Lincoln/Broadway Self-Guided Walking Tour

Stop 1:   Ross Broadway Library Branch 

33 E Bayaud Ave 

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Stop 1 - Story.m4a

During the “Pikes Peak or Bust” gold rush of 1859, the discovery of gold brought settlers to the area of Denver. Among the names that appear prominently upon the pages of Denver's pioneer history is that of Thomas Skerritt. Thomas Skerritt laid claim to a 640 acre homestead that encompassed most of present-day Englewood. Thomas Skerritt is now referred to as the “Father of Englewood.” Other homesteaders followed in Skerritt’s footsteps and settled in the area.¹

Legend has it that Skerritt got tired of traveling the old Santa Fe Trail to Denver to sell his produce, so he plowed two furrows, one on each side of the road from Englewood to Cherry Creek. He drove down the center of the furrows, pulling a heavy log behind the wagon to create a broad roadway. Printer John Daily, potato farmer Rufus Clark, and William Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News, planted twenty-five blocks of shade trees along the new street. Because the road was the widest street in the area, it was referred to as “Broadway,” and remains to this day one of the main thoroughfares in the metro area. 

Since originally plotted, Lincoln Street has retained its name through various city-wide changes in street names; particularly an 1897 initiative to re-order them under the Maloney System, but originally the street was called Lincoln avenue. Thomas Skerritt went on to work for the Arapahoe County Commissioners as a “Road Overseer” for many years. So why didn’t Denver just build the road? It was because in between Thomas Skerritt’s house and Denver was a large undeveloped section of Colorado that used to be known as the Town of South Denver. The town of "South Denver" contained large farms and farm houses. The Denver Public Library has on record some of the early maps on this time. If you walk around West Wash Park, there are still about a dozen of these original farm houses still existing. They look different than the others, and usually have wrap around porches. If your houses says that it was built prior to 1885, you may have an original farm house. One of the farm houses is thought to be the house across the street from the library here! 

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Stop 2 - Introduction.m4a

South Broadway at Alameda - 1890 - 1900

Colorado Avenue South Broadway 

Colorado Avenue South Broadway

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