Gettin’ Along In Denver
Slick’s Intro to Denver – What you learned comin’ in to Denver.
The first impression most people get of Denver upon debarking the train or stepping off the wagon is that of chaos. People from all backgrounds, colors and occupations fill the streets, oblivious to anything beyond their current destination. Street merchants hawk their wares loudly from small street-side booths and carts, adding to the already confusing barrage of sights, sounds and smells. For those caught up in the wonder of it all, their purse or wallet is probably being carried off to some thief’s hideout for inspection.
Anyone who stays in the city for more than a few hours, however, will get a deeper sense of its workings. The apparent anarchy isn’t much different than a large train depot or trading post; essentially, Denver is little more than a giant trading post itself. Everyone in the city is there for a reason, and if you find someone who says otherwise, you’d better check your pulse and possessions. They’re probably after one or the other.
Locals and Visitors
Those who live in Denver are of a rough breed, having survived many tough challenges that would have spelled disaster for most other young cities. Those that have stayed have managed to make a good living, especially in these changing times, but still remain the hardy pioneers that they are. Nearly all have jobs involving trade and travel, from working at stores to loading and unloading the wagon caravans and trains that frequent Denver. The rest keep the city utilities running, raise crops or (more often) livestock, or spend their time bamboozling everyone else. As most would guess, the resident population of the city is mostly comprised of men. Only one person in five is female, and the ratio of women to men amongst travelers is much less.
Those traveling through the city are a much more varied group of people. Tinhorns have become almost as common as cowboys, and foreigners from many different parts of the world can be picked out of the crowds. Travelers through Denver tend to stop for supplies, find a place to send the night, and head out the next day.
Considering the situation, gunfights and criminal acts are both quite common. Many gunslingers have made a name for themselves on the streets of Denver, while others have had a name made for them on tombstones in the city cemetary. Bandits and petty thieves float in and out of the city with everyone else, making some money (or a living) off of the people and businesses. Hearing gunshots or witnessing a robbery isn’t out of the ordinary, and the fact that everybody is armed doesn’t help things much.
There are a few basic things every visitor to Denver should know. The city runs differently than most others, and can be confusing for those new to the area. That’s not to say the locals are any less confused, of course.
Key to the locations on the Denver map:
1 – Denver Pacific Station and train yard
2 – Holladay Overland Mail & Express Company (Denver Post Office, stagecoach)
3 – Wells, Fargo & Co Express Office (stagecoach)
4 – Elephant Corral (wagon trains)
5 – Denver House
6 – Broadwell House
7 – The Inter Ocean
8 – El Dorado
9 – U.S. Mint (federal government houses)
10 – Colorado National Bank
11 – First National Bank
12 – Joslin Dry Goods Company
13 – Daniels and Fisher Store
14 – Birks Cornforth’s Grocery Store
15 – The Rocky Mountain News
16 – The Tombstone Epitath
17 – American District Telegraph Company
18 – Palace Theatre
19 – Denver Police Station
20 – Denver City Jail
21 – Pinkerton Detective Agency and jail used by US Marshals
22 – Methodist-Episcopal Church
23 – St. Mary’s Cathedral
24 – First Baptist Church
25 – Temple Emanuel
26 – City Hospital (6th and Cherokee, not shown)
27 – Hop Alley (Chinatown)
28 – Red light district
29 – Boot Hill (northeast, not shown)
30 – Last Gulp Saloon
31 – Denver City Railway Company (streetcars)
32 – Pistol Petes Saloon
33 – Doc Chambers office
34 – Abandoned tenaments and flop houses