Travel west of the Mississippi River and step into a time of tremendous innovation, adventure, and enthusiasm. Never before, or since, has the United States had the opportunities presented by the acquisition of such a huge amount of land as that of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The rush to “go west young man” was a rush to new frontiers, which inevitably brought new industry. This year’s SIA Annual Conference theme is “Industry on the Frontier.”
Held in downtown Colorado Springs, the 2010 conference will bring a new perspective on many fronts. We will learn about the men and women who left their imprint everywhere through their cities, bridges, railroads, mines, and mills – monuments of sweat and steel in the shadow of the immense beauty of the Rocky Mountain Range, the longest chain of mountains in the world. Take a tour of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway and stand on the Continental Divide to witness the watershed between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Visit historic Pueblo, “Pittsburgh of the West,” which was once considered so industrially important that it was designated to be the capital of the Colorado Territory. Take a tour of Colorado Fuel & Iron, now Rocky Mountain Steel Mill, and the Bessemer Steelworks Museum of Industry and Culture and get a firsthand look at how this important mill shaped the southern portion of the state before it was a state. Oil was being extracted and sold from large coal reserves as early as 1872, and CF&I was important to the history of mining, labor, steel production, railroads, and the development of Pueblo and Colorado.
West of Pueblo, the Arkansas River cuts a 1,200-ft.-deep canyon through solid granite. No sooner had silver been discovered in the upper reaches of the river in 1877, than the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe RR and the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad began fighting over the right to lay tracks through the gorge, which was too narrow for two sets of rails. The race to get to Leadville, where a profusion of mines were springing up, led to the “Royal Gorge Railroad War.” It ended in 1879 when the federal government ordered the D&RG to build the line and lease it for shared use.
In 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge was built as a tourist attraction. Its pedestrian walkway is 1,053 ft. above the river, making it the highest suspension bridge over water in the world (a rank it held until Nov. 15, 2009, when it was superceded by the Si Du River Bridge in China. The Royal Gorge Bridge is reached by an Otis-built incline railway, the steepest in the U.S. which climbs up 1,550 ft. at a 45-degree angle with a 100 percent grade.
Soar into a more modern mode with visits to the Air Force Academy, Peterson Air and Space Museum, and the Olympic Training Complex. Go back in time when you visit historic Cripple Creek and tour the Molly Kathleen Mine.
Cowboys, dinner in a railroad depot, and outstanding presentations to increase your knowledge and pique your interest in learning more, will all be found in Colorado Springs, June 3-6, 2010. We hope to see you there.
Thursday June 3, 2010 Tours & Events
Thursday Tour 1 – (7:30 am to 5 pm) – Pikes Peak or Bust
PIKE’S PEAK OR BUST – Take the ride that visitors have relished for over 100 years – the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway. Named for Zebulon Pike, the explorer who first sighted the mountain, but didn’t climb it, Pike’s Peak at 14,115 ft. above sea level has always attracted attention. In 1873, the U.S. Signal Service built a telegraph station at the summit, and in 1891 the Pike’s Peak Railway began carrying passengers using a unique cog railway system. The first automobiles travelled up Pike’s Peak in 1915 and by 1917 the “Pike’s Peak Hill Climb” was born, the second oldest auto race in America. Patsy’s candy factory will be visited after the Pikes Peak cog railway tour. This tour requires you to wear closed toe shoes.
Thursday Tour 2 – (7:30 am to 5 pm) – Steel City – Mills and Men
STEEL CITY: MILLS AND MEN – Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Rocky Mountain Steel Mill, formerly Colorado Fuel & Iron. Founded in 1892, this company was largely owned and operated by John D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould by the turn of the century. In 2007, it was purchased by Oregon Steel, now Rocky Mountain Steel Mills. Here you can see blast furnace/open hearth steel making and both oxygen-based and electric arc furnaces. You will visit at least one of the three rolling mills. Also take a tour of the Steel Works Museum of the Bessemer Historical Society which houses archives of Colorado Fuel & Iron and the surrounding Pueblo neighborhoods and businesses. Also visit the Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. Note: This tour is full. This tour requires you to bring your hard hat and safety glasses and wear closed tour shoes.
Thursday Tour 3 – (7:30 am to 5 pm) – Up and Away
UP AND AWAY – Visit the U.S. Air Force Academy and take a tour that includes the visitor center. The Petersen Air & Space Museum is next. Exhibits include the Bi-national North American Aerospace Defence Command, the US Air Force and Army Defense Command and the US Air Force Space Command. Sixteen aircraft and sixteen missles are located in the museum airpark. Then visit the Olympic Training Complex, a 23.8 million dollar state-of-the-art sports medicine, science, and athlete center, including a dining hall and two dormitories. Up to 557 coaches and athletes can train here at any one time. This tour requires you to wear closed toe shoes.
Thursday Tour 4 – (1 pm to 5 pm) – City Streets – Colorado Springs Historic Walking Tour
CITY STREETS HISTORIC WALKING TOUR – Take a walking tour of Colorado Springs. Spend half a day exploring the city, it’s historic buidings and streets, as you soak up the sunshine and scenery in this picturesque town.
Thursday PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: 8:30 am to 12 Noon
James C. Owens, Jet Lowe, and Richard K. Anderson Jr. will teach photographers how to capture, edit, and process images. Dr. Owens, a senior fellow at Torrey Pines Research and past president and fellow for Imagining Science and Technology will present “The Revolution in Photographic Technology” followed by Mr Lowe, Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) staff photographer on “Large Format and Good Field Photography”. Finally, Mr. Anderson will discuss “Appications of Digital Images to Industrial Archaeology”. Opportunity to practice your newly-learned skills in the afternoon either on your own or on a walking tour downtown. Limited to 50 participants so sign up early!
Thursday Opening Night Reception – (6:30 pm to 9 pm)
Western Museum of Mining & Industry
Social meet and greet with finger foods and cash bar: 6:30 to 7:00 pm
Keynote Speaker: Edward R. Crowther, Ph.D., A native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Edward R. Crowther is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History, Government, and Philosophy at Adams State College, where he has taught since 1988. In addition to a welter of articles and reviews, Crowther is the author of “Southern Evangelicals and the Coming of the Civil War” (2000). He earned is Ph. D. from Auburn University in 1986.
Topic: “Otto Mears: Frontier Mensch, Transforming Colorado’s Mountains. We’ll look at Mears the Miller, the Mailer and the Maker of Toll Roads”:
Otto Mears: Frontier Mensch transforming Colorado’s Mountains. Like others before and after, Otto Mears migrated to Colorado to seek his fortune. He found it through business, first erecting a saw mill and a grist mill in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, then through mechanized harvesting in Saguache. His need to market his crops to miners and to fulfill a government mail delivery contract led him to build a system of Toll Road and railroads, which earned him the name of “Pathfinder of the San Juans.” Best known today for his role in producing the gilded dome of Colorado’s state capitol, Mears’ infrastructure connected the rugged hinterlands of Colorado’s majestic mountains with external markets.
Lecture will start at 7:00 pm
Tour the grounds of the Museum including working steam engines, stamp mill and other equipment.
Running of the Stamp Mill: Starts at 8:00 pm
Friday June 4, 2010 Tours & Events
Friday Tour 1 – (7:30 am to 5 pm) – Gold in Them Thar’ Hills: Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining District
GOLD IN THEM THAR’ HILLS – Spend the day in Cripple Creek and Victor, historic gold mining towns, as you explore the Molly Kathleen Mine, take a tour of the Ashanti Mine, visit the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railway and the Victor Lowell Museum. Take the Historic Trail Walk as you learn about the history and mining operations in this important industry in the mountains of Colorado. Gold was discovered here in 1878 and spawned hundreds of mines and brought in millions of dollars before the end of the gold rush half a century later. This tour requires you to wear closed toe shoes.
Friday Tour 2 – (7 am to 5 pm) – Royal Gorge Route
ROYAL GORGE ROUTE – Ride Colorado’s oldest scenic train as you watch the Arkansas River flow past your window and listen to railroad staff share the fascinating history of the Gorge and point out interesting sites. Marvel at the world’s highest suspension bridge, constructed in 1929, hanging 1,050 feet above the tracks. This tour includes the world’s longest single-span aerial tram and the world’s steepest incline railway. This tour requires you to wear closed toe shoes.
Update and change of factory sites on Tour F3 on Friday
Friday Tour 3 – (8:00 am to 5 pm) – Manufacturing Tour (Friday #3)
Will will now be visiting the Springs Fabrication’s 60,000 square-foot manufacturing plant — one of the largest custom milling centers in the Rocky Mountain states — serves a variety of manufacturing industries in the region with state-of-the-art design, machining, finishing, assembly and testing.
This Friday tour will also include both the original (established 1899) and current (established 2009) manufacturing facilities of the Van Briggle Pottery & Tile Company, one of the oldest active arts-and-crafts-style potteries in the United States.
We will also be visiting the Xcel Energy’s Comanche Station, a coal-fired steam-electric facility near Pueblo, is composed of three operating units with a total production capacity of 1,410 MW. It first went on line in 1973.
This tour requires you to bring your hard hat and safety glasses and wear closed toe shoes.
Friday Tour 4 – (7:30 am to 5 pm) – Steel City: Mills and Men; same as Thursday Tour 2
STEEL CITY: MILLS AND MEN – Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Rocky Mountain Steel Mill, formerly Colorado Fuel & Iron. Founded in 1892, this company was largely owned and operated by John D. Rockefeller and Jay Gould by the turn of the century. In 2007, it was purchased by Oregon Steel, now Rocky Mountain Steel Mills. Here you can see blast furnace/open hearth steel making and both oxygen-based and electric arc furnaces. You will visit at least one of the three rolling mills. Also take a tour of the Steel Works Museum of the Bessemer Historical Society which houses archives of Colorado Fuel & Iron and the surrounding Pueblo neighborhoods and businesses. Also visit the Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. Note: This tour is full. This tour requires you to bring your hard hat and safety glasses and wear closed toe shoes.
Show and Tell on Friday evening (Starts at 7pm)
Saturday June 5, 2010 Events
Saturday Paper Sessions & SIA Business Lunch (Morning Paper Sessions starts at 9 am; Lunch 12 noon to 2:00 pm and Afternoon Paper Sessions starts at 2:20 pm.
Saturday Banquet & Entertainment: Cocktails (6 pm to 7pm); Dinner (7pm to 8:30 pm);
TJ Casey (starts 8:30 pm)
Banquet and Western-themed entertainment at Giuseppe’s in the historic Denver & Rio Grande Railroad depot. Built in 1871 and in operation as a railroad station until 1971, this wonderful building evokes the spirit of adventure and expectation of the many miners, settlers, socialites, and tycoons that passed through here on their way to fame and fortune. While the parade of train travelers has faded into history, the grand old lady still stands and Giusppe’s has preserved her character and architecture and coupled that with outstanding and tasty dishes for the enjoyment of diners from all over the world.
Saturday evening banquet will be held at Giuseppe’s Old Depot Restaurant
Live Western-style entertainment by T.J. Casey (select play or audio option to listen to T.J.)
Sunday June 6, 2010 Tours
Sunday Tour 1 – (10 am to 3:30 pm) – Colorful Colorado Springs
COLORFUL COLORADO SPRINGS (10:00 AM TO 3:30 PM) Visit beautiful Garden of the Gods with magnificent geologic rock formations, break for lunch at the Trading Post with time for shopping. Traverse the Gold Camp Road experiencing mountain travel, attention-grabbing scenery, a waterfall and North Cheyenne Canyon. Tour through the Broadmoor area and learn its history while viewing the 5-star hotel and estate homes surrounding it. Easy walking at a pace that allows you to explore all of Mother Nature’s wonders.
Sunday Tour 2 – (9 am to Noon) – Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy
PRO RODEO HALL OF FAME and MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN COWBOY – Learn all about cowboy and rodeo culture and how it shaped the Wild West as you tour this awe-inspiring museum and gallery.
Sunday Tour 3 – (6 am to 1 pm) – Bike the Pike
BIKE THE PIKE – Start at the top of Pike’s Peak and take a relaxing and leisurely ride down the mountain. The ride includes breakfast and lunch at the end of the ride. Dress for potential cool to cold weather at the top. You will get a souvenir water bottle that is yours to keep. Who can bike the pike? If you can sit on a bike, you qualify. The only restrictions are size and altitude. You must be at least 4 foot 6 inches tall to fit on the bikes. It is not a safe tour for smaller children. Anyone with a chronic illness should not do this ride due to high altitude. This tour requires you to wear closed toe shoes.
Sunday Tour 4 – ( 8 am to 12 Noon) – Old Stage Coach Road Horseback Ride
OLD STAGE COACH ROAD HORSEBACK RIDE – Bring out your own inner cowboy as you “see the sights” while you “horseback the heights”. Saddle up on a horse that matches your size and experience and enjoy the west as you’ve never seen it before. Even if you never ridden a horse you will feel like a seasoned cowboy by the end of this interesting tour. Appropriate for both beginners and seasoned riders. Tour has a very limited number of slots (12). This tour requires you to wear closed toe shoes.