Colorado Legends: The People Who Put Colorado On The Map

When you think of Colorado legends, does anyone, in particular, come to mind?  Probably not.  Although many of the people who made their mark in Colorado are the ones who are familiar to most of us from the Wild West.

Some are the gunfighters and gamblers from western history.  Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson, friends from the old west, made frequent visits to Colorado. Others are simple people who made a difference and helped form the state of Colorado.

Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill Cody lived here for many years.  There are some who became famous during the gold rush period.  Horace Tabor was a man who helped put Leadville on the map.  He became very rich and powerful. Legendary ladies included Tabor’s wife, Baby Doe Tabor, as well as Molly Brown, who became famous during the worst maritime disaster in history.  These lady’s stories can be found in the section Colorado Pioneer Women.

Nikola Tesla, the world-famous scientist, had a lab in Colorado Springs.  Many inventions developed here we are using today. Although many of these people didn’t realize they were making history, their stories are in the state’s historical societies, archives and even in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. I have chosen a few of the most colorful and notorious legends for my research, most coming from the Colorado Historical Society and have found some startling information that makes for a good yarn.

Fact or myth?  Enjoy!

Colorado Legends

Colorado Legends: Zebulon Pike

The Man Who Discovered America’s Mountain Long before Zebulon Pike discovered Pikes Peak, between the mid 17th and 18th centuries, a number of Spanish explorers entered the area. The U.S….

Colorado Explorers

Long before the first Colorado explorers, was a prehistoric period, around 15,000 years ago. Before recorded history, a man walked the area, along with mammoths and other prehistoric mammals. Remains…

Old West Painters of Colorado

The old west painters who captured the cowboys, gunfighters and Native Americans of the time, glamorized their subjects to be more romantic than they were. Every painting, sculpture or dime…

Formidable Colorado Pioneer Women

Tough and hardy, pioneer women did what was necessary to survive.  They stood by their men or alone and fought Indians, the elements, starvation, and toiled endlessly in the fields…

Colorado Legends: Helen Hunt Jackson

A Fighter for Native American Rights Mrs. Jackson is renowned as a poet, writer, and Native American activist.  She rallied for improved treatment of the Indians by the federal government….

Colorado Legends: Martha Maxwell

The Colorado Huntress Mrs. Maxwell was a Colorado naturalist, artist, hunter, and taxidermist.  Her 1876 display at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia of lifelike animals she shot and stuffed, won…

Colorado Legends: Nikola Tesla

Of all the famous legends in Colorado, Nikola Tesla, the world-renowned scientist, made his home in Colorado Springs and worked on many beneficial experiments. Tesla was born in Austria on…

Colorado Legends: “Unsinkable” Molly Brown

Molly Brown was instrumental in many causes throughout her life.  She was born Margaret Tobin in 1867 in Hannibal, Missouri to a wealthy Irish family. Margaret had an uneventful early…

Colorado Legends: Baby Doe Tabor

Baby Doe Tabor is a colorful legend in Colorado.  She rose from rags to riches by tempting the rich and powerful Horace Tabor away from his wife of 25 years….

Colorado Legends: Horace Tabor

Horace Tabor was known as the richest man in Colorado.  He was born in Holland, Vermont in 1830. He trained to be a storekeeper and stonemason, and at the age…