Lost Lafayette, Colorado

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The gold rush of the 1850s turned Colorado’s treeless prairie into platted towns with thriving centers of commerce. Lafayette’s early “Main Street” on East Simpson Street was once bustling with blacksmiths, jewelers, retailers and grocers. It included the Lafayette Bank, the Goodhue Building and a movie theater. The epicenter of organized labor’s struggle for fair wages and a safe workplace, Lafayette expanded to include Japanese and Latino laborers in the 1920s. For fifteen years, the Ku Klux Klan dominated local politics, spreading fear and hate. From 1888 until 1956, the coal mining industry sustained the town. But dangerous work conditions in the fourteen coal mines took a toll. Flour mills, brick factories and electrical generating stations faded quickly. Author Doug Conarroe recounts inspiring tales of a diverse, austere and doggedly self-sufficient townspeople who challenged the status quo and survived trying and tumultuous times.
ISBN: 9781467148238
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Colorado
Series: Lost
Images: 53
Pages: 160
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Doug Conarroe is a fourth-generation Coloradan who grew up in Louisville and moved to Lafayette in 1995. With a journalism degree and MBA from the University of Colorado, Doug started with the family newspaper before joining the Denver Post and then the (Tacoma) News Tribune. He published the North Forty News from 2011 to 2017. A lifetime member of Lafayette Historical Society, Doug has served on the Lafayette Historic Preservation Board and as past president and board member of Historic Boulder.
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