Western State College

Staff writer Western State College is a four-year liberal arts college in Gunnison with 2,300 students who give the town a distinctly college flavor. A third of the students are from outside Colorado, and most of them are drawn by small classes at the college and recreational opportunities in the area. Western State was founded in 1901 as the Colorado State Normal School and opened for classes in 1911 as…

March 19, 2012
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Wheeler Opera House

February 29, 2012

The Wheeler Opera House, which opened in 1889, serves as a cultural center for the Aspen community, with live theater and other performances.

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Glenwood Springs history

President Theodore Roosevelt near Glenwood Springs
December 14, 2011

Staff writer As in Idaho Springs, it was the hot springs that first attracted European settlers to Glenwood Springs. The town’s first citizen, James Landis, bought the hot springs site and set up for business. The tent town, officially founded in 1885, was populated by miners, gamblers, prostitutes, shopkeepers and outlaws. They all settled in where the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers meet, about 180 miles west of Denver. The…

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Western Colorado Botanical Gardens

Western Colorado Botanical Gardens in Grand Junction
November 28, 2011

Staff writer The Western Colorado Botanical Gardens and Butterfly House has replaced a 15-acre junkyard south of downtown with lush gardens. Volunteers from the Western Colorado Botanical Society have created gardens devoted to herbs, roses and cactus and succulents, as well as a community garden and a children’s secret garden. The Native Garden replicates Colorado’s Grand Valley, including the Grand Mesa, the Colorado National Monument and Mount Garfield. Plants here…

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Cross Orchards Historic Site

Staff writer The 24-acre Cross Orchards Historic Site preserves part of a fruit ranch with more than 22,000 trees that was founded in 1896 by the Red Cross Land and Fruit Co. The original 243-acre ranch was one of the state’s largest fruit-growing operations because orchards averaged just nine acres. Most of the ranch was planted in apples, though it also had a few acres of pears and peaches. The…

November 28, 2011
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Dinosaur Journey Museum

Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita Colorado
November 28, 2011

Staff writer The Dinosaur Journey Museum displays fossils, cast skeletons and robotic reconstructions of dinosaurs that once roamed the Grand Valley. The exhibits display bones from dinosaurs such as the Allosaurus, Apatosaurus and Stegosaurus, and the robotic reconstructions demonstrate how the Utahraptor, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous period 66 to 146 million years ago. There also are cast skeletons are of the Velociraptor, Camarasaurus, Allosaurus,…

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Museum of the West

Staff writer At the Museum of the West, visitors are able to explore history, from riding a stagecoach to flying a 1958 Cessna to going underground in a uranium mine to walking the streets of Grand Junction in the 1880s to cranking the siren on a restored 1921 LaFrance fire truck. The museum also offers interactive sound and exhibit stations that do such things as teaching the Ute language and…

November 28, 2011
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Grand Valley wineries

Grand Valley wineries near Palisade
November 28, 2011

Staff writer The winemaking industry made its debut in the Grand Valley in 1890, with settlers who developed the area’s fruit orchards also planting grapes for wine and table. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported wine production of 1,744 gallons in 1899. Among the earliest vineyards was one on Rapid Creek above Palisade that was planted by George Crawford, who founded Grand Junction and later served as Colorado governor. The…

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Peaches and other fruit ripe from orchards

Palisade peaches
November 28, 2011

Peaches are the Grand Junction area’s leading fruit crop with about 400,000 trees in production, and Palisade is the best-known place for peaches. However, peaches and other fruits also are grown on the farms of Orchard Mesa, Fruita and Clifton.

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Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction
November 28, 2011

The Colorado National Monument is a red-rock wonderland of sheer-walled canyons, towering monoliths such as Independence Monument and Kissing Couple and rock sculptures such as Balanced Rock and the Coke Ovens.

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