Colorado’s challenging environment has shaped the state’s history and its people, and perhaps the greatest shaping factor has been water. Water has largely determined where people lived and how they survived, and water continues to challenge Coloradans today. The Living West exhibit at History Colorado invites visitors to explore three water-related chapters of Colorado’s history: Mesa Verde, the Dust Bowl, and Colorado’s Mountains. Water abundance and shortages shape all three episodes. The residents of Mesa Verde harnessed water for crops and livestock, only to experience severe drought; drought, fragile soil, volatile prices, and debt devastated many Baca County farms in the 1930s; and today we see many environmental changes in the mountains while we struggle to provide enough water for all.
Lovers of water and Colorado’s history (and present and future) will find a lot to enjoy in this exhibit. Here are seven things you won’t want to miss:
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