CHICAGO COLONY HISTORY GALLERY
Longmont was founded in 1871 as the Chicago Colorado Colony (BIG birthday next year! ... 150!) The town has a long and colorful history. Here are a few interesting tidbits.
NOTE: more info and links are in the descriptions for each photo below. Click the image to see them.
The founders laid out a plan in a tough desert environment. With lots of hard work & overcoming many obstacles, they succeeded. Over the years, Longmonsters have overcome fires, floods, tornados, depressions, plagues, droughts & all sorts of challenges. Even today, our community spirit shines strong. Back in 2016, we were super-inspired by the French Photographer, Julien Knez. He had the idea to take photos of popular spots and monuments in Paris and superimpose historical photos from WWII onto them. The result is a jarring appreciation of spots that we see everyday in the context of historical struggles. We are by no means near as talented as Julien, but we gave it a try. A few of our attempts are in this gallery. To find out more about Julien Knez and see some of his work click the link below.
Here is a fun shot of a Sunday School Parade downtown in the early years. We just love this. Look at the "white" that they are wearing. We also love the dirt streets with horse poop. To see more about this photo as well as the original archive one at the Longmont Museum, click the link below.
A fun photo of a little downtown street upgrade on 5th in front of what is now our store. For the Knez-Style Project, we give a big shoutout to the Longmont Museum. Their Longmont Historical Archives are AMAZING and accessible online. Go to the link below, scroll down to "Keyword Search" and then type in "Main Street," or "Strawberry Festival," or "Snow" and see fun historical photos of whatever interests you. You can even order prints online. We can get lost in there for hours on a rainy day. Great Stuff.
Another great source of Colony History is Old Mill Park on Terry Street. The park is accessible year round and on "Open Cabin Days," they open the historical buildings up and have volunteers in period garb to help you. They also do outreach with local elementary schools. They are a part of the St Vrain Historical Society. Follow them on facebook, become a member, help them out with a donation. A link the the Historical Society webpage is below.
As a farming community early on and even today, there is lots of history in the Granges and Small Churches surrounding Longmont. Ryssby Church just NW of Lagerman reservoir is one of them. In the iron fence around the church, art panels tell the story of the community’s immigration from Sweden & how this church served as the community hub for decades. For directions, click on the link below which takes you to our fb post on it. .... also, www.RyssbyChurch.org
... here's another Knez-Style photo of the old Columbine School on the Historic East Side ... more info in our fb link below ...
Did you know that Library Hall on Pratt was the first library in Colorado? Click the link below to our fb post on it and discover the tie to the annual Strawberry Festival ...
Someone stole the whole bank! Did you know there used to be a flagpole smack-dab in the middle of the 4th & Main intersection? Also, on the NW corner of this intersection was this cool bank. Gone. Click below to see this and another lost historical gem in one of our prior fb posts.
... another Knez-Style image ... at the link below you'll discover how this image is wrong and how hard it can sometimes be to understand the configuration of historical buildings that have changed over the years ...
While this pic is from the Yesteryear Farm Show that the Dougherty Museum hosts annually at the end of august, make a point to visit their inside exhibit of beautifully restored antique automobiles, some over 100 years old. Link to their website with hours is below.