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Early Spanish fort discovered in North Carolina


At its peak, Spanish colonization stretched the length and breadth of the Americas.

Short-lived settlement offers clues to early colonial history

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — More than a generation before the English established the Jamestown colony in what is now Virginia, early Spanish explorers were roaming the southeastern U.S. and establishing forts as far north as the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

University of Michigan archaeologists recently discovered the remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of the United States, providing new insight into the early colonial era. The site is located near Morganton in western North Carolina, nearly 300 miles from the Atlantic Coast. Continue reading

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Study confirms prehistoric cheese-making

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Chunks of Swiss cheese. Photo via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

Researchers analyze fatty acids extracted from pottery found in northern Europe

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with being a choice gourmet item for foodies, cheese has been a staple in many cultures around the world for centuries, as a transportable and digestible dairy product.

New research shows that cheese-making probably pre-dates previous estimates by quite a while. After analyzing fatty acids extracted from unglazed ceramic pottery, scientists say prehistoric people in northern Europe were making cheese as long as 7,000 years ago.

“Before this study, it was not clear that cattle were used for their milk in Northern Europe around 7,000 years ago,” said Mélanie Salque, a PhD student from the University of Bristol and one of the authors of the paper. “However, the presence of the sieves in the ceramic assemblage of the sites was thought to be a proof that milk and even cheese was produced at these sites<” Salque said. “Of course, these sieves could have been used for straining all sorts of things, such as curds from whey, meat from stock or honeycombs from honey. We decided to test the cheese-making hypothesis by analysing the lipids trapped into the ceramic fabric of the sieves,” she said. Continue reading

The mystery of Stonehenge … solved?

Research project yields new clues to origins of megalithic circle

Stonehenge may have been built as monument to the unification of civilization in Britain. Photo courtesy Gareth Wiscombe via Wikipedia and the Creative Common.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A 10-year research project into the origins of Stonehenge has concluded that the famous array of stones was built as a monument to mark the growing unification of culture in Britain at the end of the Stone Age.

The stones may have symbolized the ancestors of different groups of earliest farming communities in Britain, with some stones coming from southern England and others from west Wales.

Previous theories have suggested the great stone circle was used as a prehistoric observatory, a sun temple, a place of healing, or a temple of the ancient druids. But research teams from the universities of Sheffield, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth and University College London — collectively called the Stonehenge Riverside Project — rejected those theories after studying not just the stones themselves, but also the wider social and economic context of the monument’s main stages of construction around 3,000 BC and 2,500 BC. Continue reading

Morning photo: Explore the Brooklyn ‘backcountry’

Nation’s first commercial canal now a Superfund site

The end of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, near Butler Street.

Story and photos by Garrett Palm
The Gowanus Canalwas a major shipping hub for most of its existence. Before the dredging was completed in 1869 the canal was a series of tidal inlets into the saltwater marshes of South Brooklyn. Sulfur producers, soap manufacturers, gas plants, paint manufacturers, tanneries, and the first chemical fertilizer manufacturers were some of the industries that used the canal. Continue reading

Journalism: This week in history

From dance bands in Fairplay to the Summit County ‘Navy’

News from yesteryear.

Compiled by Jennifer Brancaccio

*Editor’s note: This week, correspondent Jennifer Brancaccio take a look at hometown tragedy reported by the Colorado Republican, early concert activity in Fairplay, ski-yachting championships on Dillon Reservoir reported by the Ten Mile Times.

Killed by Explosion- Denver man blown to atoms

Colorado Republican, June 1905

Tragedy sometimes hits close to home in small communities. From car accidents, suicides, to recreational accidents, it saddens many to open a newspaper and read headlines about unfortunate events in the community. In June of 1905, the Colorado Republican wrote of a family man who met both an unfortunate and unusual death on the streets near his home.

Merrit B. Walley fell victim to an explosion, believed to have been caused by dynamite or nitroglycerine, near his home in Denver. Nearby, his children, Edna and Raymond, heard the blast streets away; not knowing their father was involved. Walley’s wife, waiting for her husband to return to her sister’s home, heard the explosion as well and both she and her sister ran outside to see a huge cloud of debris and dirt settling.

Police and medical examiner officials were puzzled as to what caused the blast and whether or not it had been an accident or premeditated suicide. Walley never let on to friends or family that he may have had any emotional troubles and was described as a loving family man. Continue reading

Journalism: This week in history

The end of days, 1884, and more in our weekly stroll through newspapers of yesteryear

In early May of 1888, the front page of the Montezuma Millrun was dominated by mining news.

Compiled by Jenn Brancaccio

The end of the world
The Montezuma Millrun 5/17/1884

Billboards and overzealous preachers last week warned the public of an apocalypse that never came. We woke, not to earthquakes and darkness, but to singing birds and another day of work, much to the chagrin of those who quit their jobs and prepared for the End of Days.

Now that some have revamped their biblical prophecies and say the world will end in October, I wanted to bring to light an article published by the Montezuma Millrun in 1884, regarding the end of the world. Whether the end comes this year or in December of 2012, humankind has been obsessed with its demise since scientists and theologians studied the planets, space, and premonitions written in the Bible. Continue reading

Colorado’s ‘Lost Resorts’

Colorado Ski Country USA is releasing an updated version of a 'Lost Resorts' poster.

Updated poster helps keep memory of historic ski areas alive

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s ski resorts are an integral part of the state’s modern history, helping to shape the culture and economy of mountain towns. And while we all take our favorite ski area for granted, an updated version of the Lost Resorts poster, created by Colorado Ski Country USA, helps commemorate some of the areas that have come and gone over the years.

The latest edition of the poster accounts for 169 Colorado ski areas, including about 140 areas that were once in operation but have now ceased to exist, showing their location on a state map and giving a brief description of the their history. In addition to lost resorts, the poster shows the location of resorts currently in business as well as town areas still operating. Click here for more information. Continue reading

Travel: Cold War memories along the Danube

John Berwyn stands near a monument on the banks of the Danube built to memorialize thousands who escaped, or died try to escape from the Cold War prison of Eastern Europe.

Don’t ever take the freedom to travel for granted

By Bob Berwyn

With last year’s focus on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it’s important to remember that the Wall was just the most visible manifestation of the Iron Curtain, a much larger enclosure that kept millions imprisoned in eastern Europe.

We take our freedom to travel very much for granted; it wasn’t so long that people died trying to earn that right by tunneling under walls and fences, swimming through icy waters or even making homemade hot air balloons to try and soar to freedom.

I grew up in Germany during the Cold War. My parents met as a direct result of that era’s geopolitical upheaval. My dad worked for the American government in Germany and my mom lived in Linz, a city that, at the time, was cut in half by the ideological divide, with the Danube River forming the border between the American and Soviet sectors.

So a few years ago, when my dad suggested that we visit a Cold War memorial site near his hometown in Slovakia, my son and I jumped at the chance to join him and explore the banks of the Danube, near Bratislava. And we weren’t just there to look at a statue. My dad wanted to find the exact spot where made his own escape more than 50 years ago by dodging border guards and swimming across the chilly river. Continue reading

Explore western heritage along Colorado’s pioneer trails

A couple of National Park rangers in period costumes at Bent's Fort, an early North American free trade zone along the Santa Fe Trail

History comes alive on the state’s eastern plains

By Bob Berwyn

It’s a quiet place now, where you can hear the dry autumn grass rustle as a few deer glide softly by. A magpie circles, then touches down on a wind-worn fencepost near the Craig Ranch Bed and Breakfast and Horse Motel, just east of Limon.

But not so long ago, the hoof beats of cavalry pounded the prairie into a dusty stubble as patrols rode out to guard stagecoaches of the Butterfield Overland Despatch. Every day, soldiers mustered from nearby forts to protect covered wagons filled with gold seekers thronging westward to stake their claims along Cherry Creek in the big Colorado gold rush of 1859.

The 15,000-acre ranch, now run by Johnny and Beth Craig, was the scene of fierce skirmishes in the 1850s and 1860s. Native Americans were trying to protect their buffalo hunting grounds, while soldiers charged with protecting emigrants along the Smoky Hill Trail sought to maintain order in the vast Colorado territory.

Historic Georgetown, Inc, sponsors Summit Voice travel features.

The trail passes through the present-day ranch. A nearby stagecoach stop, Heddinger’s Lake Station, was the only one along the route with an underground tunnel, to protect waiting passengers from attack. And near the railroad crossing where guests make a final turn to the B&B, bandits robbed a Union Pacific train back in 1900. The loot from the train, valued at $35,000, still hasn’t been found. Continue reading

Frisco’s feisty female pioneers honored at Historic Park

The Frisco Historic Park will offer a window on the role of women in the town's history with special exhibits in honor of Women's History Month.

Local  women resuscitated the town after the silver crash of 1893; special exhibits featured as part of Women’s History Month at historic park

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — International Women’s Day — March 8 — has been celebrated since the early 1900s, when women around the world started to rally for political and social equality, as the industrial revolution brought sweeping changes in daily life.

In the 1980s, Congress passed a resolution declaring March as national women’s history month, giving Frisco a chance to commemorate the role of local pioneer women with special exhibits at the town’s historic park.

In the early years, International Women’s Day was strongly influenced by  socialist politics. According to a web site about International Women’s Day, its history can be traced back to 1908, when 15,000 women marched in New York City  demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. A year later, the first National Women’s Day was celebrated on Feb. 28 after a declaration by the Socialist Party of America.

In 1910, a conference of working women in Copenhagen advocated for an international version of women’s day to push for equality. The current March 8 date was adopted in 1913.

It was that same year that a group of feisty frontier women in helped Frisco through some tough times. The mines in the area were shutting down in the wake of the silver crash and people were moving away. At one point, the town’s electricity was shut off and the town council dissolved.

Frisco was in danger of becoming another Colorado ghost town — until several local ladies gathered together, held an election, voted in an all-female board and saved the town.  This was possible because women in Colorado were granted the right to vote in 1900, way ahead of the rest of the country. Led by Florence Huter, the elected mayor, the board tackled Frisco’s debts and returned the town to a respectable financial position.

In March, you can learn about some of the local pioneer women at the Frisco Historic Park and Museum. The Annie-Ruth House, one of the historic buildings open to the public, will feature exhibits on women’s culture and information on women who made a difference in the town’s history, including Susan Badger, Jane Thomas, Susie Thompson and Helen Foote.

The Frisco Historic Park & Museum is located on the corner of 2nd and Main. Admission is free.
Hours of Operation:

October – April (Winter Hours)
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sundays – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

May – September (Summer Hours)
Tuesday – Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sundays – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Closed Mondays

Get active and involved with International Women’s Day by clicking this link.

Read Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on Women’s History Month from 2009 here.

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