Highlandlake and Mead

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Highlandlake and Mead
Series Title:
Highlandlake and Mead
Mead, Jay
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
Publication Date:

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Source Institution:
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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Highlandlake and Mead | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 9:27:30 AM] Home Highlandlake and MeadHighlandlake and MeadSubmitted by nwharton on 5-5-2013 08:40 PMAuthor: Pauli Driver Smith Publishing: Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2013. 128 pages. Black-andwhite photographs. 6 x 9. $21.99 paperback. Reviewer: Jay Mead The history of Colorado towns and settlements is full of boom and bust: seekers come for the gold, and leave when its played out. Were used to hearing about well-known mountain towns boasting populations of thousands in the heady mining years following 1859 and then dwindling to near oblivion or disappearing altogether in the lean years of the twentieth century. Towns on the Colorado plains often tell a different story, more a story of Midwest toil and solidity than instant mountain riches. Highlandlake and Mead are two slow-growing, solid, proud Colorado plains towns from this tradition. The fine new Arcadia Images of America volume by Pauli Driver Smith, Highlandlake and Mead tells the story of their founding and early days, and offers many pages of historic photos of families and their churches and schools and businesses. The earlier settlement of Highlandlake was conceived in 1871 by pioneer Lorin C. Mead when he saw a muddy, spring-fed prairie pothole north of Longmont, and realized this could be the beginning of a farming community. He staked a claim and soon built the Highland Ditch to ensure water for his own crops and surrounding farms. By the early 1880s the settlement was growing and even known as a lakeside recreation spot for Denver visitors. In 1896 a lovely community church was built looking out over the lake, and it hosts community gatherings and weddings to the present day. A National Register of Historic Places site, it has been restored with help from the History Colorados State Historical Fund. The nearby town of Mead got its start in 1905, when the Great Western Railroad set up a sugar beet dump southeast of Highlandlake. Lorin Meads nephew Paul founded the new town of Mead at the edge of his own farm and named it for his father, Dr. Martin Luther Mead. With railroad service the town thrived, while Highlandlake began a long slumber. Farming continued on the rolling fields surrounding Highlandlake, but businesses and people moved to Mead. In recent years both towns have begun growing again, filled this time by new residents drawn to a rural life in beautiful surroundings and easy access to Denver and other cities. Highlandlake even produced a brief and glamorous splash of sorts when in 1989 its church was chosen to be the site of several scenes in one of the Die Hard movies, and actor Bruce Willis came to town. Smith includes a few photos of the excitement, including the new sets that briefly transformed the church and the town from peaceful backwater to roiling center of Hollywood mayhem. Smith includes hundreds of historic photos of Highlandlake and Mead from the earliest days to nearly the 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 AmericanNow, thats wrong! Some of these Japanese are citizens of the United States. Colorado Gov. Ralph Carrs response to Executive Order 9066 forcing Japanese into internment camps during WWII.


Highlandlake and Mead | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/8/2015 9:27:30 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us present, many culled from family collections and never before published. Her own knowledge of the area is encyclopedic, and she has done a service to the community and Colorado history by collecting these photos and materials and helping to make them known. She had help from members of several longtime area families and their old photo albums, especially Highlandlake founder Lorin Meads granddaughter Mary Mead Jensen, who nearly until her 2012 death at age 97 lived in the house built in 1874 by her grandfather. Jensen was a fascinating direct link to the towns earliest days, lively and spirited to the end, a suggestion of the hardiness and good humor that must have animated the earliest settlers. Well hope that Smith continues her efforts to document these towns histories, and publishes more from her huge trove of photos. More history would be welcome as well, such as a discussion of the important sugar beet industry in this area. A few gaps could be filledits puzzling that theres no picture of Mary Mead Jensen, for example, to whom the volume is dedicated, or any of her family members, most of whom are still active in the area and were important in the compilation of this collection. Photos and information about present members of other pioneer families would be welcome too, showing the fascinating continuity of the history of this community. But this handsome volume is an interesting and important resource, and a fine addition to our understanding of the history of Colorado plains communities. Reviewer Info: Denver author Jay Mead, who works at the University of Colorado Denver and Health Language Inc., has degrees from Yale and the University of Colorado, has taught history and communications, and is a member of the Denver Public Library Commission. He is proud to claim membership in the remarkable Colorado Mead family: Mary Mead Jensen is his second cousin twice removed, and Lorin C. Mead is his great-great-great uncle.