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

The People of the Station

and the Stories they Tell

 

—Voices from the Past —

 
The People of the Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
1. The People of the Station Marker
Inscription.
”Union Station belongs to all of us.”
Union Station neighbor, 2002

Rich or poor, famous or anonymous, everybody passed through Union Station from the time it opened in 1881. A trip to the station meant something new was about to happen: a visit with relatives or friends for the first or last time, an extended leave for military service, the start of a new life in Denver, or connection to a final destination.

The building was a hub of activity. Armies of conductors, switchmen, and engineers ran the trains with military-style proficiency. Keeping schedules, ensuring passenger safety, and maintaining personal safety around dangerous machinery made railroad jobs hazardous and demanding. Hundreds more worked in the offices and the building even had its own emergency hospital, police force, jail, library and barber shop.

For decades after the decline of passenger rail travel in the 1950s, people came to eat and drink at Union Station's bars and restaurants, or marvel at the elaborate model train displays that traveled through intricate Colorado scenes.

People who spent their careers at Union Station never lost faith in its resurgence. One employee who worked here for 46 years summed it up best: "Railroads always will be the backbone of the nation." Even
Marker detail: Red Cap Service image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Red Cap Service
"Red caps" aided passengers by carrying bags, running errands, and serving as tour guides. In those days, there were no salaries or per-bag minimums. One red cap remembered, if you made $40 in tips, you really had a good week. The average daily take was $3-$4."
though many of the early railroad traditions have vanished, a whole new era began in 2014 with the revival of Union Station in the center of a downtown transformation.
 
Location. 39° 45.176′ N, 104° 59.988′ W. Marker is in Denver, Colorado, in Denver County. Marker is at the intersection of Wynkoop Street and 17th Street, on the right when traveling south on Wynkoop Street. Touch for map. Marker is located on the plaza, near the large flagpole, directly in front of the Denver Union Station main entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1701 Wynkoop Street, Denver CO 80202, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Union Station (here, next to this marker); Union Station Timeline (here, next to this marker); Union Station Area (a few steps from this marker); Union Station (a few steps from this marker); Denver City Railway Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Edward W. Wynkoop (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); When the Depot Became a Station (about 300 feet away); Oxford Hotel and Annex (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Denver.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Denver Union Station
 
Also see . . .
Marker detail: World War II Troop Trains image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: World War II Troop Trains
Wartime at Union Station required round-the-clock transportation of troops, which stretched the station's limits. William Zarlengo, stationmaster from 1921 to 1968, recalled stepping over sleeping people when he came to work during World War II. The United Services Organization (USO) volunteers provided lounges, hot meals, and showers for servicemen. Families and friends said emotional goodbyes to boys and men leaving to serve in faraway lands, some of whom would never return.

1. Union Station Home to a Heartbreaking Wartime Love Story.
Union Station's reopening brought the transit station into a new era, but kept a lot of history as well. It's history that a World War II widow relived this weekend because it was the last place she ever saw her husband alive. The year was 1942 and Hank Marlowe and Dorothy Kolberg only had eyes for each other. (Submitted on June 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Denver Union Station.
By the 1920s and 1930s, over 80 trains served the station daily with notable dignitaries such as Queen Marie of Romania, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt arriving to Denver through the station. The latter half of the 20th century saw a sharp decline in service for Union Station and countless other train stations in the United States as competition began to grow from automobiles and airlines. (Submitted on June 11, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Marker detail: Pullman Porters image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Pullman Porters
Pullman Porters were part of the fabric of American railroads for nearly a century, starting in the late 1860s. Primarily African American, these men provided a respectable income for their families and established a vibrant community in Denver's Five Points neighborhood.
People of the Station Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
5. People of the Station Marker (tall view)
People of the Station Marker (<i>wide view; this marker is rightmost of 3-marker group</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 27, 2018
6. People of the Station Marker (wide view; this marker is rightmost of 3-marker group)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 13, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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