August 2020 meeting of Pueblo Makes

At the 18 August 2020 meeting, we heard from four makers about making with metal.

Catie Blickhahn, of Elysian Evrimata,  (,,, @elysianevrimata) showed us jewelry she makes with lost wax casting, resin casting, stone cutting, and other methods.

She sells her work at Steel City Art Works Gallery (216 South Union,, She has been experimenting with making videos of the making process in order to attract buyers.  For her honors minor at CSU-Pueblo, she is studying how to market as artists in an ever changing landscape. She is also doing a marketing minor.

Ryan Gardner, of Ryan Gardner Designs ( @ryangardnerdesigns) is also a co-owner of the Center for Metal Arts (625 South Union Avenue, The center helps people at all levels of skills from those who have never done metal work through professional. They are planning a soft opening in November for a gallery in the front part of building.  

He showed us his own bench (above) and the large collection of shared equipment for lapidary and metal working. They teach classes and workshops in many different techniques. They just added an AV system that will allow for live streaming and online videos as well. They do have open studio times when people learning to make jewelry can have access to all equipment. They can also set up one-on-one sessions. Their goals are to “have fun and share what we do.” Four artists are in the studio full time and Ryan showed some of his work.

The above piece is optical quartz, carved on the back and inlaid with gold leaf; the stone is amethyst and the circle is oxidized sterling silver. Michael Boyd, one of the other owners, is known for his stone work. Ryan said that classes are offered on various schedules, including someone the evening, although COVID has meant that classes have been postponed. Most classes are appropriate for beginners; classes and workshops needed more knowledge are clearly labeled.

Jeff Madeen owns Bloback Gallery (131 Spring Street, makes art work from metal and other material, including found objects.

The above photograph shows a natural casting from a forest fire.

Jeff just finished the above piece after 9 years.  Several shows are ongoing at BloBack Gallery of the work of other artists. He also showed us larger pieces that are on the sidewalk outside of the gallery, including a piece titled Pueblo DNA and an 8-inch howitzer, cut and welded into a peace symbol. He said he can work from a set design (using Vectorworks on the computer) but finds that boring. “I’d rather not know where I’m going to end up.” He is mostly at BloBack Gallery 10 to 5 every day but Monday, but sometimes runs errands.

Ryan McWilliams, owner of Johnny’s Metal Works and Boiler Shop (303 South Santa Fe, They have made some objects at Watertower Place using repurposed materials such as the chain on this staircase below.

Johnny’s specializes in doing the hard things that others can’t do. They have a wide variety of equipment, such as a big press brake, plate rollers, big shears, a water jet (photo below), and automated saws.

They do tasks that are out of the norm, anything you can think of in heavy iron. They have a lot of customers with two pieces that are supposed to be one piece. They recently did work for a multi billion dollar company, also recently repaired a titanium wheelchair, and are currently doing a project for a group of artists in Colorado Springs.

Cathy Valenzuela, who owns Tuxedo Ranch, (, custom promotional material) described that Johnny’s also makes artistic things, such as the steel model of the light tower made for Urban Authority to commemorate the expansion of convention center (see photo below).

Dave Pump gave a shout out for Johnny’s for help in putting together the kinetic sculpture at Project Inspire, the new venture of Pueblo Diversified Industries (  

Paula Robben offered the services of SBDC ( to all the makers, and some had already used them or planned to.

After the presentation we heard updates from others in the group. Emily Gradisar announced that Ticktock Pueblo ( @ticktockpueblo) is moving to a new, bigger location, next door to Bistoro at Central Plaza, and will offer more and larger work and maker spaces, with five or six spaces on the ground floor and more downstairs. There will be no commission on sales, only a flat rent.

Amanda Corum (Executive Director Pueblo Corporate College, 719-549-3163, said activity has been slow at PCC due to COVID. She announced that a state training program is again available. She and her staff can help with filling out the application to get funds to train existing and new staff; the training can be done by the community college, by a third party, or as internal training.

Kayci Barnett, Giodone Branch Manager (, said they will expand hours in next month, allowing for longer computer sessions. They are continuing curb side pick up and crafts to go for the kids.  Sharon Rice, makerspace librarian at Rawlings ( said they have had some requests for 3D printing, but the space is closed now because furniture is stored there. In September there will be kits available for pick up.  

Paula suggested making a directory of Pueblo Makers and good discussion followed. Many makers want to help others. Jane will work with Zach on a way to add such listings at

Pueblo Makes meets the third Tuesday of each month by zoom, 3:30-5 pm. The next meeting will be September 15. The link is always Please send your comments and suggestions about Pueblo Makes to

July 2020 meeting of Pueblo Makes

Susan Parker described Project Inspire Cooperative, the brain child of Dave Pump, CEO of PDI. The Project provides job exploration and actual jobs for people with diverse abilities. The grand opening is this Friday, 24 July, 6-9 pm, with early bird specials from 4-6.  The Chambers of Commerce will do a ribbon cutting. There will be drawings, discounts, a BBQ food truck, ice cream, and beer and wine. Six artisans are currently part of the Cooperative, including Ladoris Burton. The event will be completely COVID compliant, including temp check with masks. Enter from Prairie Blvd, near the southside Lowe’s. You can also shop on line at

Jen Johnston is the 4-H Youth Development agent with CSU Extension in Pueblo. Originally from Pueblo, Jen joined Extension here in September 2019. She loves what she does. She described 4-H including its positive impacts on youth and then several people (Lois, Elliott, Gregg) talked about their involvement in 4-H and its huge positive effect on their lives. Year-long 4-H projects for each member cover a range of topics, such as gardening, rocketry, clothing, leadership, vet science, dog training, photography, on and on. There is a project for every kid. The 4-H philosophy is “Learning by doing” which fits perfectly with Pueblo Makes. Participants must keep a record and reflect on their learning.  Virtual programming due to COVID has included a live chicken cam to watch chicks hatch and a Youtube channel. They are holding a virtual county fair now. Jen’s contact info is: Jen Johnston, Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development, Colorado State University – Pueblo County, 701 Court St. Suite C, Pueblo, CO 81003-3064, Work Phone: (719) 583-6566, Email: They are always looking for volunteers.

Emily Gradisar described changes happening at TickTock Pueblo, including moving to 111 Central Plaza (next to Bistoro), eliminating the café, still offering classes, still providing space for makers to rent (with more and bigger spaces at the new location), and the introduction of the opportunity for people to buy art kits for making, either on site or at home. TickTock will purchase kits from local artists (not commission, purchased outright) to support local artists. Talk to Emily if you have an idea for kits; she will be doing bulk buying of common components and wants to avoid duplication in kits. Email Emily at for inquiries about workspaces or kits.

Ina Bernard, the co-owner of Artisan Textile Company, described the company’s roots in the hand weaving sale each winter at the Vail Hotel. ATC, located in the Mesa junction at 121 Broadway Avenue (next to Gypsy Java), has weaving, knitting, felting, lace making, paper making, and more made by artists who sell on consignment. Currently there are two artists in residence. She showed us many products including yarn in various Pueblo colors, hand knitted pullovers, shawls, scarves, jewelry, cards, candles, honey, and soaps, all hand made by local artists.

Gregg White, the department chair of the PCC Advanced Manufacturing program, described his family roots in manufacturing, including a blacksmith ancestor. He came to Pueblo 22 years ago as a machinist and has been at PCC for 18 years. Machinists build everything you touch, or at least had a hand in it. Advanced Manufacturing is a traditional 2-year program open to everyone who wants to work with their hands. The demand for graduates is great all over the country. Students learn how to use hand tools up to lathes, mills, CNC, CAD, and CAM.  It is a wide and diverse field, like the Pueblo Makes group.  Tim described his training in the program, including Gregg’s taking students to Kansas City for a competition. One PCC group (precision machining) placed first in the nation and another group placed second. Gregg recommend the videos at Edge Factor. Gregg can be contacted at

Drew is now principal at PSAS (cue applause) and is planning for fall during this strange time. They will be doing some education in person and also some offerings online for families. They will continue to provide opportunities for kids to make and to connect kids with experts in the field by remote connection. No parents or volunteers will be allowed in the building. They have maker materials in the school. Drew can be contacted at

Jane described a small group she has pulled together to support makerspaces in Pueblo. They are working on a directory of such spaces. She also suggested that Pueblo Makes can support families in home schooling. Tim announced that Steel City Makers decided, in the current climate and considering financials, to disband. We are exploring other ways to use available resources in makerspaces, including Lane’s excellent woodworking and other equipment. Zach reminded us to use Reddit to connect and share ideas.

Pueblo Makes meets the third Tuesday of each month. The August Pueblo Makes meeting will be Tuesday, 18 August, 3:30-5 pm via zoom:

The video recording of this meeting will be available until 18 August at:

Pueblo Makes meeting 16 June 2020

On 16 June, about 28 makers and supporters met via Zoom for the monthly meeting of Pueblo Makes, with three agenda items: commenting on the proposed zoning change in Pueblo to allow small-scale production, hearing from makers who use fabric, and and giving updates.

Alan Lamberg and Beritt Odom, senior planners with the Pueblo City Planning & Community Development Department, presented information on a possible zoning change. The proposal would allow small-scale production facilities in the Central Business (B-4), Historic Business (H-B), and Commercial Charter Neighborhood (CCN) Zone Districts as long as the facility meets certain conditions (including the containment of noise, odor, etc.; public interaction; mitigation of the impact of truck traffic; and certain restrictions on the façade). Please provide comments before July 24, 2020. See for more information and for the zoning map.

We discussed the potential of this change for small-scale urban gardening, the effect of the change on established businesses, the types of public interaction, the change as a way to occupy vacant buildings in the B-4 areas, the interaction of production with other parts of a business (e.g. instruction), interaction with historic preservation, interaction with the Superfund sites (the areas do overlap), and zoning for makerspaces.

We then heard from makers who make with fabric. Holly Vigil is President of the Pride City Quilt Guild, founded in 1985; see She talked about the history of quilt guilds, which exist to teach quilting. The Pride City Quilt Guild members quilt for various groups, participate in the State Fair, and meet monthly with speakers who teach techniques. An example of her quilt art was hanging on the wall behind her:

LaDoris Burton has owned Designs by LaDoris, Pueblo West, for about three years; see  She started with alterations, and is busiest with weddings and proms. She has been making face masks instead recently and is working on tapestry totes and an apparel line. She showed us her 4th of July face masks and some bags. She will be working with PDI in their new Project Inspire (see below for that announcement), including teaching classes there. She moved here from Buffalo to join her son and his family and she praised the Pueblo community for being so welcoming.

Kelly Mattson, owner of Kelly J’s Sewing Center and Quilt Shop in Colorado City, since 2018, moved here from Duluth, where she had a shop. She described the incredibly warm welcome she has gotten here. She teaches classes (she is exploring doing some on Zoom). She specializes in quilt-shop-only fabric, that is, fabric not available in stores like Joann’s or Hobby Lobby. She is involved in the Scrappy Ladies Quilt Guild and showed us their raffle quilt. She designs patterns, is a Bernina dealer, and services all makes of machines.

Taylor Blanchard owns Journeyman’s Upholstery located in TickTock; see Taylor showed us a recent acquisition, a 1941 Singer sewing machine, “easily the best machine I have every worked on.” He is doing work for the barber shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as for residential customers, especially recovering antiques. He discussed working with vinyl fabrics and showed us some tufting he did recently. He also has plans to add a wood shop and do furniture building as well. He can incorporate 3D printing and laser engraving, such as engraved vinyl. Emily, owner of TickTock recommended Taylor as a teacher. Taylor offered wholesale prices for fabrics he is able to purchase through recent contracts he has arranged.

In updates, Master Gardener Deric talked about his videos on making masa and tortillas. See

Part 1 –

Part 2 –

He also described edible landscape installations in Central Plaza and Sister City Plaza. All Pueblo Grows meets via Zoom the last Saturday of each month at 9:30am. On June 27 they will focus on  fall gardening, which is possible in Pueblo. He got a grant for $700 from the Pueblo Food Project to have Russ Dewey, from the Pueblo Woodturners, make 10 more seed library boxes. He asked for people who would have a box on their property, as well as for organic and heirloom seeds.

Susan announced a grand opening for the Project Inspire Cooperative on July 24, 6-9 pm, 2828 Granada Blvd, with food trucks, music, and lots of fun. They are still looking for artisans. See

Joette described changes at Bistoro Restaurant (109 Central Plaza), which will include a grocery section with fresh produce and hot-and-ready meals, and a supper club. They will be doing events and productions.

Sharon announced that the library will be open soon for computer appointments, with 12 computers at 45 minute increments, from noon to 6 pm at the main location and other arrangements at the locations in the County.

Kelly announced that grant applications are being written on urban gardening and the Pueblo Food Project so we may be able to offer hands on education around horticulture and food.

Jane said she plan to continue having Pueblo Makes meetings focus on a particular type of making, such as metal arts, car customizing, and making with words.

The recording of this meeting will be available for one month at:  with Access Password: 8g@#3+w*

The next meeting is Tuesday, 3:30-5 pm, July 21. Email to be added to the email list to receive a Zoom invitation.

The Pueblo Food Project

On May 27 I participated in a Zoom meeting (with 33 other people) concerning the Pueblo Food Project, run by Monique Marez (, and I am sending this email to highlight some opportunities that may interest Pueblo Makes people.

1.The Pueblo Food Project will be putting out a call and application process soon for a Youth Council. Jenn White has been using students for Grow Feed Change project. They will be looking for about 15 youth, ages 15 to 20 across educational tiers, with the group first convening in August. Jenn ( ) might know more and
Drew ( might have students who want to participate.

2. The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger ( has several working groups ( on the various goals of the Blueprint. Volunteer here: Since all meetings are online, it is easier for people outside of the Denver area to participate now. No one from Pueblo is participating regularly and such participation is needed.

3. The SAME cafe in Denver (So All May Eat, a donation/volunteer cafe, successful for 14 years) wants to replicate their model in Pueblo. They want to hire a local community connector and champion who will work with them for a year to find a location, pull partners together, and do fundraising with Brad Reubendale (, Executive Director. I suggested PDI as a partner. Contact Brad if you are interested.

4. Mo Montgomery with the Culinary Arts program at PCC ( is looking for internship opportunities for their students. Each intern needs 180 hours work by December 2020. Contact her at if you can offer a position that is food related. I don’t think they need to be paid positions.

Pueblo Makes people Paula Robben ( and Kelly Gehlhof(, maybe others, are on the Pueblo Food Council so may have more info on these initiatives if you need it. I noticed that Meral Sarper (, Deric Stowell (, and Jim Valenzuela ( ) were also on the call this morning, maybe others.

The next Pueblo Makes meeting is Tuesday, 16 June, 3:30-5, via zoom.

All Pueblo Grows

I just got off the monthly zoom meeting with master gardener Deric Stowell of All Pueblo Grows and it was great! If you have any questions, contact him on Facebook and attend the next session. the last Saturday of each month. Topics we discussed today:

Here is a link to the recording.
The next session will be on June 27 at 9:30.

We are lucky to have such expertise. Thank you, Deric.

Pueblo Makes February meeting

Dave Pump and the crew from Pueblo Diversified Industries set a new, HIGH, bar for speakers at Pueblo Makes at our Feb 15 meeting. Dave gave us an overview of PDI past, present, and future, including especially their new Project: Inspire Cooperative, and then Yorell Diamond, Susan Parker, and Heather Pump gave us material for making a ceramic disk (which will be fired and returned to us at the next meeting) and for making a card from recycled paper.

PDI has served people with diverse abilities for over 50 years. See They provide pathways of opportunities for people to thrive. Their five key values are: community, dignity, innovation, joy, and tenacity. They seek to change the way we think about people with diverse abilities. They are accredited by the Center on Quality and Leadership (see The Project: Inspire Cooperative is a worker owned cooperative with artisans (who own a product line, currently paper products and ceramic products), specialists, apprentices, and investors and general membership. Space is available for makers.

James Cooper (from La Veta) couldn’t make the meeting due to the bad roads, but emailed me to say that his wife cried at how pretty the card was he got her at P:IC for Valentine’s Day.

In other updates, Kurt alerted us to the April 3 and 4 Southern Colorado entrepreneurial showcase and competition. Janet talked about events at Pueblo House, especially the radio. Drew updated us on PSAS activities. Tyler and Gregory said that April is film making month in Pueblo and will have a big focus on makers. April 17 opening night will be at the library and the big event April 18 will be at Memorial Hall. Deric talked about activities of the Pueblo Urban Farming Network. I am sure I missed some other comments. We are doing so much making!

Please send me information on upcoming events and I will add them to the calendar at

We talked about getting more Pueblo Makes swag. Cathy’s company Tuxedo Ranch can put the logo on water bottles, notebooks, pens, tools, etc. Zach said that the 6-color logo cannot be printed by any T-shirt company in Pueblo. Someone volunteered to look at reworking the logo (sorry, I missed who said that).

We discussed and agreed that we should share information about issues that affect makers (such as the May 5 ballot question on whether to end the Black Hills Energy franchise agreement with Pueblo City). We discussed, but reached no conclusion, about taking a stance on such issues, including also the need for artists to make artistic decisions, such as on art for the levee murals.

I said I am consulting with David Russell on the legal form that Pueblo Makes should have. I will change my individual membership in the LCC to a nonprofit membership for Pueblo Makes. A quilt group has asked me to be a judge in a competition this spring, on behalf of Pueblo Makes.

On a personal note, Kurt mentioned at the meeting that he and I started this group about two years ago – thank you to him for urging me to call that first meeting – and I am thrilled by how we are growing and supporting each other.

We have a Facebook page at and a subreddit at Email me at to be on the mailing list.

Maker City 1899

From the Pueblo Chieftain, page 1, January 20, 1899


Stability Founded On Great Institutions

Employing Thousands of Men the Year Round at Good Wages.


Largest Percentage in the Country of People Employed in Mechanical Production.


Pueblo’s Stability and Greatness Built Upon the Solid Foundation of the Regular and Certain Distribution of Immense Sums to Workingmen Who Have Steady Employment Without Cessation and at Good Wages That Enable Them to Support a City of Great Mercantile Thrift and Growing Importance In the World of Trade and Commerce — Five Thousand Persons Earning a Good Living From the Mechanical Activities of Industrial Pueblo—Multiplicity and Diversity of the City’s Plants Such as to Make It Capable if Necessary of Self Support and Sustenance In Food and in All the Necessaries of life Even Should a Chinese Wall be Erected About It—But It is a City Not Alone of Material Greatness, but of Magnificence In Every Interest of Rational and Progressive Life

From the congested centers of New England to the Pacific coast there is not another city that so merits the name of an industrial center as Pueblo. From the thousands of spindles and shoe-making machines of the communities about Boston to the localities where the waters of the greatest ocean of earth are awash there is not another settlement of human being where in proportion so many are engaged in productive activity as in Pueblo.
Nor is there another city where there is such a diversity of manufactures, such wealth of resource and such stability the year round. The great engines that furnish power to the steel works and smelters run constantly from one year’s end to the other. Foundries and machine shops never cease their activity. Minor industries are of such a kind that demand is made on them, not for a few weeks or months each year, but their products are the necessities of a twelvemonth. Stability is therefore a feature. Constant employment is the boon of Pueblo workingmen. Good wages are their reward. Happiness is their lot and ample return is the result of investment in the plants that make Pueblo “Industrial Pueblo” above all else.

Known chiefly the country over as the greatest smelting city in the world and as the location of the only steel rolling mills west of the Missouri river, few even of Pueblo’s own people realize fully the diversity of the manufacturing interests of their home city. It is no idle boast to say that no other place of 45,000 people in the United States could surround itself with an impenetrable Chinese wall and still so nearly produce everything that its people need. Of the necessities of life in food, Pueblo and the county of which it is the capital, produce all that human appetite requires for its satisfaction and for the sustenance of the body. Cereals are yielded by her fields. Her flouring mill, strictly modern and up-to-date in every particular, turns out all the foods that grains may bring. Her packing houses yield all the animal products of every kind that are used for food directly or are employed in the preparation of food. Orchards and gardens bear their rich measure of fruit and vegetables and the canning plant prepares them for preservation for winter use. Dairies and bee farms yield their butter and eggs and the sweetness that might be used instead of sugar until a beet sugar factory now in contemplation gets to work.

In clothing, the raw material for the tannery is here to be swiftly turned into leather for shoes should the necessity arise. Wool is clipped from flocks of sheep that are steadily growing in number. Firms there are that annually produce even now a supply of garments well-nigh sufficient to clothe the people of the county. Utensils of metal could be turned out in countless numbers from the blast furnaces and foundries of the city. Several well equipped wood working establishments have an abundant capacity for the making of furniture, both ordinary and fine. But to elaborate would be useless. It is better to present in detail a list an accurate as it is possible to make of the several scores of manufacturing plants that are here located.

First may be mentioned the three great smelting plants with an aggregate capacity greater than that of any other city in the world, the corporations owning them being: The Pueblo Smelting and Refining company, the Philadelphia Smelting and Refining company and the Colorado Smelting company. The Pueblo Ore company, samplers [suppliers?] of ore may here be mentioned. The steel works of the Colorado Fuel and Iron company, producing steel rails, structural iron, merchant iron, cast iron pipe, spikes, etc., is the most important of the industries of this sort. There are besides the Iron City Manufacturing company’s foundry and machine shops and the Pueblo (Lannon’s) foundry. There are in addition many smaller foundries and machine shops of which the following may be mentioned: Enterprise Machine shop, Iron City Boiler works, Ortner’s foundry, Wilson’s stove foundry and the Pueblo Wire and Iron works, besides shops of the Pueblo Hardware company, and of the Holmes Hardware company, which turn out sheet iron goods of their own manufacture, including cornices, etc. Other firms are also engaged in the manufacture of sheet iron and tin goods.

Of the makers of brick and other products from clay the Standard Fire Brick company, with a business that extends a large part of all the way around the world, is the most important. The New Lumber company also makes brick at its own yards, as do J.K. Dempsey and the Bleekers. Of other building supplies the finished product is turned out from the raw material at the planing mills of the Newton Lumber company, of Mulnlx & Campbell and Richardson & Campbell. Stone for building and fluxing at the smelters and steel works is quarried by A. T. Fisher, J. M. Woodard and others along the Arkansas river west of the city. Marble for decorative purposes is produced near Beulah in the southwestern part of the county and the interior of the state capitol at Denver has been trimmed with exquisite stone from the Beulah quarries. The Pueblo Marble company also finishes the stone for monuments and other purposes.

Among the plants that produce food supplies of one sort and another may be mentioned the Nuckolls Packing company, the Wachtel & Doyle Live Stock and Provision company, the Pueblo Flouring mill, the National Biscuit company’s Pueblo factory, the Meeker Canning and Pickling company, the Colorado Provision company, the American Extract company, the Corkish-Bennon Candy company, John Belter’s Candy factory, Sanders’ Confectionery company, and many bakeries that produce solely for their own retail trade. In this connection note should be taken of the fine cold storage and distilled water ice plant of the Artificial Ice company. Other makers of the necessaries of life are the Colorado Bedding company, Pueblo Soap company and the Pueblo Broom company. Then there are the Pueblo Trunk factory, the Pueblo Corset factory and the Pueblo Bridge company. Pueblo has its own brewery and besides bottling works in connection with the agencies here of all the great breweries of the west. Besides this there is the steam bottling works of Naylon & Simpson, and the City Bottling Works, where all kinds of carbonated waters and drinks are put up. including the medicinal waters of the noted mineral springs of the city.

The Pueblo Novelty works and Manufacturing company has a large output of small articles of various kinds, including bicycle parts. There is besides the Pueblo Bicycle Manufacturing company, that builds its own wheels. Builders of wagons and buggies are the Pueblo Carriage company, J. M. Gray, F. H. Stewart Carriage company and the Pueblo Wagon and Carriage works. The Mead Hay Press company has its factory here.

In leather goods and saddles and bridles the name of Pueblo is known far and wide through the productions of S. C. Gallup, R. T. Frazier, Thomas Flynn and J. E. Miles. F. J. Burch & Co. turn out tents, awnings and canvas goods of all kinds for distribution through a wide territory. Ten or a dozen cigar factories roll the fragrant weed for smokers. Stephens Brothers make up fur goods for the trade. The Tablet Ink company makes writing fluids. Pueblo’s laundries too are real industries, employing steam and many hands besides, the largest the Wormley & Murtha Pueblo Steam laundry, the Troy laundry and the Up-To-Date. The Pueblo Electric company turns out articles produced by it.

And this brings us to the electrical industries of the city. The trolley lines are operated by power from the finest equipped and most modern station in the west. From the same house go out the cables that carry arc and incandescent current to patrons of the Pueblo Light and Power company. Gas is produced by the Pueblo Gas and Electric Light company. Speaking of light naturally turns attention to printing and publishing. There are in the city four plants using power in printing. They are the Chieftain Publishing company, the Pueblo Lithographing and Printing company, the Evening Star and the Evening Press. The two first named operate binderies as well. There are in addition a number of printers using smaller presses.

And last but not least in the list of Pueblo industries are the five great railroads, each having engine storage, car repairing, shop work and other mechanical labor done here, the Denver & Rio Grande, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Colorado & Southern, the Missouri Pacific and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific.

This hasty glance at the great industrial activity suffices in showing the grounds for the splendid stability of Pueblo, which has besides not only its own rich fields to draw from but likewise the scores of thousands of acres in the Arkansas valley which produce the grains of the field, the fruits of the orchard, the grape of the vineyard, the melon of the garden and indeed everything else to which the husbandman turns his plow, his mower or his pruning knife. Fortunate as Pueblo is in her own she is equally as fortunate in the locality by which she is surrounded. Her own great industries put into the pockets of the workingmen an average of $17,000 per day in wages exclusive of the payments for labor that can not be accounted mechanically productive and exclusive of great sums that are daily earned by those in capacities that are as essential to trade and prosperity as the toll of him who takes nature’s stores and converts them to man’s purposes.

But to return to the city alone: 1,750 men are daily employed at the three smelters, 1.600 at the steel works and not less than a full thousand of those working for the five great trunk lines entering the city make their homes in Pueblo. From these three greatest of Pueblo’s activities from 4,350 men up secure their livelihood. A very conservative estimate would be 650 for the total of others who are employed by the institutions enumerated in those portions of their business that may be termed industrial. Five thousand persons, then, of the city’s total of 45,000 draw their sustenance from industrial work. Careful estimates compiled from the most accurate figures obtainable show that for these people there is a daily payment of $17,000 In wages, which means $510,000 per month or $6,120,000 per year.

It is not surprising, then, that in commercial business and in general trade Pueblo makes a showing that is second to none in the country, for not alone are the wages paid assured for the entire year, but the general level is good, besides showing many who receive very handsome returns for skilled work at the various plants. Pueblo’s stores, wholesale and retail, are superior to those to be found in any city of its size in the country. They do business with a thrifty, well living people to secure whose patronage both good goods and good quarters are necessary. During the year 1898 every firm in the city had a larger trade than ever before in its history, and the future is certain to bring a repetition of this record for constant additions to the capacity of the industrial plants and a consequent increase in the paid are characteristic of every institution with which the name of industrial Pueblo is connected.

Failures were the smallest since the establishment of the local branch of the commercial agency of R. G. Dun & Co. which was prior to the panic of 1893. Bank clearings were 9% per cent, larger than for 1897 and the total volume of business is estimated at $100,000,000. The financial portion of this great trade was handled through four national banks, than which none in any state could be more substantial or more firm. Total resources of these four banks, exclusive of a savings bank, for the last statement in December, 1898, show an increase of nearly $800,000 over the figures for the same item in the corresponding statements for 1897. And total deposits on the same basis of comparison show a gain of more than three-quarters of a million dollars.

These gains of 1898 over 1897 meant as well that Pueblo had attracted to her borders as permanent residents many people whose homes had been elsewhere. As a consequence there is scarcely a single dwelling house in the city unoccupied, and real estate men are put to sore straits to secure abiding places for the many clients who seek their services. It is not surprising that real estate showed a constantly increasing activity as the recent year drew to a close, the last day of 1898 being marked by the purchase by a noted Boston capitalist of a business corner at a cost of $65,000 to complete his holdings of a full block along Main street, on which he has expended in the neighborhood of $200,000 in improvements and contemplates spending half as much more on his latest acquisition. Prices are firm but not inflated, and property of all classes bids fair to be extremely active during 1899. Building operations, including a large number of dwelling houses, during 1898 brought up the handsome total of a million and a quarter of dollars.

But it is not alone in material things that Pueblo is great. It is not merely the busy hum of industry that makes this a good place to live. The climate is mild and equable. Zero weather is a rare occurrence, though few winters pass without at least one daily report from the government weather man showing a drop to minus figures. That wheeling is possible for more than three hundred days in the year, not only possible but pleasureable, is proof conclusive that rigorous weather is the exception. Few summer nights there are when a blanket is not comfortable after midnight or even before. The altitude of the city makes it of all places in Colorado best suited for those suffering with lung troubles. Nature has provided several springs of mineral water unrivalled in their excellence for medicinal purpose and at the same time wholesome and agreeable to the taste.

Nature’s bounty in a fruitful soil has been drawn upon to produce trees and turf. Small parks abound and the city has expended during the last fifteen months $70,000 in the purchase and improvement of a tract of land centrally located in the northern residence section and dedicated to the public as a park second to none in any city even twice the size of Pueblo. Citizens are at present making elaborate preparations for tree planting the coming spring and the entire city is being organized into neighborhood improvement societies which will set out not less than twenty thousand new trees during the year 1899. Private homes are surrounded almost without exception by beautiful greensward and by abundant shade. Bountiful water supply from the Arkansas river makes irrigation possible to the full desire of all.

Colorado has long prided herself on the excellence of her schools, both in the instruction given and in the accommodations provided for the pupils. Pueblo claims for herself, without meaning to disparage any sister city, the finest and most numerous buildings for instruction of the young that are to be found in the state, population considered. In individual buildings she accepts a position behind none. Of churches the supply is equally generous and the buildings fully as handsome and attractive. Philanthropy and benevolence find ample opportunity for activity in hospitals, in institutions for children and in all that goes for the necessary discharge of the duty of the fortunate to those less happily placed in life. And the opportunity is fully taken advantage of. In things intellectual Pueblo keeps pace with the times. A free public library, the property of the city, is open to all and in the schools there are also libraries for the benefit of the pupils. Of clubs for discussion and mutual mental improvement, both those for men and those for women, Pueblo has a share in keeping with her other splendid conditions.

But it is to the smelters with output of metals valued at 22 millions of dollars in 1898, to the steel works with their capacity of 200,000 tons of steel rails per year, besides vast quantities of other iron and steel products, to the railroads with their scores of freight and passenger trains each day, to the multiplicity of other industrial activities, that the greatness of the city is due. The rest has followed because the people of Pueblo are progressive, energetic, awake, intent on improvement of their city and of themselves.

Pueblo Makes visits IFIZ

On 15 October 2019, Pueblo Makes visited IFIZ, the Indoor Farming Innovation Zone, near East High. Dr Kelly Gehlhoff hosted the group, wrote the following report, and provided the photo. See the I Will Projects for more information.

First people were encouraged to walk around the “food oasis” or indoor growing demonstration and activate their five senses and ask any questions that come to mind. Then we settled into the meeting space and Alice Hill, founder of The I WILL Projects gave her background story for the organization and this project that was inspired by her nephew, Will, who lost his battle with mental illness and how he wanted a chance to have a horticultural job that might help him reconnect with nature and himself. His loss prompted her quest to create an aquaponics demonstration project to provide unique education. The I WILL Projects has outreach beyond IFIZ, including The Eye of Survival play and Hospice education.

Dr. Kelly explained how the IFIZ (The Indoor Farming Innovation Zone) represents a mix of DIY-style agriculture technology and small-scale industrial level greenhouse or indoor growing technologies placed together in an attempt to demonstrate closed-loop system design – then Nate Miller gave his testimony about the word INNOVATE, including how it is instrumental in the Maker’s Movement and how he has hybridized vertical farming hydroponic technology with aquaponics systems. His work here really represents the STEAM-based approach to education and providing mentorship for engineering students at Central High last year he helped them walk through a rapid prototyping process. Discussion of how the 3-D printing and laser engraving tools made it possible to evolve designs very quickly was followed by questions from the audience about how to expand this concept throughout Pueblo. The SBDC and SCEDD are working together to bring resources like technical or business planning support that will make it easier for people in the future to know how to bring innovative products to market. The group celebrated news of Pueblo winning the Etsy grant to help fund some of this Makers’ momentum. It is an exciting time to be a part of the maturing creative economy and entrepreneurial eco-system.

For more information on IFIZ please visit or email the team at  or call Cheryl Anderson at 719-778-6558

The I WILL Projects Team: Executive Director – Cheryl Anderson (left), Education Specialist — Susan Finzel-Aldred (right), Founder – Alice Hill (top right), Grow System Designer – Nate Miller (top right) Not pictured: Sustainability Consultant  – Dr. Kelly Gehlhoff, Intern/System Design and Maintenance – Isaiah Aragon, Intern/Education Leadership – Bri Heifner, Executive Assistant – Sandy Davisson, IFIZ Intern – Sara Davisson