In the middle of a suburban Denver neighborhood, there is a cave that once provided comfort for a prominent Ute chief and his people.
Before the European settlers went west, Ute, Arapahoe, Cheyenne, and other nations roamed the mountains and plains of Colorado. Even if a lot of the evidence of their existence has been lost, or probably destroyed, some of this sites still remain, but you have to know where to look to find them!
For example, in a Denver, Colorado, suburb, there is one of these fascinating historic sites. There, you it’s possible find a cave, once frequented by a man named Colorow. Colorow was born to the Comanche nation in the early 1800s but was kidnapped by Muache Utes as a boy. When he was a young man, his new family began migrating from northern New Mexico up to northern Colorado, where he later married three sisters: Recha, Siah, and Poopa. After marrying, he became an important Ute leader and had 13 children. He led his people to hunt and camp in the west Denver area between what today are Morrison and Golden along the Dakota Hogback ridge. When in the area, they would stay in a cave in what’s now the neighborhood of Willowbrook in Morrison. According to the story, he sought solace in the cave during hard times in order to reflect.
Historically, even if relations with settlers started friendly, they deteriorated quickly, and on September 2, 1878, his son Tabernash was killed by a member of a sheriff’s party. When the United States government began falling short on their promises, Colorow did not forget and his people were involved in the Meeker Massacre and the Battle of Milk Creek. It all came to a head in Colorow’s War of 1887, that was the final conflict between the first peoples’ of Colorado and ever-encroaching settlers. After Colorow and his people were forced off their land and onto reservations, he died in 1888 of depression and pneumonia.
Colorow’s cave is still today a little nice site of beauty and peace, surrounded by mountains, and meadows. It’s no wonder Colorow loved this area: breathing this atmosphera, you can understand how he could have found peace there in such difficult times.