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Dearfield, Colorado Essay, Research Paper

Dearfield, Colorado

There have been categories established to explain the origins of cities and towns in an attempt to categorize them according to their purpose and the reason for

their existence. According to Metropolitan State College of Denver Geography

professor John R. Kilcoyne, this simply breaks down into the three following

categories: Central place towns and cities, where the majority of people in a given

geographic area reside. Most ghost towns are central place towns that for one reason

or another didn t quite make it. Examples of larger central place cities would be Omaha

or Des Moines. The second category, Break-of-Bulk cities, is where product is

generally broken down from large quantities shipped in from major point of entry cities

and distributed into smaller quantities regionally. Good examples of these cities, both

inland and port, are New York City, Buffalo, St. Louis, San Francisco, and so fourth.

The final category is called special purpose cities. These are cities that have a

specific reason for existing and, without said reason, would cease to exist. Examples

of this today would be Las Vegas (Gambling) and Washington D.C. (Government).

Examples of yesteryear would be Central City (mining, before gambling) and Dearfield,

Colorado.

Dearfield, much like it s neighbour, Greeley, actually began as an idealistic

social experiment as opposed to a typical central place area that just happened to be

densely settled by farmers. However, Horace Greeley and Nathan Meeker s idea for a

utopian township (which he named Union Colony ) specifically excluded non-whites.

Dearfield, on the other hand, was created specifically for African-Americans.

While the idea of an all-black colony or township was certainly not an original

one (according to the Rocky Mountain News, there were several areas of Colorado that

had all-black colonies, such as in and around Rocky Ford, Akron and Cortez ),

Dearfield was by far the only black colony in Colorado to have any sort of longevity.

Founded by Oliver T. Jackson, a former Boulder restaurateur, Dearfield was his

dream of an all-black, agrarian


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