Ludlow Tent Colony Site

Ludlow Massacre Memorial near Walsenburg
The Ludlow Massacre Memorial by sculptor Hugh Sullivan was erected by the United Mine Workers in 1918 to those who were killed. The monument was desecrated in 2003 but restored in 2005. | Photo by Wavy 1 / flickr

Staff writer

A monument at the Ludlow Tent Colony Site, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2009, stands off Interstate 25 about 25 miles south of Walsenburg.

It commemorates the Ludlow Massacre of 1914, in which Colorado National Guard troops attacked a tent colony of striking coal miners and their families. Two women and 11 children were asphyxiated and burned to death. Three union leaders and two strikers were killed by gunfire, along with one child, one passer-by, and one National Guardsman.

Afterward, miners attacked dozens of mines, leading to the Colorado Coalfield War, the most violent labor conflict in U.S. history with a death toll estimated at 69 to 199. Mary Harris Jones, known as “Mother Jones,” supported the miners during the deadly 1913-14 strike.

The massacre represented a turning point in American labor relations. A Congressional investigation led to passage of child labor laws and a federal mandate for an eight-hour workday.

Ludlow Tent Colony Site
Del Aqua Canyon Road
Ludlow, CO 81082
Ludlow Tent Colony website
Ludlow Massacre website