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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Polish Food Festival - August 12 and 13

Saturday, August 12, from noon until 9:00 pm
Sunday, August 13, from noon until 7:00 pm

St. Joseph's Polish Roman Catholic Church, 517 E 46th

for details, see

Polish Food:
Pierogi (Polish Dumplings), Gołąbki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls), Hunter Stew (Bigos),
Potato Pancakes (Placki Ziemniaczane), Kiełbasa (Polish Sausage), Kaszanka (Blood Sausage), and more! Price: $6-$8 per meal

Polish Beer: Perła, Żywiec, Warka, Okocim, Lech, Łomża. Price: $6 per large 0.5L bottle
Polish Pastries: All delicacies are home-made by the ladies of our parish. Great variety of small-batch creations. Price: $3 per piece

Krakowiacy Polish Dancers

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Railroads and Globeville

Coloradans rejoiced when the Denver Pacific Railroad's first train steamed into Denver on June 22, 1870, and celebrated again when the Kansas Pacific arrived in August. Now the territory was connected to the rest of the nation and settlers had access to supplies, markets for their products and mail. To an economy dependent on minerals and mining, railroads also promised an outlet for Colorado's gold and silver.
In 1878, the Boston and Colorado Smelter relocated from Black Hawk and built a large plant west of the Platte River, taking advantage of the confluence of rail lines on the plains. The Omaha and Grant Smelter opened in 1882 and the Globe followed in 1889. Foundries, pattern shops, brick yards and businesses that supported mining grew along the rails, as well as meat packing plants and machine shops to service the railroads. Within a generation, a rural outpost had become the industrial town of Globeville, surrounded by railroads.
The rail lines appear on maps with the names changing with each merger or acquisition: the Denver Pacific and the Kansas Pacific would become the Union Pacific (1880); the Colorado and Southern (1898); the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy (1901); the Denver and Salt Lake (1912), and the Denver and Interurban (owned by the Colorado and Southern).
Today, there are only two rail lines: the Burlington Northern and the Union Pacific, and they still encompass and define Globeville.

1898 Rollandet map

Company picnic, photo used with written permission from Ed Wargin

 Burlington chugs past Polack Valley ® Mary Lou Egan

Monday, July 10, 2017

Orthodox Food Festival and Old Globeville Days

It's almost here - the 14th Annual Orthodox Food Festival and Old Globeville Days at Holy Transfiguration of Christ Orthodox Cathedral, 349 E 47th Avenue (at Logan Street) in Denver. This grand event will be held one day only, Saturday, July 15, 2017, from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Taste ethnic food favorites from Romania, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Eritrea, Italy, Greece and Mexico, as well as grilled lamb, hot dogs, craft beer and Slivovitz (Slovenian plum brandy). 
Enjoy live entertainment, games for the children, crafts, an iconography exhibit, and tours of the historic Orthodox Cathedral. Admission is FREE. Presented by Holy Transfiguration of Christ Orthodox Cathedral.
Orthodox Food Festival

Planina Ukrainian Singers