National Geographic : 1932 Jul
COLORADO, A BARRIER THAT BECAME A GOAL THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER'S TOMB AT ARLINGTON IS OF COLORADO MARBLE A huge deposit of the finest marble, in Gunnison County, Colorado, has furnished building material for some outstanding structures: the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, the New York Municipal Building, and the Huntington Mausoleum in Pasadena. Naturally, the people of this great re gion turn to Denver, whether they are out for business or pleasure, for a commercial fight or a recreational frolic. It's a habit of long standing. The miners started it when they came every so often to the rough little town that was Denver in the sixties to spend some of their gold for supplies and the rest in more or less riotous living. Later, when great riches were made in gold and silver and cattle, the fortunate ones moved to Denver and built the man sions and hotels and business blocks that started the solid structure of the city. Globe-trotters, adventurers, and capitalists flocked to Denver in the seventies and eighties. Many "younger sons" of the Brit ish nobility and several Britons with well known titles made the city their headquar ters for extensive cattle operations, and gave glittering parties at the old Windsor Hotel and the American House that have not faded from Denver's memory. Before its irrigation empire was even dreamed of and while its mineral kingdom was still undeveloped, Denver's location was of little value; but young Denver, de- spite surveys, clung stubbornly to the belief that in some way the transcontinental rail way, when it came, could be pushed through the mountains west of the city. When, in stead, the lines of steel were extended through Cheyenne, a hundred miles to the north, Denverites put aside their disap pointment and quickly raised the capital to build a connecting line to the new highway. With this rail contact with the eastern settlements established and with the steady growth of mining in the mountains, Den ver drew to herself in a few years direct lines of railroad from the East. Now these highways of steel radiate north and south and east from Denver like the ribs of a fan. A result of this railway convergence on Denver has been to make the city one of the country's leading livestock markets. THE CITY'S TUNNEL OF DREAMS BECOMES A REALITY While the transcontinental railways went their busy ways north and south of Den ver, the city never lost its dream of a line straight west through the mountains.