Monday, July 27, 2009

Four Mile House

As promised weeks ago, for Fourth of July I took the aide-de-camp to Four Mile House for their annual celebration. I knew he'd enjoy it as there are always a lot of activities for the kids, plus he would get to see Civil War soldiers and Abe Lincoln.

Four Mile House is located four miles from downtown Denver and was named Four Mile House back when there was no downtown Denver, it was just Denver (or Denver City on some old maps). I've heard that this house is where the remains of the Hungate family were deposited by the Indians after their brutal killing east of town. It seems odd for the Indians to bring the bodies in when they could have just left them on the prairie and not run the risk of another fight near town so I doubt that story. The Hungate Massacre (the family was not just killed but chopped up) is what brings the citizens of Denver to a fever pitch against the Indians in 1864 and precipitates the Sand Creek Massacre. Before I get some angry comments, I'm not saying it justifies it I'm simply pointing out what was happening that year that prompted Denver's citizens to raise a regiment to fight Indians and culminated in a sad incident at Sand Creek.

In any respect the grounds of Four Mile House are now tranquil and are filled with reenactors of all sorts. There were mountain men and Sioux Indians, blacksmiths and suffragettes, and Civil War soldiers and Abe Lincoln.
I didn't get a picture of Lincoln as my son was a little nervous and didn't want his picture taken with Old Abe. Later he was in the mood but Abe was not in his tent, must have been having lunch. Abe has a wonderful sense of humor. While we were talking with him a soldier asked him to move as we were sorta downrange of the artillery that was going to fire off soon. Lincoln told the crowd that they should move, but that he was less worried about cannons; it was the small guns, like a derringer, that he was more scared of. The joke passed right over the head of the crowd but I enjoyed a little chuckle.

There were also carriage rides, wood crafts, kids games and an old time kitchen display. We got to churn some butter and squeeze some lemonade. The apple peeler/corer/slicer was already out of apples but we got to see what the final result was. My son enjoyed it all. He thought the cannon and rifles were too loud but he loved watching the blacksmith, he got to make a wooden race car and he enjoyed the carriage ride too.

At this point he was hot and tired, plus he just didn't want a picture taken, but he humored me somewhat.


Slamdunk said...

Looks like a fun time had by all. The Lincoln funny was quick witted.

Chris Evans said...

Interesting post. Did not really know about the connection with Sand Creek. I don't know if the passions still run so high out there about it but my Father had a professor in college who was from Colorado and the professor said you could still get in fist fights out there with people talking about Sand Creek. What a controversial and sad incident in American history.

Nick said...

Its certainly not a fist fight starter but I wouldn't talk about it around the Indian leaders in town. They get arrested nearly every year for trying to shut down the Columbus Day parade so I can only imagine the anger in their hearts over Sand Creek. I wouldn't dare say to them that the Indians dished out as many deaths in Colorado during the Civil War as they received.

Chris Evans said...

That's very interesting. Seeing as there's a new book out on Sickles someone should really do a bio on Chivington. He really was a mean piece of work. Methodist minister, his role at Glorieta Pass, and Sand Creek could fill a lengthy tome. A bio released on him might be something to see the reaction to where you live. I've always found him a terrible but fascinating figure.