Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History

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Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History
Series Title:
Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History
Wharton, Nicholas J.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History. | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 11:08:14 AM] Home Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History.Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History.Submitted by nwharton on 1-25-2012 08:52 AMAuthor: Vincent Virga and Stephen Grace Publishing: Guilford, CT: Morris Book Publishing, LLC., 2010. vi + 117 pages. Maps, notes. 9 x 10. $24.95 paperback. Reviewer: Nicholas J. Wharton Vincent Virga has been praised as Americas foremost picture editor for having researched, edited, designed, and captioned over 250 books, many for highprofile clients such as John Wayne, Jane Fonda, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and former president Bill Clinton. Known nationally for his critically acclaimed work Cartographia: Mapping Civilizations (2007) and his coauthored work Eye of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (1997), Virga has managed to again create a wonderfully visual work depicting Colorado through historical maps. Collaborating with Boulder resident Stephen Grace, author of Under Cottonwoods (2004), It Happened in Denver (2007), and Colorado Icons: Fifty Classic Views of the Centennial State (2009), these two men have created a fourth book in a series portraying the history of the United States through rare and unusual maps. Organized chronologically, Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History depicts the history of Colorado from the mid-seventeenth to the twentieth century. The authors start their story prior to European influence in the area with a map produced by Bernardo Miera y Pacheco, the cartographer for the Dominguez-Escalante expedition, whose map is considered the first surviving manuscript map of Colorado (19). Following this section on exploration is the Pikes Peak gold rush, a key period with multiple maps included. Particularly notable is the Map of the United States West of the Mississippi Showing Routes to Pikes Peak, Overland Mail Route to California, and Pacific Railroad Surveys, compiled and drawn from U.S. land and coastal surveys by D. McGowan and George H. Hildt in 1859. It shows Jefferson Territory, the short-lived territory that became Colorado Territory in 1861. Four additional sections cover railroads, town building, boom and bust periods, and natural resource management. At times these sections seemed repetitive with map after map of Colorado towns and cities. The authors end with a 1959 relief map of Rocky Mountain National Park. Its difficult to make the distinction between when the historical past ends and the present begins, but it would have been useful to show a few more recent maps of Colorado. The two-page, two-map section on natural resource management seems to be an afterthought, but it does have the most unusual and unique map. Found on page 108, the 1951 map of Rocky Mountain National Park depicts The Colorado Rockies . as a wilderness subdued: a place of safe, family fun. (109) Very colorful, cartoonish, and humorous, this map shows the important geological and man-made points of interest. Comments such as Take a Peek (Weve got Plenty), Fall River (Ouch), and Mt. Mummy (Wheres Pappy) are found throughout the map. Although this section seems disconnected from the rest of the book, it provides a good laugh. EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanKatherine Lee Bates wrote the lyrics of America the Beautiful after an awe-inspiring trip to the top of Pikes Peak in 1893.


Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History. | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 11:08:14 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Vincent Virga and Stephen Grace have created an excellent collection of rare and unique maps that most readers would never have the chance to view. Research notes, which apply mainly to the maps, leave the reader to speculate about sources used for the text. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to all readers looking for an enjoyable read with amazing visual maps. Well-written and organized, Colorado: Mapping the Centennial State through History is an excellent and unique addition to the vast library of works on Colorado history. Reviewer Info: Nicholas J. Wharton is a graduate student in history at the University of Colorado Denver focusing on historic preservation. He is currently the King Fellow at the Center for Colorado and the West at Auraria Library were he works on the Colorado Book Review and oversees one of the centers current projects, the digitization of the Noel Collection in collaboration with the Denver Public Library. Add new comment