Colorado Historic Markers

I have long been interested in the old bronze historic plaques found around Colorado. I had no idea how many there were until I started "bagging" mountain passes for the Colorado BMW Club's Pass Bagger 50 award and found ten of the bronze plaques at various summits on mountain roads. Some research on the internet and at the Colorado History Musuem turned up a little over 100 bronze plaques spread across the state. Most of them, now historic in their own right, are still there. Others have disappeared. History Colorado's (formerly known as the Colorado Historical Society) historic marker database is probably the latest, most authoritative reference for the current status of the plaques and markers. Many of the bronze plaques were funded by the Mrs. J. N. Hall Foundation, the William A. Braiden Fund, and the Robert S. Ellison Fund. Government agencies, local organizations, and others also provided financial support for the markers. Show below are the bronze plaques I have found so far, along with 2nd generation wooden makers, 3rd generation 2-panel and 4-panel markers, and other information and references.
- Randy Bishop, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Plaques at Colorado Mountain Passes
Berthoud, Cameron, Cochetopa, Cumbres, Fremont, Gore, Hoosier, Kenosha,
Old La Veta, Old Monarch, Old Rabbit Ears, Raton, Red Mountain, Tennessee, and Ute Passes
Updated June 11, 2017

Northwest Colorado - The Old West
Eagle, Garfield, Grand, Jackson, Moffat, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, and Routt Counties
Updated May 25, 2017

North Central Colorado - The Rich Earth
Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Clear Creek, Douglas, Gilpin, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld Counties
Updated February 15, 2018

Northeast Colorado - High Plains Country
Cheyenne, Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, and Yuma Counties
Updated June 13, 2017

Denver Area - Mile-High city
Denver area Counties
Updated July 2, 2009

Southwest Colorado - Trail of the Padres
Archuleta, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan, and San Miguel Counties
Updated July 29, 2017

South Central Colorado - Wide Valleys and Soaring Peaks
Alamosa, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Lake, Mineral, Park, Rio Grande, Saguache, and Summit Counties
Updated June 10, 2017

Southeast Colorado - Arkansas Trade Routes
Baca, Bent, Crowley, El Paso, Fremont, Heurfano, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, and Teller Counties
Updated June 13, 2017

Colorado County Map

Mrs. J. N. Hall Foundation Historical Plaques

GOLD! - by Bill Pierson, Contributing Editor
Excerpted from Colorado Medicine, June 2003, Volume 100, Number 4.

Dr. Josiah N. Hall, one of the well known physician members of the Colorado Medical Society, had a great love for the history of his adopted state. Dr. Hall (Archives Colorado Medicine, Vol. 94, No. 12; p. 460) came west from Harvard Medical School in 1883, looking first at Denver, but then deciding on the little plains town of Sterling, population 250. Dr. Hall practiced until 1936 and died in December, 1939. Dr. Hall was an active member of the Colorado Historical Society and he traveled the state in all directions on his frequent hunting trips. Dr. Hall was a prodigious writer, and his last book was about the early day practice of medicine in Colorado. Dr. Hall chose to do something for his wife, Carrie, and he created the “Mrs. J. N. Hall Foundation,” which provided funds for a series of historical marker plaques placed at notable locations around the state.

William A. Braiden Fund Historical Plaques

Apparently William A. Braiden was a rancher and banker from the San Luis Valley, a leader of the American National Cattleman's Association, and an alternate delegate to 1940 Republican National Convention from Colorado.

Other References
History Colorado (Colorado Historical Society) historic marker database page.
History Colorado (Colorado Historical Society) Stephen H. Hart Library.
The Colorado Magazine, Volume 47, Number 3, Summer 1970. "Tales Told with Markers"
"Denver's Historical Markers, Memorials, Statues, and Parks", compiled by Agnes Wright Spring, State Historian, 1959.
"Markers, Plaques, Monuments, Memorials, and Statues in Colorado", compiled by Agnes Wright Spring, State Historian, 1953.
Colorado Medicine, Volume 100, Number 4, July 2003, "Gold", by Bill Pierson.
The WPA Guide to 1930s Colorado, University Press of Kansas, 1941, 1987, ISBN 0-7006-0342-5.
Historic Jefferson County Tools to catalog, mark, and visit interesting locations around the world.

If you know of other Colorado Historical Society markers, especially the old bronze ones, please e-mail bishoprl AT, with subject line "Colorado Historical Markers". Thanks.

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© 2008-18 Randy Bishop
Last modified: February 15, 2018