Traversing Colfax County, New Mexico and Las Animas County, Colorado, Raton Pass is a mountain pass that was used by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. This Fred Harvey postcard has this description on the reverse:
Raton Tunnel, the highest point on the Santa Fe. Altitude 7,622 feet. The Tunnel at Raton Pass is fifteen miles beyond Trinidad. The Santa Fe has recently completed a secon Tunnel considerably below the original Tunnel.
Navajo Mineral Spring, one of several springs in Manitou, Colorado. I was unable to find any info on the structure shown on this postcard.
A scenic drive near Canon City, Colorado. The vehicles appear to be purpose-built sightseeing buses, as they have four rows of seating to accommodate tourists. A brief description can be found on the back:
This beautiful drive affords one of the most unique and spectacular scenic views in the West, from its crest an impressive view of the Royal Gorge is obtained, also the Orchard Valleys that Colorado is famed for.
A lively game of croquet at Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Postmarked July 19, 1920, a message on the back reads:
Never spent such a wild Sunday in my life before. Will arrive at Boulder probably tomorrow. Love – Jessie
The Apple Tree Shanty, a restaurant in Denver, Colorado. This linen postcard has a description on the back:
THE APPLE TREE SHANTY IN DENVER
They’re dreaming of those Delicious Dinners, Pit Prepared over the fragrant embers of Hickory and Applewood. Tasty Ribs with Secret Sauce; Honey-cured Baked Ham; Juicy Choice Beef – and Thick Steaks, Hickory Charcoal broiled. All served by the smiling Apple Tree Folks who always say “Valkommen”!
Mailed in 1945, this postcard features the bird house and animal pits in Pueblo, Colorado’s City Park. I remember when the Fort Worth zoo had “pits” similar to these, and even as a child I thought they were disgraceful.
The Manitou incline railway opened in 1907 to facilitate the construction of a hydroelectric plant, evolving into a tourist attraction soon after completion. A rock slide in 1990 prompted its closing. This unmailed postcard has a brief message on the reverse: “All kinds of fun around this part of the country. 12-24-10”
Postmarked in 1911, this card shows Helen Hunt’s grave on Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain. Helen Hunt, aka Helen Hunt Jackson, authored the hugely popular 1884 novel, Ramona. As can be seen here on PC Roundup, the fictional legend of Ramona spawned a lot of postcards.
Coming across this postcard from Elitch’s Gardens prompted research, and I found that the Denver, Colorado institution dates all the way back to 1890, and featured a zoo, amusement park, botanical garden, and theater. The park was the dream of John and Mary Elitch but, as fate would have it, John succumbed to pneumonia before it opened for its second season. Mary kept Elitch’s Gardens going in John’s honor, and would run it for the next 26 years. The Gardens underwent several ownership changes over the following decades, and it still in operation today.
What makes this white border postcard interesting is the verse, as it nicely captures the feel of the ’20s, particularly the romance of the West. On the back:
The West is the place for the “Vagabond Lover” of nature and the outdoors. Highways go nearly everywhere, even to the tops of the mountains, and quiet trails lead to secluded beauty spots away from the crowd. To roam all day and camp at night beneath the pines and aspens beside a murmuring stream at the foot of a mountain makes a perfect (Rocky Mountain) day.