Cotopaxi in Fremont County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The Cotopaxi Jewish Agricultural Colony 1882-1884
"Set up for yourself roadmarks...the way by which you went. Return, O virgin of Israel" Jeremiah 31:21
Nearly 70 Jewish immigrants were settled in and near Cotopaxi. Facing insurmountable challenges, the ill equipped Colonists made heroic efforts to farm the rocky land. A synagogue was established, three weddings were recorded, and three Colony children were the cemetery’s first burials. Local oral history suggests an adult colonist was possibly buried here. The colonists disbanded in 1884, with many becoming prominent citizens of Denver and The West.
Erected 2011 by Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, Members of the Cotopaxi Community.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation Markers ✡️ series list.
Location. 38° 22.506′ N, 105° 41.46′ W. Marker is in Cotopaxi, Colorado , in Fremont County. Marker is on State Highway 12. Marker located within the Cotopaxi City Cemetery. It is demarcated by a fenced in an area for the Jewish burials. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cotopaxi CO 81223, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rainbow Route / Western Fremont County (approx. 2.3 miles away); Lt. Zebulon Pike's Southwestern Expedition (approx. 12.7 miles away); Mining and Ranching / Early Settlement / Westcliffe and Silver Cliff / Westcliffe Country (approx. 15.6 miles away).
Regarding The Cotopaxi Jewish Agricultural Colony 1882-1884. The Cotopaxi Russian Jewish agricultural effort was one of a series of resettlement efforts by Jewish communities in the East of Russian and East European immigrants escaping antisemitism and pogroms.
The Cotopaxi settlers were taken advantage of by unscrupulous developers claiming philanthropic interests but in reality seeking cheap labor for their mines.
The settlers, located on impossible agricultural land at extremely high altitudes, eventually failed. They migrated to Denver and other large cities of the West where the American environment welcomed them. They prospered as New Americans.
Additional keywords. Jewish Cemetery, Russian Jewish Refugees, Anti-Semitism, exploitation, agriculture, mining
Credits. This page was last revised on May 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 21, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 76 times since then. Photo 1. submitted on May 21, 2019, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.