B50 Note: After 60 years of cutting hair at the same location on Colfax, Walt Young hangs up his scissors on September 30th, 2009. You can read more about Walt at 9news and the Denver Post. Walt Young’s digital story was produced by Daniel Weinshenker and the Center for Digital Storytelling in conjunction with the “Imagine A Great City” exhibit at the Colorado Historical Society. More stories from the series are available at the Mile High Stories website.
It says thusly:
Hermon Lee Ensign
B50 Note: Between 1906 and 1912, the National Humane Alliance presented somewhere around 125 Horse Watering Troughs to cities and towns across the country, including Denver. Hermon Lee Ensign, who died in 1899, dedicated his fortune to funding the National Humane Alliance in order to “spread about humanitarian ideas among the people.” Such education, Ensign hoped, would instill in people, “especially the young, ideas of humanity both to the lower animals and to each other.” The fountains were produced in Vinalhavan, Maine. One of the fountains was recently relocated to a park in Derby, Connecticut — the community has a web page that offers great information.
The Denver fountain is located in a small paved triangle in the Civic Center District, where Colfax, Tremont, and 13th intersect. Unfortunately, the fountain no longer works, and the basin is filled with soil, which makes it hard to recognize its original purpose. The following photo was taken by Harry Rhoads in 1920 (courtesy of the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library).
I visited Sid King’s once around 1982 for a bachelor party. The best man was committed to showing the groom and groomsmen an exciting time. This included a death-defying, high speed drive over streets and curbs to Sid’s. According to the article, Sid was a “benevolent showman.” My recollection is a bit raunchier, with Sid directing the dancers on stage and describing their personal attributes to the audience. It wasn’t until I saw his obituary that I learned that Sid had transitioned from showman to shoeman. I immediately clipped this article out, partly for personal nostalgia and partly to remember this historic Denver locale and Sid.
– Matt Holman