Local History Thursday: Standing Up To The Ku Klux Klan

Let’s be clear: In the 1920’s, The Ku Klux Klan was a social and political power in Western Slope towns just as it was elsewhere in Colorado. White Protestants throughout the state joined because they were drawn by the Klan’s anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish, anti-immigrant, anti-corruption message, and by the Klan’s hatred of African Americans. Yet some […]

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Local History Thursday: Drinking Water From The Gunnison And A Local Typhoid Mary

Before Grand Junction took its water from the Grand Mesa’s watershed, citizens took water directly from the Gunnison River, and with it Diphtheria, Typhoid Fever, and other interesting diseases that were not remedied until the twin advances of proper water management and vaccinations came into being. A May 1883 issue of the Grand Junction News […]

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Local History Thursday: Flash Flood at Cross Orchards

In the days prior to adequate floodplain and stormwater management in Mesa County, flash floods could be an issue for valley residents. Charles Buttolph, former manager for the Red Cross Land and Fruit Company (and then-owner of his own fruit farm on adjacent land), talks about one such flash flood that swept through Cross Orchards […]

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Local History Thursday: The Hispanic Culture of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico

The Mesa County Oral History Project recently digitized interviews with Lebrado “Lee” Serna and Anna (Garcia) Gallegos, descendants of the long-standing Hispanic community that still exists today along the Colorado-New Mexico border. Spanish-speaking peoples first came north to Northern New Mexico in the late 1500’s and up into Southern Colorado not long after. There, in […]

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Local History Thursday: Candy Man Chet Enstrom

People in the Grand Valley know Chet Enstrom for his delicious almond toffee, still sold by Enstrom Candies. But did you know that he started his career as an ice cream maker? In his interview with the Mesa County Oral History Project, Enstrom describes how he became involved in the ice cream business. When Enstrom […]

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