“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Julesburg in Sedgwick County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Last Days of the Buffalo

Last Days of the Buffalo Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, June 13, 2011
1. Last Days of the Buffalo Marker
Inscription. For thousands of years, these grasslands have supported tens of millions of buffalo, from the giant species of ancient times to the smaller version of today. As North America's largest land animal, buffalo dominated life on the Great Plains. In 1851, Cheyenne chief Yellow Wolf reported to an Indian agent the staggering news that from the foothills of the mountains to the forks of the Platte, the great herds had largely vanished. In fact, starvation stalked the Cheyenne villages. Twenty years later, not one buffalo could be found on Colorado's eastern plains. Why? The answer is complex, but mostly the herds vanished through human intervention: too many buffalo killed for their hides, too much habitat altered or destroyed.

A Fragile Balance
Native peoples successfully met the challenge of living on the dry plains of eastern Colorado. Mounted on swift ponies, Cheyennes, Arapahos, Kiowas, Comanches, Plains Apaches, and Shoshones moved across the land, hunting the great herds of buffalo. Brought to the plains by the Spanish in the sixteenth century; horses allowed the tribes unprecedented access to the wealth of the plains, but the resultant prosperity came with a price. Horses required grass--lots of it. with ten animals for each person, Indians were forced to constantly move to greener pastures, a serious problem when winter storms struck. Still, this rhythm of life proved successful until railroads, towns, ranches, and farms forever changed the relationship between native peoples and their high plains home.
Erected 1999 by Colorado Historical Society. (Marker Number 223.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the History Colorado marker series.
Location. 40° 57.976′ N, 102° 15.095′ W. Marker is in Julesburg, Colorado, in Sedgwick County. Marker is at the intersection of Interstate 76 and U.S. 385, on the right when traveling north on Interstate 76. Click for map. Marker is at the Colorado Welcome Center. Marker is in this post office area: Julesburg CO 80737, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Colorado's Wildlife Story (here, next to this marker); Welcome to Colorado (here, next to this marker); The Pony Express Trail (here, next to this marker); Prairie Home Companions (approx. 0.6 miles away); Devilís Dive / The Italian Underground (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Town that Wouldn't Die (approx. 1.5 miles away); Fourth Julesburg (approx. 1.5 miles away); Nearby Things to See and Do (approx. 1.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Julesburg.
Categories. AnimalsEnvironmentNative Americans

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 513 times since then and 106 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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