Early Colorado Christmas Part 2

Post written and copyright Doris McCraw








This is a second of two post on early Colorado Christmas. If you would like to read part one here is the link  http://renawomyn.blogspot.com.

A unique feature of Colorado is the difference in weather from the high plains/desert and the mountains. Weather on the plains can get very cold, but not receive snow like the mountains. On the plains you will get blowing snow and drifts. The mountains are sometimes warmer than the plains, but tend to received large amounts of snow.

The Moffat Road, along Coal Creek Canyon, was a feat of engineering as this 1909 photo shows. M. R. Campbell Photo, Courtesy USGS.


On one train ride a woman and her two children were leaving Kansas to go to Denver to live with her mother. The ranch she had tried to maintain after her husband’s death had been too much for her to handle. As the train proceeded from Kansas to Colorado, it was stopped by a large drift across the tracks on Christmas Eve. The two children were upset that they would not be able to spend Christmas with their grandmother. The train crew and the three male passengers made the children comfortable, placing their coats etc, near to the stove. While the children slept they filled the wealthy ranchers socks with gifts and on the morning of Christmas day the children had their Christmas thanks to the kindness of strangers.

USGS Marks 134 years of Science for America: A Most Unusual Birthday


For another family in the high mountains, their father had gone to a nearby town to purchase sweets and some gifts. On the way home, he and his traveling companions were caught in a blizzard. They dug down the three feet of snow to the bare ground and burning wood during the night along with the insulation of the snow were able to keep from freezing. Although he returned later than expected he made it home to spend Christmas with his family.

The 1874 Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind and the 1887 St. Francis Hospital (which later had a 1929 sanatorium building) was near the National …


Most towns and Colorado Springs was one, would have Christmas balls usually sponsored by fire hose companies or other organizations. The churches would also have celebrations.  For those living in town, there was always something to do during the holidays.

Even in the early days of Colorado’s history, Christmas was a time of family, sharing and celebration.


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Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/