Today it’s home to some of the best shopping, restaurants and entertainment in the downtown area which makes it very easy to forget how Larimer Square all began – as the wild, wild west.
Recently, a librarian found a photo from around the 1860s, which is thought to be the earliest known photo of the Denver. Squat buildings and covered wagons sat where we now know there to be restaurants and bars under its signature canopy of lights.
Rufus E. Cable photographed the photo back in the day while he was in town mining for gold. Although he was only in Colorado for a short period of time, he was still able to snag some pictures of places such as Blackhawk, Nevadaville and some mining operations in Gilpin County.
Thanks to Malcolm Glenn Wyer, the founder of Denver Public Library’s Western History Collection, there are records and photos of Colorado that can be compared to that in the older museums back east. Brian Trembath, a librarian at the central library’s Western History Collection, says this history is important to maintain for present-day Denverites, especially since it feels like so much is in flux right now.
The library’s collection helps preserve that legacy of constant evolution. Photography had been invented by the time Denver was founded, after all. You can see it for yourself.