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Old Monarch

June 15, 2012

Old Monarch

The ol’ hanging tree on Union Ave was first known as “Old Monarch”. The tree was a cotton wood that was 29 ft. in diameter and 88 ft tall. The tree was used in the later 1800’s for hanging people. 14 people were hanged. Finally as Pueblo began to grow and expand on Union the city made the decision to cut down the tree as it once stood in the middle of Union where the Gold Dust is located now. After long protesting took place with 366 people, the tree was in fact torn down .It is said that the first woman to die in Colorado was buried under where the tree once stood The tree had its first growth in 1545 and was cut down showing 338 rings. The tree was 388 years old.


Walters Pavilion

June 10, 2012

Walters Pavilion

Walters Brewery at the Colorado State Fair Pueblo, Co.

Central Block Fire

June 8, 2012

Central Block Fire

Article Published on the fire from the Pueblo Chieftain. Interesting Read.

Fifty years ago this summer, a huge fire torched the corner of Second and Main streets, killing one person, destroying several buildings and putting about 300 people temporarily out of work.

The Central Block fire, which began early in the morning of Aug. 29, 1953, was so intense that it shot hunks of flaming debris all the way to Goat Hill. Smoke from the fire filled the air, casting a nighttime pall over the scene until well past dawn.

When the flames had died and the smoke had cleared, Pueblo’s Downtown had lost two landmarks: the Central Block and its neighbor in the 100 block of North Main Street, the McCarthy Building. Other buildings lay in charred ruins and the city’s oldest practicing attorney, Orion G. Pope, 88, whose law office and apartment were in the Central Block, was missing and feared to be buried in the rubble.

Pope’s death was the only one attributed to the $1 million disaster – the worst fire in Pueblo’s history and one of at least seven noteworthy fires that occurred here in 1953. The other fires were at the Colorado Supply Co. store, Herman’s Department Store, K.C. Furniture Co., Thatcher Building, Wangers Department Store and the Pepsi-Cola Bottling plant.

William \”Bud\” Hawkins, Star-Journal photographer in 1953, clearly remembers the Central Block fire. One of the photos he took that morning won a prize from the National Press Photographers Association and earned him a raise at the newspaper.

Hawkins says he got a call very early in the morning of Aug. 29 – the fire was called in to the Central fire station at about 3:45 a.m. – and jumped out of bed and got to the scene.

\”It wasn’t even going good when I got there,\” he said. \”I took a lot of pictures and thought it looked like a dry run (would be contained soon), but then it took off. By morning when it was light, it (Central Block) was gone and so was the McCarthy Building next door.\”

Asked to describe the scene, Hawkins said: \”Almost any fire is bedlam. Any kind of equipment the city (fire department) had was there. The Central Block was pretty tall and it was built to burn: There were offices all around the outside edge and an oval thing (ground floor-to-roof rotunda) in the middle so you could walk around on all the floors and look down. That was like a flue.\”

Hawkins, 90, remembers pieces of the Central Block’s red sandstone-block walls getting hot and \”popping off\” the building and debris from the fire landing at Fourth and Main streets.

\”That was quite a fire. It was a beaut!\”

Hawkins’ photo of the Central Block in flames shows the danger the firemen confronted that summer morning.

\”I talked to them later and they felt lucky to get out alive,\” he said.

John Mikus was one of the firemen who responded to the Central Block fire. Interviewed in 1990 by local historian John Korber, Mikus said the fire \”was kind of a mixed-up affair. The chiefs weren’t there as they were all at a fire chiefs’ convention. There was a new crew at the Central Station. Since they were new, they shouldn’t have gone out – they didn’t know where everything was. They even hooked onto the wrong plug and had to go around to Santa Fe Avenue and then back to the fire. There were available plugs closer.\”

Other mishaps occurred as well, Mikus said, including the ladder truck backing into another fire truck and smashing the radiator and, much more serious, Mikus’ being trapped on a balcony of Central Block when his ladder was pulled out from under him. \”So there we sat just inside the door with our hose, with the fire right in our laps. We opened up the door and there was the rotunda. That whole thing was nothing but fire. We had to close the door and go back. I climbed down the line. How the others got down I don’t know.\”

Mikus said he didn’t know why the Central Block hadn’t burned earlier. \”The central part was open clear to the top, acting as a flue, drawing the fire right to the center. Those people were living with death. That building was a crime.\”

T.G. \”Tim\” McCarthy, whose family’s mortuary business was housed in the McCarthy Building and who grew up living there, watched the fire and thought about his parents’ broken hearts and the ruined family business.

He said the family had hoped the alley between the Central Block and the McCarthy Building would keep their building cool, but the fire’s heat was so intense it \”just powdered\” the north wall of the brick building. (What remained of the McCarthy Building after the fire was knocked down.)

\”Thank God no one was killed in our building,\” McCarthy said.

\”It was a huge, enormous fire. It wiped out many, many businesses.\”

At the time of the fire, 160 offices were occupied in the five-story Central Block. There were labor unions, a railroad, federal and state offices such as State Patrol, Colorado Department of Revenue, Colorado State Sales Tax Division and the division engineer. There were barber shops and beauty parlors, dentists, chiropractors, an osteopath, brokers, insurance agents, an irrigation company, an architect and many more professionals. Grove Drug Co., Western Union, Pueblo Blueprint Co., Central Furniture Co., Pueblo Beauty College and the local Republican Party headquarters also were located in the Central Block.

The four-story McCarthy Building also housed offices and the Grand Hotel occupied the top two floors. All of the hotel tenants were evacuated and there were no bodies in the mortuary at the time.

The Central Block fire started in the building next door on West Second Street, Standard Paint and Glass Co./Cosmopolitan Hotel (rented rooms above the paint store). When the paint and other products ignited, flames roared out the front windows like a giant blowtorch, said E.H. Pemberton of Southern Colorado Power in an article published Aug. 30, 1953, in the Star-Journal.

The fire quickly spread to the nearby Central Block and when the block’s roof and walls collapsed, the blast of air – combined with the heat of the fire – shattered windows at the power company and Sears Roebuck and Co. (both in the 100 block of West Second Street) and Tip Top Tavern and Pryor Furniture Co. (both in the 100 block of North Main Street). The blast also spewed flaming tarpaper into the air, which set fire to these buildings.

Glass that didn’t break was smashed by the firemen so it wouldn’t cool, contract and fall into the street.

Throughout the fire, the signal light at Second and Main continued to operate even though rocks and masonry shook the signal as they fell into the street.

Theresa McRae of Colorado Springs remembers the fire as \”just disastrous. We were burned to the ground.\”

She and her late husband, Dow Helmers, owned Standard Paint and Glass Co.

\”I didn’t see it (the fire) at its height, but I did see it. It was just disastrous – our whole livelihood was just burned to the ground. All those buildings were pretty old. I think it was like a tinderbox; it went pretty fast.\”

After the fire, the couple cleared away the debris and built another store in the same location. Today, the building is owned by McCarthy and it houses Conway’s Red Top restaurant.

\”It’s all right to remember it now,\” McRae said, \”but then it was terrible.\”

The fatal flaw in the Central Block, the rotunda at the center of the building, was designed to provide natural light and ventilation and to make the building more attractive. Built in 1890, the Central Block was designed by a British architect and financed by English capitalist Thurlow Hutton as an investment in the rapidly growing Pueblo.

The McCarthy Building was constructed in 1891. The architect was Walter de Mordaunt, who also designed the YWCA and buildings at Pueblo Junior College.

In an ironic twist of fate, the No. 1 tax receipt issued by the county treasurer in 1954 was for the Central Block, in the amount of $7,234.82, paid by Northern Colorado Loan Association of Fort Collins through Pueblo Realty Co.

Sources: Pueblo Star-Journal; \”Pueblo Fire Department\” historical yearbook; \”John Mikus, Fire Fighter,\” by John Miku

Inside of Mineral Palace

June 7, 2012

Inside of Mineral Palace

Inside the Mineral Palace of Pueblo Colorado. The building was torn down only 50 years after its grand opening July 4th, 1891. As you can see here in the picture is the great King Coal from Trinidad and the Queen of Silver from Aspen

Walter’s Brewing Company

June 6, 2012

The business was built from the Walters brothers Johanns, Georg, Christian, and Mathaus. The brothers originated from BergfeldanGermany. The Brewing company began in Pueblo after the brothers traveled to New Orleans and Wisconsin. They had major success in Wisconsin due to the German influence present at the time. Later success would follow in Pueblo Colorado. The Brewing company was built-in 1898 and years later would struggle through the period of prohibition. However for nearly a century of trials and tribulations the brewery received it’s first major reward in 1956 which was the GOLD AWARD. Later in 1972 the brewery received the award for Excellence of Quality. However just three years later in 1975 the brewery was closed down. The legacy still lives on and major brewing companies follow in their foot steps today.

Walters Brewery Company Pueblo Colorado

Aspen a Summer Extravaganza

August 29, 2011

So I have never been over Independence pass and it was a stupendous drive. Lots of traffic and in some places extremely narrow road.  It was a great drive.

Aspen is absolutely gorgeous in the summer.  There were lots of people and the weather was perfect.  Leaving Pueblo it was going to be 105 degrees, Aspen 75 degrees.  My wife Penny and I were looking forward to an exceptional couple of days and we were not disappointed.

We got into town and found parking, not as easy as you would think, then headed for galleries.  There were lots of them.  All were different and Penny and I enjoyed each and every one.

Vaughn Platt

The artwork and sculptures all over town were eclectic and beautiful.  As you look at the gallery of pictures below be sure and click on them to see them larger.  There were bands and orchestras playing all over town, there were street performers, great chow and beer.  Wow, what a day we had exploring all aspects of Aspen.  Later that evening we took a Ghost Tour performed by Dean’s Aspen Walking Tours.  That was 2 hours of great historical fun learning about Aspens past, the good the bad and the ugly.

So we had a great afternoon working up an appetite for tomorrows art Festival which I will post next.

Creative Art Info Fair “What is really going on in Pueblo, Co?”

August 9, 2011

Getting to know Art in Pueblo.

The Creative Arts Info Fair was an ingenious idea created by the Pueblo Performing Arts Guild. It was held at the Rawlings Public Library. There were many participants in all fields of the creative arts. We had a great time interacting with all the goers and other participants. In my opinion it was a great way to show all of the awesome things that the creative arts people. There were singers, photographers, magicians and more. It was great and we really hope they do it again.  Here are all participants and what they do for those of you who didn’t come out.

The Pueblo Children’s Chorale

The 2009-2010 Season marks the 14th year for the Pueblo Children’s Chorale. The group was founded by Christina Anderson, Barbara Beck, Christine Reed, Elizabeth & Naomi Vigil in January of 1996. In September 1997, Kenneth Butcher came along as Music Director to an established group that held an annual three concert series and was with the Chorale until May 2001. From November 2001 until November 2003, the Concert Choir was under the direction of Denise Hood. From November 2004 to December 2006 the Concert Choir was under the direction of Todd Albrecht. In January 2007, Jennifer Shadle-Peters took over direction of the Concert Choir as conductor.  The Children’s Chorale expanded its vocal mission with the establishment of the Apprentice Choir in 2002 and was directed by Betsy Barto until December 2008. The Apprentice and Concert Choirs are now combined under the direction of Jennifer Shadle-Peters.



The Party People, Mr. E Magic and Kyle Groves Magic 

 The Party People is Pueblo, Colorado’s newest and most affordable party spot. Featuring themed parties and the magic of “Mr. E” and Kyle Groves. Call today to get more information about several party packages they have to offer. 719-544-5607

Impossible Players

The Impossible Players is a community theatre group in the truest sense of the word, we are made up of people from every profession and stage of life, and the only requirement is a love of theatre! Some of our members have stayed for only a show or a season, while some are representing a third generation of involvement .  Every one is an “Imp” for life!

Our productions reflect the situations and emotions that exist in our community, sometimes evoking laughter, sometimes tears, but hopefully we will always entertain you. The community that is live theatre is completed by our audience!  You give us the reason and the resources to exist!It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the 1960’s. A group of Puebloans were bitten by the acting bug and sought healing through performance. They started out modestly, getting together to read plays, but soon realized that they wanted more – a stage and an audience. Everyone said that their dream was “impossible” but by 1966 they had space above a store on South Main Street (just a fire escape and alley away from the Irish Pub – which is another story entirely) and started it all with a production of “My Three Angels”. In the past 44 years The Impossible Players have performed on many stages; starting at our first Main Street theatre, then Dolph and Ottie Otterstein gave us a home at the Otterstein Showroom on Oneida until the Spring of 1990. We spent a delightful season at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center until our move in the fall of 1991 to Hoag Theatre at Pueblo Community College and at last, a final move in the summer of 2003 to our home at 1201 North Main Street-The Impossible Playhouse!

Upon a Star Entertainers

Upon a Star is a group of talented your musicians who share a love of performing.  They offer Christmas carolers, singing telegrams, birthdays parties and entertainment for all occasions.

Colorado Fiber Arts

When you are feeling creative, Colorado Fiber Arts is the place to go. The specialize in just that, Fiber Arts. They have supplies for knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, felters, and gourd artists. They also have many different types of project books. A great place to unleash you creativity!

Sarah Wood

Sarah is a very gifted singer and song writer, she performed several numbers.  I could have spent the day listening to her sing.  I see great things ahead for her.

Bella Prima Musica 

Bel Canto was born in 2005 by Christine Reed, the founder and artistic director. She is a retired D – 70 elementary music instructor, loving 28 years of teaching in the public schools. In retirement, she really missed working with children, and decided to form a choir, her favorite activity in music. Taking the best parts of her experiences and knowledge, the choir strives to be a joyful, meaningful, important part of the singer’s life, as well as their family’s. Bel Canto’s structure is intended to produce high quality results, with a lot of knowledge learned quickly, and retained and applied to the next performance and semester. Creatively! Happily!

Dream Dancers Dance Arts Academy

This Arts Academy produces dancers from toddlers to adults.  It is located at 2334 N. Grand Ave, Pueblo CO.

Dream Dancers Dance Arts Academy offers their students the opportunity to become a member of one of our community-oriented dance teams.  Currently, we have 6 teams that range in age from 5-24.  These teams, called corps (pronounced “cores”) are noncompetitive and offer dancers of varying abilities the opportunity to perform on a monthly basis at local venues and events as well as be the featured performers at our yearly student production.  This program has been proven to not only improve a dancer’s skills but to also give them an increased sense of accomplishment and self-worth.  If your child loves to perform and desires more from their dance experience, Dream Dancers Performance Corp might just be a perfect match!

Little Dreamers Performance Corps – Ages 5-7

Sapphire Performance Corps Ages 7-9

Ruby Performance Corps Ages 9-11

Emerald Performance Corps Ages 10-14

Diamond Performance Corps Ages 13-18

Steel City Steam Dancers Ages 18-24  (Official Dance Team for the Pueblo Steel)

Pueblo Downtown Association

was on hand to promote all the great things that are happening in Pueblo.  The Pueblo Downtown Association was founded in the early 1950’s by department store managers in the bustling retail center of Southern Colorado, the Pueblo Downtown Association brought shoppers to local stores and restaurants with community events such as Krazy Days and Moonlight Madness. Many Pueblans remember stopping to enjoy a sandwich or salad and an ice cream soda at Woolworth’s, J. J. Newberry’s or Kress while shopping for everything from baby clothes to automobiles after cashing their paychecks at one of the palatial banks that graced Downtown Pueblo. The advent of shopping malls and big box stores changed the face of downtowns everywhere. Pueblo was no exception. Pueblo Downtown Association membership dwindled as department store anchors Joslin’s, J. C. Penney and Montgomery Ward left for the trendy new Pueblo Mall. Tough times followed as several area industries closed their doors or cut back. The stampede toward malls and then big box stores led a number of building owners to board up their facades or worse yet, to demolish historic buildings.  Downtown Pueblo is becoming a vibrant place with lots of things to do. Little theater groups and galleries have joined the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center and El Pueblo History Museum and Rosemount Museum and our own Art & Soul of Pueblo Street Gallery in reviving cultural activities. The riverwalk, kayak course and ice arena offer fun and exercise. The Pueblo Convention Center hosts trade shows, glitzy social events and even boxing matches and yoga classes.

One of their feature projects is Art and Soul the Pueblo Street Gallery.  This is a non-profit outdoor sculpture project that promotes art as an important element in arts education, cultural pride and community redevelopment.  If you are in the Pueblo downtown area, it is well worth your time to look into seeing this outdoor gallery.

Reflections Photography

See yourself as you want to be seen.  It is our goal to always  create meaningful and beautiful images so that you receive an excellent value for your investment.  Be sure and click the link above to see all of their services and galleries.

April Styles Photography & Design

Hi! my name is April Emilio, but most people know me as ““April Styles””. With the support of my husband, I gave my dream a chance and put my faith into the Lord and opened up my first photography studio 5 years ago. My newest studio is located in  Pueblo West, Colorado.

Believe it or not, I actually been called the “very best children’s photographer in the world”  by my four-year old daughter.  I absolutely love working with babies and children. I have been peed on, pooped on, cried on and I would do it all over again to get those amazing photos.  I have a BIG heart! I love to smile, so I do it a LOT! I believe that a smile can be contagious and I love making other people happy!  I LOVE taking portraits and everything that goes with it. I am a self-declared “propoholic” but my husband calls me a  “shopaholic”.  It is my hope that after you hire me to photograph your wedding, you will come back to me when you have your first baby and then for your family portraits too. I want to be YOUR photographer!  I invite you now to look into my world and see the world as I see it. Smile!

Hometown Circus Clowns

Hometown Circus Clowns is a circus performing arts company ready to perform at your special event, birthday party, fair, or festival.

Silly Lilly and RJ the Clown are sure to brighten your day with their out of the box approach to clowning that will have you shaking your head and laughing hysterically.

Giclee Print Net, Inc.  Sarah and I were there manning a booth.  It really was a good little show, we met lots of new people and several new artists who said they would come into the shop and get some prints made.  There was a lot of buzz about the the Discovering the Art of Colorado blog since we just recently pressed the Pueblo First Friday Art Walk.

There were a lot of people coming to the library to partake of the information fair and performances.  We got to meet and get connected with the creative arts groups of Pueblo.  It was a fun and informative afternoon.

We encourage everyone who participated in this fair to please post a comment about how you think it went and your experience participating in the fair!

Thank You PPAG for hosting this fair.

Vaughn and Sarah

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