Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tour of Five Points

We headed into Denver yesterday for a tour of the historic 5 Points neighborhood. It was a co-op class through our homeschool group and it was one of the best tours we've gone on... The 5 Points neighborhood has, for many years, been the heart of the
African American community there so I especially wanted R to learn more about it. It's an area rich in history, culture and it has a special kind of energy.

The one hour walking tour wasn't nearly long enough to do more than scratch the surface of 5 Point's history, but it was enough to give us a taste for the countless stories connected to the neighborhood and the people who've lived there, and make us hungry to learn more. Along our route there were signposts on some of the buildings, telling about their history, and about the people who were part of that history.

Needless to say R was fascinated... She knows it's likely that at least some members of her birth family lived in 5 Points, and so the neighborhood is likely part of her personal story too... even though she's never lived there.

I took a few pictures, but R wanted to be photographer for the day so she took most of these...

We started at 24th and Welton outside the Blair- Caldwell African American Research Library.

Here's our wonderful tour guide... an educated, enthusiastic guide makes all the difference. He really made the history come alive!



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Some of the plaques we stopped at...



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District 3 Fire Station then:

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And now...





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The firefighters on duty were nice enough to come out and talk to us a little about the history of their station. It's the city's oldest operating firehouse and has been at this location since 1931. (The original station 3 was located right across the street... it started operating at that location in 1884!)  M started talking to the firefighters and discovered one of them was friends with our next door neighbor (also a firefighter). Leave it to M to find a connection there... what a small world!



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R took a lot of pictures of the historical photographs displayed on the buildings around 5 Points... I especially liked this one of the mandolin and banjo players. ;)

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We didn't go into any of the shops or businesses during our tour, but after I saw this antique folding ruler star in a shop window I had to go back after the tour to get it.



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It took two stops to catch someone at the shop, but I did get it and will hang it up someplace here... Not only is it kind of an interesting star, but I'm hoping it will be a visual reminder to R of 5 Points (5 points on the star, get it?) and the rich history of her ancestors that we learned more about there...



Thanks so much Liese for setting up this tour, it was the perfect way to spend the day!

If you would like to see more of our tour and learning more about the history of 5 Points, check out Liese's post here, it's a great post about the tour and 5 Points!

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