The Mystery of Colorado’s History

Colorado is made up of all of God’s finest: vibrant blue skies, majestic mountain vistas, seas of wildflowers, diverse animal life, brawny pines and mighty oaks, year-round sunshine, arid deserts, raging rivers, canyons, caverns, mystery, and history.

Colorado joined the union in 1876 as America’s 38th state, earning her the nickname “The Centennial State”. Spanning over 104,000 square miles, she’s the country’s eighth largest state in terms of land mass. The name Colorado is Spanish for “ruddy”, lending itself well to another nickname: Colorful Colorado. There are 41 iconic “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” signs that invite travelers near and far into this beautiful land, and one that resides in the History Colorado Center in Denver, our state’s capital.

Colorado has a way of surprising people, even her native inhabitants and long-time residents. She’s never finished giving a show. Around each bend of her winding mountain roads is not a bland view of flat highway, but a backdrop of jagged mountain edges, stretching as far as the eye can see. With 58 named peaks reaching over 14,000 feet and an average altitude of 6,800 feet Colorado has the highest elevation of all 50 states.

Over 13,000 years ago, Native Americans inhabited the region that is now Colorado. Spanish explorers, hunters, gold miners, and trappers were then enticed by the land’s opportunities, ushering in the age of European settlers, transcontinental migration, wars, coal mining, and gold rushes. Today, Colorado boasts many turquoise mines, silver mines, gold mines, and archaeological sites. Mesa Verde Park alone, on Colorado’s southwestern edge, contains and protects nearly 5,000 archaeological sites and 600 cliff dwellings from Ancestral Puebloans.

While on an expedition to determine the southwestern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase in 1806, Zebulon Pike discovered one of Colorado’s most famous and beloved mountains, Pikes Peak. At 14,114 feet, Pikes Peak’s summit is the highest of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in North America. After gold was found here in 1858, fortune hunters traversed the rough terrain with one thing on their minds and on their wagons: “Pikes Peak or Bust”.

In 2014, an unearthed rock shelter in east central Colorado revealed fragments of 1,300 year old pottery that contained traces of salicylic acid. Derived from willow bark, salicyclic acid is a chemical that is the natural predecessor to present-day aspirin, and this find is possibly the earliest known physical indication of its use in North America.

photo credit:

photo credit:

Colorado’s history is plentiful and powerful – and sometimes a bit mysterious. Is it any wonder we love this amazing land? She’s our home and we’re proud to pattern our jewelry after her exquisite beauty. Dusty Shutt Silver, Ltd. is the place to find hand-crafted jewelry with Colorado’s unique natural flair. We combine sterling silver with bits of bone, precious pearls, and stones such as garnets and turquoise and more, and lovingly craft one-of-a-kind pieces to complement any outfit anytime. Take a bit of Colorado’s history with you to parties, work, church, and shopping, or give her beauty as a gift to your loved ones. Come find us on our website and on Facebook, and discover Colorado’s wonderful history and flair.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.