Erie, Colorado

Erie is a small town on the plains east of Boulder. The town straddles the county line between Boulder and Weld Counties. The Erie Community Center is kinda different: they feature an indoor 32'-high climbing wall. The town has recently been targeted by housing developers and the population has been booming for years. Then came a catastrophic wildfire that burned a large part of town to the ground in a matter of hours.

In the 1880s, coal was discovered in the area and by the 1890s, the local economy was booming with the fruits of the coal miners' labors. However, the area was also no stranger to labor problems. In the nearby town of Serene (now a ghost town), on November 27, 1927, a group of Colorado State Police opened fire with several machine guns on about 500 picketing miners (with some wives and children present) and killed 6 of the men. The strike had already been going on for several weeks and the massacre wasn't the end of it. What was ironic is that this occurred at the one mine that had ignored the call to strike and had continued producing coal.

The daughter of the recently deceased owner of the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company (which owned the Columbine Mine at Serene) sold some of her shares in the company and had been serving coffee and doughnuts to the picketing miners on previous mornings. After the massacre, she was one of the prinicipal financiers of the miners' union.

Looking across the Erie Reservoir
Erie Reservoir

Lower photo is courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License