Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Old Postcard Wednesday--Cheesman Park Memorial Pavilion, Denver, Colorado

This post of the Cheesman Park Memorial Pavilion will be one of the featured postcards in the December Festival of Postcards, hosted by Evelyn at ACanadianFamily blog. The theme for this festival is "White" and the deadline for submission is December 20. Click on the festival logo above for information and to see all the postcards sometime after the 20th!

Denvergov.org shows an aerial view of the memorial and includes this information (note that the spelling on this old postcard is incorrect.....Cheesman, not Cheeseman!):
Cheesman Park Memorial Pavilion
Greek Parthenon of Colorado Yule marble. Memorial to business tycoon Walter Scott Cheesman designed by Marean and Norton in 1910. Surrounded by formal gardens and reflecting pool, it crowns the east end of Cheesman Park, once the city cemetery.

This is a short clip of the 2009 Denver Tango Fest in Cheesman Park:

Walter Scott Cheesman is tied to Denver history for another structure, also. He died while constructing a glorious mansion atop Denver's Logan Hill. That mansion now serves as the Colorado Governor's Residence, known as the Boettcher Mansion. The history behind the Governor's Residence is fascinating and can be read in full here. A bit from the website follows:

The state capital of Denver sits at the base of the foothills where the mountains rise to the west, a continual reminder of the nearness of the wilderness to the urban dweller. The Rockies have ever demanded of those who live near them, an upward-reaching spirit, and it is fitting that the Colorado Governor's Residence sits atop a hill, where it was built as a private home by one of the state's leading pioneer families.

Walter Scott Cheesman rode an ox cart from Chicago to Denver in 1861, where he joined his brother in the drug store business. He became an enthusiastic and effective booster of his new city, helping bring railroad service to Denver, developing the town's fledgling real estate industry and rising to local and regional prominence. After the tragic loss of his wife and two year old son, he remained single for many years. At the age of 47 he remarried, to the beautiful and charming widow Alice Foster Sanger. Two years later their daughter, Gladys, was born and from the moment he saw her, Walter Cheesman was devoted to her. While still a teenager, Gladys helped her father design a wonderful new house for the family. But in 1907, just as he was planning to begin construction of the landmark mansion atop Denver's Logan Hill, Mr. Cheesman died. Gladys and her mother proceeded with the plans, and the result was a graceful, soaring home of three stories that soon became the envy of Denver high society. From outside the wrought iron fence, citizens marveled at the mansion's west portico with its two-story Roman Ionic colonnade, at the widow's walk and the elegant arched windows. The Cheesman home became the talk of Denver. . .

. . .Mrs. Cheesman died in 1923 and the house was sold to Claude K. Boettcher, a leading western businessman. Mr. Boettcher presented the deed to his wife Edna as a Valentine's Day present in 1924. . .

. . . Claude Boettcher died in 1957, his wife Edna the following year. She left the house to a private family foundation, requesting that this beautiful mansion be offered to the State of Colorado to be used as a governors' residence. . .



Looking to the Stars said...

Good job on the history :)
I love the old postcard!

Lydia said...

@Looking to the Stars- Since this comment comes from an expert in Colorado history, I take that as a compliment! Thanks :)

Friko said...

an interesting article.
I would like to get into postcards myself in the new year, I have a vast collection of old -ish cards which i would love to combine with a little history about the place depicted. I know I am stealing the idea from you, so my question is
a) would you mind, and
b) is here a copyright attached to postcards?

I really must visit you more often, I have always liked your site. My blog seems to have taken on a life of its own since you very kindly took me up as one of the first to do so. Thank you for hat in retrospect.
Merry Christmas, dear Lydia

Phivos Nicolaides said...

It seems you have a great collection of beautiful, old post cards!

Lydia said...

@Friko- I certainly have no claim on posting postcards, old or otherwise, at my blog. Like you, I have a collection of them and in the early days of my blog decided to use them. It was a surprise to me when I began receiving comments about Old Postcard Wednesday and to then discover that there is a HUGE community of postcard bloggers. I suggest you follow the link to the "Festival of Postcards" and look at the archive of prior Festivals at Evelyn's blog.
Also, in my Friday post I posted a new postcard from Francessa, doing so in conjunction with Marie's "Postcard Friendship Friday" theme. Marie's is specifically a vintage postcard blog, and you'd probably enjoy the PFF group of postcard posts there each Friday, maybe building your own postcard posts around Fridays for more exposure. Since my Wednesday postcard day was already established I decided not to switch it to Fridays for PFF.

In my forays around the postcard blogging world (and online sales sites such as ebay) I have not seen anything about copyrights. In fact, I've never even seen or thought of the question!

Where my postcard posts differ from others I've read is the degree of research/history. I love doing it because I've learned so much! How could I mind sharing the fun with someone else?!

Yes, when I've stopped by your blog I've noticed the large number of comments you receive these days. Congrats on your success:)

@Phivos- Hi there! Yes I have a good collection, most of it saved by my maternal grandmother. I have one small envelope with those saved by my Finnish paternal grandmother. And even a few sent to me when I was a young girl by my then pen-pal in Austria. I have tried to find her online, but so far no luck.



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