side, we had a German husband and wife.
We went to Garden Place School. . . I think we were the only Negroes, at least around there. But there were all nationalities there at that time, and nobody really thought anything about whether we were white, Negro or what. We were all just sort of one family then. 1. 
Sarahs family was part of the great western migration of African Americans in the years following the Civil War. These newcomers were seeking economic opportunity, homestead land, a healthy climate and less racial oppression than in the South or Midwest. Sarahs father, Charles L. Cousins worked as a porter for the Pullman Company for thirty-three years and raised a large family. By saving ten percent of every dollar he made and teaching himself construction skills, he was able to purchase run-down buildings in the Whittier Neighborhood and repair them with salvaged material. Cousins walked from his home in Globeville to the building site and worked on the restorations on his days off from the railroad. The renovated properties were then rented at modest rates, and Cousins acquired more projects while teaching construction and repair skills to his son and other young men in the neighborhood. 2.
The family would move from Globeville to the Whittier Neighborhood in 1917. Cousins continued to build and rent properties, making housing available to his people at a time when covenants and lending practices restricted African Americans. A leader in the African American community, Cousins passed away in 1962, and his wife Alta in 1971. The Cousins family continues to operate many of the properties he built. 3.

 Charles Lilburn and Alta Cousins, Denver Public Library

Alta Cousins Terrace, 725 East Twenty Sixth Avenue
1. Sarah Sims. Transcript of OH0107. Recorded on January 25, 1977
2. Denver Neighborhood History Project, 1993-94. Five Points Neighborhood, Denver, CO
3. Denver Neighborhood History Project, 1993-94. Whittier Neighborhood, Denver, CO