Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas postcards 1910

These postcards are to and from family members and are dated 1910. The printing is beautiful with gold ink, complex graphics, many colors and some embossed surfaces. The message side is often used as we would use a phone call "will arrive by train on Thursday" or "please send a money order." Some notes are surprisingly personal and tender, considering how visible the content would be: "missing you tonight." Denver was much smaller, too. One card is simply addressed to the Globe Mercantile, Globeville and apparently arrived there alright.

Friday, November 26, 2010

45th Avenue Pharmacy

This photo used with written permission from Lauren Summers, grandson of Carl Gerhardt
Ex-Lax, ice cream, fountain service, Coca Cola, 7-Up - the details in the photo of Heck’s Pharmacy on 45th and Sherman tell the story of another era in Globeville.  Unlike the quick, one-stop retail shop of today, the drugstore looks like the kind of place you might like to hang out. Lydia Gerhardt Heck remembered, "My husband worked at the drug store on the corner, and we lived next door. The depression years down in Globeville were very hard and it was nip and tuck for a few years. When liquor came back in 1932, he got an alcohol license and that helped him pay the rent and kept him going until the war. During the war, everybody went to work, made big money and spent money and then he did OK."

Bottom photo used with written permission from Lauren Summers. The man with the hat is Carl Gerhardt, Harry Heck’s father-in-law.
Top photo, the same location in 2010, Mary Lou Egan

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Argo Park

The Rocky Mountain News described Argo Park as “…a delightful retreat on the banks of the Platte…whose grounds have been prettily laid out… a charming suburban retreat.” The occasion was the dedication of the park on July 25, 1880, a decade before Globeville existed as a town. The park, which extended from Logan Street on the West to Washington Street on its eastern edge, was intended to serve the residents of Argo, the company town built by the Boston and Colorado Smelter, as well as the citizens of Denver. Philip Zang purchased the “resort” in January, 1885 and made improvements that included a theater, dance pavilion, bowling alley and a small zoo. The park was home to the Strawberry Festival, picnics, band concerts, athletic activities, community gatherings and “pleasure parties of all kinds.”1. Welsh workers from the Boston and Colorado Smelter held annual eisteddfods, or singing contests, in remembrance of customs in their native land.
Martha Kulik Birch remembered, “It was one block square and they had a dance pavilion with an orchestra. People used to work hard all week and then come on the streetcar and dance under the stars. 
In the summer, there were swings, sandboxes, and a little cement wading pool for us kids. When I was about nine or ten [1917], we had this wonderful, husky teacher named Mrs. Roosevelt who wore a middy blouse, a big skirt, and carried a big whistle. We kids never ran wild because everyone obeyed her. She showed us how to make baskets by soaking rattans, and at the end of the summer, we each had a little basket.”2.
The park diminished in size as various owners sold parcels for development, and became part of the Denver parks system when Globeville was annexed in 1902. As part of the New Deal, a swimming pool, changing rooms and baseball fields were added in 1940, and a memorial honoring Globeville veterans killed in World Wars I and II was dedicated on August 25, 1948. More recent improvements have included a lighted baseball and softball field, basketball court, playground, and picnic tables. The pool underwent $1 million in renovations in 2005, a “sprayground” was added in 2007 and walking path in 2014.

1. Rocky Mountain News, July 25, 1880
2. An interview with Martha Kulik Birch with her niece Debbie Strein.
3. Fell, James E., Jr. Ores to Metal: The Rocky Mountain Smelting Industry. Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1979
Top photo, Miss McCammon taught the third and fourth grades - 
photo of her class taken in 1914 with the dance pavilion in the background. 
Photo used with written permission from Minnie Boge Herbert.
Middle and bottom photos, Argo Park today, Mary Lou Egan

Thursday, October 14, 2010

201 East 45th Avenue

The building at 201 East 45th Avenue dates from 1882 and has been a grocery for most of its life. Lydia Heck remembers hearing that the structure was one of the company stores of the big Globe Smelter Company. The building was purchased by her father, Carl Gerhardt, in 1922 and operated as a one-stop shopping venue with everything from canned goods, freshly-made ethnic sausage, cleaning supplies, material for sewing, to toys and penny candy. Larry Summers remembers, "Grandpa would be near the door on the right, where they had a long counter like they had in dry goods stores, to measure yard goods. He would sit on a stool near the door, and, when people came in and out, he would visit with them and “dun” them for payment on their account. Right in the middle of the store was a post with a couple of phones on it, pads hanging on nails and clerks taking orders. Groceries would be gathered in a collapsible box and clerks would go all around and deliver the goods in company trucks." Carl Gerhardt sold the store in 1945, just as supermarkets were moving into the area and residents were moving to newer homes in the suburbs.
Today, the location seems to be a private residence.

Photo at top, Globe Mercantile about 1915. Andy Jackson is the middle fellow in the white apron. Photo used with written permission from June Jackson Egan
Middle photo, Gerhardt Mercantile in 1932. Photo used with written permission from Larry Summers.
Bottom photo taken in 2009 by Mary Lou Egan.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Konstanty Klimoski

Many of the early arrivals to Globeville's Polish community, including Konstanty Klimoski, Piotr Skomorski, Andrew Kowalczyk, Gabriel Cymanski, Andrew Mantych, Jan, Jacob, and Frank Wargin came from the Russian sector of Poland. In the old country, they were subjected to political and religious persecution. It's not surprising that when they settled in Globeville, these men embraced the opportunity to shape the institutions important to them. These men were active in forming the Polish National Alliance, an ethnic, fraternal organization, and were also among the founders of St. Joseph’s Polish Church. Prominent among these leaders was Konstanty Klimoski.

Steve Klimoski remembers, “My grandfather, Konstanty Klimoski, was a big deal in Globeville. In those days, he was like a millionaire because he owned the Cozy Movie Theatre, this huge house at 48th and Washington and had one of the first automobiles in Globeville. He arrived about 1885 and worked in the Grant Smelter. Then he went into business for himself because he had all these kids. He put Wacie [Walter] into the grocery business and Joe Klimoski in the beer joint business, the JK Cafe. He contributed his time digging the foundation for the St. Joseph’s Church, donated a window in St. Joseph’s and one in Holy Rosary Church.”

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thanks from Holy Rosary

Thanks to all who made the Holy Rosary bazaar a success. We were able to introduce the parish to the neighborhood, get to know our neighbors, have a great time and make a little money. Check out all this historic parish has to offer. Mass each weekday is at 9 am, Saturday at 5:30 pm. Sunday at 8, 10 and 11:30 am (Spanish). Religious education begins the week of September 5th. Call 303-297-1962.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tradition Continues at Holy Rosary

In the photo of the first Holy Rosary Parish bazaar in 1919, the men are wearing suits and the ladies are in their native Slovenian and Croatian dresses from the “old country.” They are hoping to raise money for their new church and one can imagine that there was singing, dancing, ethnic food and games.
Holy Rosary will continue this tradition on Sunday, August 29th from 8:30 am to 8 pm in the school parking lot. There will be music, dancing and ethnic food favorites from pancakes to potica and tamales. Music and entertainment will begin at 11:30 with Matachin dancers, live bands, a DJ and Slovenian accordion master, Joann Birsa. Activities for the children include face painting and pony rides. Historic Holy Rosary Church will be open for tours at 1 pm after all the Masses.
Holy Rosary Parish is located at 4688 Pearl Street in Denver, off of I-70 and Washington Street in the Globeville neighborhood. For more information call 303-297-1962 between 9 am and 1 pm.
1919 bazaar photo courtesy of Holy Rosary Church
photos of pony rides and potica by Mary Lou Egan

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Father Mucha's Retirement

In 1970, Father Jan Mucha stopped in Denver while visiting relatives in the United States - a visit that would change the course of his life and that of St. Joseph’s Polish Catholic Church in Globeville. Parishioners liked the young Polish priest and asked him to stay. Mucha accepted their invitation, assisting the pastor, Father Fraczkowski, and assuming the pastorate in January, 1974, after the death of Fraczkowski.

Under Father Mucha’s care, the parish has embraced its Polish heritage and traditions, with Sunday Mass in both English and Polish. Mucha also encouraged the practice of Polish customs associated with Christmas and Easter, and brought back the celebration of Corpus Christi with its procession through the neighborhood. The revitalization of the parish contributed to an improved self image for the Globeville area at a time when the neighborhood was under attack from both industry and Denver city planners.

Father Mucha completed a full restoration of the church in time for the parish’s 75th anniversary in 1977 and presided over the 100th anniversary of the parish in 2002.With the fall of Communism, the parish has become home to a new generation of Polish immigrants and a center for Polish activities. The church has been restored, and the front entrance proudly bears the church's name in Polish, a striking sight to those who pass the church each day on Interstate 70.

“When I came the parish was in danger of being closed,” Father Mucha told the Denver Catholic Register. “There was a small number of people who came here for Mass. Today we have many people, many youth. Our church has three choirs. It’s a wonderful community, one I will miss very much.”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good Time in Globeville

The photos say it best - Globeville knows how to throw a great festival. Father Alex Vallens of Holy Transfiguration of Christ Orthodox Cathedral gave a brief history of the church and explained the iconostas, or icon screen, originally built by parishioners in 1904 in the late 19th century Russian style. Outside, vendors offered ethnic foods from Eastern Europe, Russia, Italy and Mexico, as well as crafts, gifts and an icon demonstration. Sunday's entertainment included Planina, singing songs of Eastern Europe, and enthusiastic performances by children in native dress from the Science, Art & Sport Center for Children. Grupo Folklorico Sabor Latino explained the meaning and construction of each part of their costumes and the meaning in each dance.
Mark the third weekend in July for next year's festival.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Celebrating Globeville

Begin the weekend of celebrating Globeville's rich history at Riverside Cemetery for Walk-A-Bout: "The Other Side of Riverside" at 9:00 am Saturday, July 17. Historian Jeff Stoffel will honor Riverside's Globeville residents with a special focus on the Orthodox section of the cemetery. The walk begins at Riverside's office at 9 am and will conclude at 11 am. Bring water, wear sunscreen and your walking shoes. Remember that there are no facilities at Riverside. This event is free, but will be limited to 20 people, so make a reservation at
Then follow the aroma of roasting lamb to the 7th Annual “Orthodox Food Festival and Old Globeville Days” on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18 at Argo Park, 349 E 47th Avenue (at Logan Street) in Denver. Sample food from Russia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Eritrea, Greece, and Mexico while enjoying live music, activities for the children, entertainment and dance. Visit with your neighbors in the shade of the canopy, tour the craft booths or see a demonstration of iconography. Don't miss an opportunity to tour the beautiful 112-year-old Orthodox Cathedral, a historic landmark.
Saturday festivities will run from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm; on Sunday, the festival is open from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free.
For information, visit or or call 303-294-0938
Top photo, the beautiful Orthodox section of Riverside Cemetery
Second photo, lamb roasting at the 2009 celebration
Third photo, crafts and food from the 2009 evvent
Fourth photo, Fotia from Hellenic Dance Academy of Denver. All photos by Mary Lou Egan

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ironton School

The Ironton School at 36th and Delgany Street was designed by architect John J. Huddart, a native of England who moved to Denver in 1882. Built in 1890, the school served children of workers at the Grant and Globe Smelters and the Union Pacific shops, who were mainly German, Swedish, Scotch, Irish and Slavs. As more industry moved into the neighborhood, families moved out of the area, the school was closed and students transferred to Garden Place School in 1937. The building then served as a temporary home to students of Annunciation Catholic Parish for two years while repair work was being done on the parish school. Ironton found new life as a WPA Sewing Center for several years and was then purchased by a private party and converted into apartments. This handsome building was demolished in 1955 and the site is now home to one of Denver's auto impound lots.
Photo of Ironton School, Denver Public Library
Photo of impound lot, Mary Lou Egan

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Globeville School

Three large smelters, the Boston and Colorado, the Omaha and Grant and the Globe, operated in Globeville between 1878 and 1889 and workers moved to the town seeking jobs. As the population grew, the region evolved from a rural outpost to an industrial village and the small country schools that dotted the area became inadequate. The Globeville School was built on the corner of 51st and Washington in 1890 on land belonging to the Globe Smelter, replacing a one-room country school that had been on that site since the 1870s. The community continued to expand and a new and larger Globeville School was completed in 1925 at 51st an Lincoln. However, the increase in the population reached its high point in the 1920s and declined afterward. With a dwindling enrollment, the Globeville School closed in 1943 and the remaining students were sent to Garden Place School.
In 1948, the building was given new life when Joseph and Elizabeth Calabrese created Laradon Hall, an organization that offers support, guidance and training to children with developmental disabilities.
Top photo, Globeville School at 51st and Washington, 1890, photo Denver Public Library
Second photo, Sam's Vintage Parts occupies the remains of the 1890 school, photo Mary Lou Egan
Third photo, new school 51st and Lincoln 1923, photo Denver Public Library
Fourth photo, Laradon Hall today, photo Mary Lou Egan

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Argo School

At the time of Globeville’s incorporation in 1891, four elementary schools, Argo, Ironton, Globeville and Garden Place, served the area's children. The Argo School was built in 1890 for the children of the company town known as Argo, home of the Boston and Colorado Smelter. The school was richly endowed with funds from the smelter and the railroads and embodied all that was modern in its day: toilets that flushed, a basement, and a furnace. The school also housed the office of the superintendent, who was responsible for all four schools.
After a fire destroyed the Boston and Colorado Smelter in 1906, the population of the town diminished, the smelter was dismantled, and the school torn down in 1916. The convergence of interstate highways known as the "Mousetrap" occupies the site of the once-massive smelter, and the Plaza Hotel (now the Quality Inn) at 48th Avenue and Broadway occupies the site of the Argo School.
Photo of the Argo School about 1891 courtesy of Nora Landberg Duryea.
Photo of Plaza Hotel, Mary Lou Egan.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Calling all students of Holy Rosary

Holy Rosary Parish at 4688 Pearl Street in Globeville would like to reach out to all former students and graduates of Holy Rosary School, which was in operation from 1929 to 1969. The parish is creating a photographic history of the former school that will be available on a DVD.
The building was heavily damaged when water pipes broke in November of 2008 and work is underway to restore and reopen the school as a parish center for meetings, celebrations, receptions, classes and pancake breakfasts.
Call the parish at 303-297-1962 or email at
Or as the sisters would say, you could join us for Mass, 9 am weekdays, 5:30 pm on Saturday, 8 and 10 am on Sundays, 11:30 am Sunday Spanish Mass (starting in May).
Top photo, the school in April, 2010 by Mary Lou Egan
Bottom photo, graduating class of 1938, from June Jackson Egan
Back row, left to right: Frank and Harold Krasovich, Leo Pollock, John Marolt, Bill Mauser, Joe Shaball, Mark Davidovich, Anthony (Nixie) Mencin
Front row, left to right: Mary Drobnich, Mathilda Horvat, Dorothy Kvas, June Jackson, Monsignor Judnic, Eileen Butler, Anne Horvat, Betty Ann Zalar, Sophie Pacheco.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Sidewinder

If buildings could talk, the Sidewinder Lounge at 4485 Logan Street in Globeville would surely have some tales to tell. In January, 1894, the building was home to the Golobvich and Slogar Saloon where a group of men gathered to form Sveti Jakov, St. Jacob’s Croatian-Slovenian Benefit Society, an ethnic fraternal insurance organization.
St. Jacob’s was a somewhat secret society for men only, and a password was required to gain entrance to a lodge meeting. The first year the password was “Sloboda” and the next year it was changed to “Hrvatska.” In April 1906, the women of Globeville, mostly wives of St. Jacob’s members, formed St. Ann’s Lodge 143, which merged with the men’s group in December, 1926.
Later, the tavern was called the 16 to One Exchange and was managed by the politically powerful Max Malich, known in Globeville as "the King of the Slavs." The site was home to weddings, funerals, meetings of the town council, and, during the bitter labor battles of 1903, the Mill and Smeltermen’s Union. Meetings to organize Holy Rosary Parish, as well as Mass and confession, were held there until the church was completed in 1920. After World War II, members of the Globeville Veteran’s Association gathered in the tavern for support and camaraderie.
Stop by the Sidewinder, enjoy a beer, watch the Denver Broncos and toast the former patrons of this historic place.
Top photo Mary Lou Egan
Bottom photo, funeral of Martin Kapsh in 1895, courtesy of Alma Mandarich.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Blessing at St. Joseph's

Swieconka (sh-vee-en-soon-kah) is one of the most enduring and beloved Polish traditions in which baskets containing a sampling of Easter foods are brought to church to be blessed on Holy Saturday. The basket is traditionally lined with a white linen or lace napkin and decorated with sprigs of boxwood (bukszpan), the typical Easter evergreen. Other items in basket may include sausage (Kielbasa), Easter rye bread, (symbolic of Jesus, the Bread of Life), cheese, horseradish and intricately decorated pasanky eggs.
The traditional blessing of food baskets will take place on Saturday, April 3rd at St. Joseph's Polish Church at:
  • 10:00 am
  • 12 noon
  • 2:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm
5 pm service followed by Mass in English: 8:00 pm in Polish.
St. Joseph's Polish Catholic church is located at 517 East 46th Avenue in Globeville.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


"Zvelichar nash je vstal od smrti...Sing joyfully o Christian, because today on Easter is the day of your joy." For many years, this Slovenian hymn was sung during the procession on Easter morning at Holy Rosary Church, a parish founded by Slovenians and Croatians in 1919. Leading the procession would be a strong man carrying the statue of the Risen Christ, followed by children singing Zvelichar and carrying palms.
Today's congregation consists of older Eastern European parishioners and younger Hispanic families. This year's traditions begin with:
  • Mass of the Lord's Supper at 6:00 pm on Holy Thursday, April 1st
  • Service of the Lord's Passion at 3:00 pm on Good Friday, April 2nd
  • Easter Vigil at 7:00 pm Holy Saturday, April 3rd
  • Easter Mass at 8:00 and 10:00 am, Sunday April 4th
For more information, call 303-297-1962 between 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday through Friday. Holy Rosary Church is located at I-70 and Washington at 4688 Pearl Street in the Globeville neighborhood.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Orthodox Easter Traditions

Helen Kohut Capron grew up across the alley from Holy Transfiguration Cathedral and had fond memories of traditions during Lent and Holy Week. Helen elaborated on Lenten practices. “For seven weeks, no meat and no dairy (butter, milk or eggs) were allowed, and there were a number of extra church services in each week culminating with Holy Week.
"On Good Friday, there were three services. One in the morning and one at three o’clock where people fixed the grave. Friday evening was a burial service, “Plashtanitza,” that featured a shroud with the figure of Jesus on it and flowers all around it.”
“There was a service on Saturday morning more like the resurrection, when all the purple fabric that covered everything during Lent was removed and the priest changed into white vestments. On Saturday night, they would do part of the service, and then everyone left the church with the priest and his servers, who circled the church three times. During that time, people inside the church took the grave away and put everything back in place. When the priest made his third circle, he came to the door and knocked and that was a symbol of the resurrection. Then the people went in to begin the Liturgy, the Easter Mass. So the Easter vigil service began at about 11:30 at night and continued until about 2 in the morning.”
“It was always the custom to bless the food people had prepared for Easter. And so people would bring their baskets of food to the church hall. It was always a big deal because, if you had fasted like you were supposed to during Lent, with no meat and no dairy, it was very special. Sausage, eggs, fruit, ham, butter cakes - everything you could think of was in those baskets. Our family had a big wire basket and it would take two men to carry it across the alley, it would be so full. The baskets would all be in the church hall and, right after church, the priest would bless them. Then people would go to their homes. Nowadays, people sometimes partake of the baskets right after the blessing and go home about 5 o’clock in the morning. On Easter morning itself, there was a short service right after the Liturgy about 11 or 11:30.”
For current Lenten and Easter services at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral, visit