Sensing Development: Agriculture, Tourism, Mining, and Manufacturing in Colorado's Arkansas River Watershed, 1870-1914
AuthorHernandez, Marcus Anthony
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRocky Ford cantaloupes, naturally occurring hot springs and mountains in Colorado Springs, gold in Cripple Creek, and steel from Pueblo were commodities sold to customers in search of flavor, health, wealth, and safety during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These commodities dictated how the land was used, attracted settlers to Southeastern Colorado, and were symbolic of the communal identities formed in each location, but why did specialized agriculture, health resort tourism, gold mining, and steel manufacturing take place in the regions they did, and what did this economic development and communal identity formation taste, feel, sound, and smell like? In order to address these questions, we must push beyond visual descriptions of land transformation and economic growth. When we examine all sensual experiences, we better understand how people perceive their environments. Agricultural college records, guidebooks and promotional materials, newspaper articles, and medical reports indicate the role the nonvisual senses played in the economic development of Rocky Ford, Colorado Springs, Cripple Creek, and Pueblo. Cantaloupe consumers and distributors purchased a geographically unique flavor, health seekers touched and felt geological features, miners and mine owners heard success and danger, and steel workers smelled and avoided regions of the city to preserve their health. In other words, when we sense development rather than visualize it, we better understand how humans and nonhuman nature interact with one another to create specialized economies and identities.
Degree ProgramGraduate College