Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baron Richtofen's Molkerei

First things first....
Cycling Through History has a new home, new web site, and new look, all thanks to the hard work of my brother James. Click on the link and be sure to contact him for all your graphic design, illustration, and web development needs.
I will be phasing out this site, though it will remain up for the sake of link continuity. I will be migrating all content over to the new site in the next couple of months and will stop posting on this Blogger site at the end of 2012. I would greatly appreciate it if all of you would move over to the new site with me and change whatever links, RSS feeds, or other contact info that you may have to the new site. The link is below.....

Cycling Through History

On to history...
The Molkerei was built by Baron Von Richtofen in 1898. It is located in the Monaco Hill neighborhood, not far from the Richtofen Castle, on E. 12th Ave between Oneida and Newport Streets.
Baron Walter Von Richtofen came to Denver in 1877. Like most people who moved here in the early days of Denver he had hopes of striking it rich in the Mountain West. Instead of gold and minerals, Baron Von Richtofen came to Denver to develop real estate and to try his luck in what he hoped would be a booming cattle market. In fact it was booming, but for nearly everyone else besides him. In 1885 he published a book titled "Cattle Raising on the Plains of North America". He claimed that the Great Plains, and specifically the Front Range of Colorado, was the premier area for raising cattle and believed that North America would shortly become "the most important beef-producing country in the world". His book was a success in that he sold a lot of copies and it attracted a large number of wealthy investors to Colorado. He, however, failed in the cattle business and lost a great deal of his own fortune as a direct result of the winter of 1886 where crushingly cold temperatures killed cattle kept out in the fields. But the book sold well so he was able to use the profits from that to continue developing real estate east of downtown Denver.
In 1885, the same year that he had published his book, Von Richtofen built his Molkerei, or "milk house", one block west of the Richtofen Castle. It was originally intended as a tuberculosis sanitarium where the patients would rest and recover by consuming fresh milk from the Baron's cattle that were kept in the basement of the building, and by breathing the healing barnyard odors that swept upwards through the slatted floors of the building (No, really).
The Molkerei didn't last long as a sanitarium, becoming an insane asylum and then eventually the Montclair Community Center. The building is still in great condition and the Montclair neighborhood is really attractive, with lots of great historic homes to look at.

Getting There By Bike...
I approach this neighborhood from the south by riding up Kearny until it connects to 1st, and then crossing over to Oneida. There aren't any good bike paths that connect to this part of Denver so you need to ride through neighborhood streets. There are a lot of quiet streets along the way though and a little time with Google Maps will help you find an easy path to the Molkerei.

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