Sunday, December 14, 2014

Denver; The Mile High City (and a funny story of inaccurate surveying)

Downtown Denver is a popular place for locals as it seems there is always a festival, concert, new restaurant or cultural event going on. Not to mention the art museum, history museum and central library are all located nearby as well.

Recently, as I was working on a history project, I needed to locate a specific monument designating the end of one of the old pioneer trails (the Smoky Hill trail marker at Colfax and Broadway), I remembered that on the steps of the Capitol building is the survey marker designating that you are standing officially one mile above sea level. So, I headed up to get some pics. The original engraving that says "one mile above sea level" was etched in 1947  on the 15th step of the Capitol (etched  because people kept taking the sign). However, in 1969 people determined that the 18th step was in deed the accurate elevation....Well....guess 2003 the marker was moved again to the 13th step. (Apparently, land surveying is not always easy to decipher). At any rate if you stand at or near one of these markers you are standing pretty much officially at one mile above sea level.

As you stand on the steps and face west, you can see Denver's courthouse across the lawn, and beyond that the mountains or front range as we say here in Denver.

So, if you are downtown and want a quick, fun photo op--walk up the west side of the Capitol steps and pick a survey marker.