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Children

What do these photos tell you about the things children did in the city?

Young Child In a Carriage

This child's photo was taken in a baby carriage.

Young Child In a Carriage

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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This child belonged to a well-to-do family. The fancy carriage was made of wicker and a ruffled parasol for shade.

Girl Sitting On a Burro

This girl had her photo taken on a burro in Manitou Springs.

Girl Sitting On a Burro

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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Manitou Springs was a resort town west of Colorado Springs. Families gathered there to drink and bathe in its mineral springs. Children as well as adults enjoyed vacations at Manitou Springs.

Their Own Words

"At Manitou we would stop to drink some of the mineral water for which I did not care in is virgin state. Provident folk took with them large glass bottles or jugs and filled them with water from the soda springs. They had to be handled with care lest trouble ensue. If too full and subjected to a lot of motion, the jug was apt to blow its cork and the precious fluid be lost. But my mother was careful and on our return we would have 'soda lemonade,' a great treat."

Source: Quantrille D. McClung, Memoirs of My Childhood and Youth in North Denver (Denver: Colorado Genealogical Society, 1979): 66.

Children Getting Free Medical Care

The children in this photo are gathered at the Women’s Christian Temperance Union mission in Denver.

Children Getting Free Medical Care

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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The W.C.T.U. mission provided poor people with free medical care and other services. It also held daily prayer meetings. These well-dressed children probably did not need free medical care. Even so, in the early 20th century many groups were concerned about the effects that living in cities had on children..

Their Own Words

”At present the Judge [Juvenile Court Judge Benjamin Lindsey] is engaged in trying to complete a code of laws for the protection of women and children, which he hopes will be a model for all other States. . . . This code [of laws] will cover child labor, juvenile delinquency and dependency, . . . and other matters having to do with social . . . justice toward mother and child."

Source: Julian Street, “Hitting a High Spot: Denver,” Colliers (November 7, 1914): 29.

Children In Mineral Springs Pool

This photo was taken at a pool in Glenwood Springs. The caption at the bottom of the photo says “Fun for the Boys, Glenwood Springs, Col. U.S.A.”

Children In Mineral Springs Pool

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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This photo shows five boys playing on a water fountain, while others swam, dived or looked on. This resort at Glenwood Springs was famous for its mineral water. Many Colorado cities had places where families went for vacations. Children also had fun at home playing indoor games.

Their Own Words

"There were card games, "Authors" and others. . . .When in my teens a kind neighbor used to favor me with a frequent game of checkers and in those days we young ones got into the habit of gathering around the piano for an evening of song, usually the old fashioned kind."

Source: Quantrille D. McClung, Memoirs of My Childhood and Youth in North Denver (Denver, CO: Colorado Genealogical Society, 1979): 273.

Children On a Denver Playground

The children in this photo are swinging and climbing at a public playground in Denver.

Children On a Denver Playground

Photo: Denver Public Library, Western History Collection

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Children who grew up in cities also had parks and playgrounds in which to play. Look closely at this photo. How is it different from playgrounds today?

Their Own Words

"The game was played with a ball, which was made of yarn unraveled from the leg of an old sock. The ball was wound hard and was made large and heavy. Its use was not to be struck with a bat; its mission in the world was to be thrown at somebody with no gentle force. If the ball struck a boy fairly and unexpectedly in the stomach, it knocked him down; this was great fun."

Source: ICC Star, April 30, 1911. Dawson Scrapbooks, Vol. 4, p. 57, Colorado Historical Society.