Boulder Colorado, 1915

by Milo Ketchum

Boulder is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of over a mile. To the East is the broad prairie which once was treeless but now verdant from irrigation. Immediately to the West are the foothills, characterized at the south end of the city by the Flat Irons, a huge slab of stone laid up against the mountains. At that time the population of the city was in the order of twelve thousand, now fifteen times that size.

The address of our home was 1146 12th Street, facing the mountains, on the hill, and south of the business district, about two blocks from the Campus. It was a substantial frame house, surprisingly modern in design, painted red with white trim. An irrigation ditch ran through the property which, I am sure, must have been a source of worry to my mother. Fortunately it was not always full particularly in the winter. I remember one fall it was drying up and on the bottom were fish which some one called suckers, they were very ugly to my young mind. On the north side of the property there was a beautiful large stone masonry retaining wall, rising well above a man's height which was the pride of my father, who had written a book on the design of "Walls, Bins, and Grain Elevators".

In the back of the property there was a two story carriage house. We had no horses but I am sure it must have been used for that purpose. In this building I remember there was a side saddle that my mother have ridden. A wide lawn was between the house and the carriage house, and I vividly remember sitting on the lawn with my two sisters when our house keeper, a Welsh lady, no longer young, coming from the house and announced that the Lusitania had been sunk. It is odd how you will remember certain things. Of course I had not conception of what meaning of this but a remember the heavy emotion displayed.

Another memory is of a May Day celebration on the campus complete with a May pole and beautiful Maidens winding and unwinding the long ribbons tied to a pole. The whole family was there including my father. As a part of the celebration the male students had rigged a wagon with vertical stakes on the bed reproducing the famous scenes from the French Revolution of aristocrats being taken to the Guillotine. The students went around making a great show of arresting faculty members including my father and placing them in the wagon to be taken to Court in the adjacent Law Building there to be tried by the law students for their crimes and misdemeanors. I was disconsolate and cried copiously. I was reassured that this was all a joke and that my father would soon return. I am sure that I did not understand that if my father had not been well liked, they would not have done that. As I remember he was acquitted.

This page has taken   no  hits.