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Colorado: America's Uranium Basket

“Colorado, America’s Uranium Basket,”  must have seemed like a fresh article idea in 1952 when Colorado Wonderland sent it to the presses. Wonderland was a tourism magazine that had long kept to trout fishing, hunting, and skiing. But they needed something special for the 1952 Vacation Issue.

cover

The new twist was, I think, that you could add a tour of Colorado uranium country to your Rocky Mountain holiday. Or maybe try your own hand at it. The story included details about government subsidies available to miners and a general feeling that everybody profits from uranium mining.

You know, even schools and parks benefitted, briefly, as some mines gave away their tailings as  fill dirt.

Well, I don’t want to be a buzz kill. So, if you want to know how this all worked out,  go here Or here. But I think you should just stay on the Lost Fort Collins blog, and look at hopeful pictures from a budding industry.  It’s not too late for a weekend summer road trip (or a Silkwood shower).

mushroom

Caption: “Beginning of this atomic mushroom cloud is” …uranium from Colorado!

uranium water

Caption: “Blair Burwell…dips his hand into a tank where uranium oxide is being removed from carnotite by acid.”

uranium egg

Caption: “This egg is extremely high in uranium content–and therefore extremely radioactive.”

See also

http://www.nunnglow.com for modern affairs in America’s Uranium Basket.

6 comments to Colorado: America's Uranium Basket

  • The Colorado School of Mines’ Geology Museum has a good exhibit on Colorado’s history with Uranium. If you’re ever in Golden it is worth a visit. Lots of old magazine ads encouraging families to go hunting for uranium together.
    (http://www.mines.edu/Geology_Museum)

    People would come to Colorado to soak in Uranium enriched water believing that it was a cure all. Which I guess in the long run it is.

  • I grew up in Grand Jct, and well remember the years they had to remove mill tailings from under schools, homes, business, etc. And I do remember the huge pile of mill tailings that was left by downtown Grand Junction. Finally the herculean effort that was made to get rid of that dirt pile and have it moved south by train and truck. So much dirt was moved, they built a special road for all the trucks.
    I even remember Uravan, which was a town built to accommodate a uranium mill. The town was dismantled in the late 80’s, and no longer exists.

  • great. here i was thinking that i should check my soil for lead before planting a garden. but now i can check my soil for uranium mining tailings as well. lovely.

    i would skip the garden and just go with the local CSA’s, but who’s to say their soil might not be contaminated? i just need to get my butt down to the testing place with my own soil. i’ve been putting it off for 4 months now. *sigh*

  • […] • Colorado: America’s Uranium Basket […]

  • Matt Cloven

    It is nice to see my great grandfather. There are few pictures of him. His story spreads throughout Colorado history, not just the mining, but that was his life work.