Monday, April 27, 2009

Globeville Day Nursery

Early in the 20th century, many women in Globeville found it necessary to work outside the home in commercial laundries, the packing plants or as domestics in the homes of Denver's wealthy citizens. Although some families had grandparents who could watch young children while mothers were at work, those who didn't could rely on the Globeville Day Nursery.
Garden Place teachers Annie Kelly and Luann B. Hanna were instrumental in founding the nursery in 1909, and served on the board of directors for the life of the center. The center was located at 4414 Logan Street and was managed for many years by Miss Mattie Parkhurst.
For 10 cents a day children were given "a nutritious hot lunch and a 3 pm snack of bread and jelly, milk and fruit." The children were under the medical supervision of Dr. Robert S. Burket, "who visits each day." The nursery was open six days a week.
In addition to caring for children, the center was a resource for immigrant families assimilating into American life. A Mother's Club met on the third Tuesday of the month to study "America, her needs and ideals" and the English language.
The nursery served the neighborhood until 1948 when it closed because of declining enrollment. The house is now a private residence.

photos courtesy of Paul Goreski
Top photo, children in the front yard of the Globeville Day Nursery
Lower photos, left to right Florence Fanning, Mattie Parkhurst, unknown, Louise Goreski

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Saturday, February 25, 1950

Photos used with written permission from Janet Wagner
Both the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News featured the storyKOA radio carried the broadcast live and a score of airplanes flew overhead. An estimated 100,000 people gathered near the site while an additional 250,000 watched from rooftops and ridges all over the city. The occasion was the demolition of the Grant Smelter smokestack, a 350-foot remnant of Denver's glory days of mining and smelting.
The giant chimney was built in 1892, part of the expansion of Denver's largest smelter, the Omaha and Grant. The stack was the tallest structure in the region and a symbol of the city's largest industry.
A year after the completion of the chimney, the nation experienced a depression that hit mining and smelting hard. Changes in technology, the depletion of rich ores and the long, violent labor strike of 1903 resulted in the closing of the smelter, leaving the massive plant and stack.
The smelter was dismantled until only the enormous smokestack remained, and it became a playground for neighborhood children who rode their bikes in and out and dared each other to climb the steep walls. Issues of safety and economics eventually dictated the that the stack would be demolished.
Saturday, February 25, 1950, was the day selected for the demolition. Denver Mayor Quigg Newton, politicians and newspapermen made speeches eulogizing the structure as most of Denver's population waited. There was delay after delay until 5:00 pm when five blasts, each two seconds apart, exploded in the base of the 7000-ton tower. Incredibly, nothing happened. When three more blasts were detonated, a million bricks crashed to earth and a blinding cloud of dust enveloped officials and spectators. It took more dynamite on the following day to finish the job. Denver had shed a piece of its industrial past and, in 1952, constructed the Denver Coliseum on the spot. 
Photos of the stack courtesy of Janet Wagner