|STATUES - HITHER & THITHER||
W Colfax Avenue / Broadway
Pioneer MonumentKit Carson
J.A. Boeuf & Bouard Fondeurs (Paris)
subscribers to the pioneer monument fund
elizabeth m. byers · junius f brown · (horace w bennett
A plaque memorializing the Smoky Hill Trail was added in 1936 on the side facing Broadway:
"Here was the end of the famous
SMOKY HILL TRAIL
immigrant and stage road extending
from the missouri River to denver.
traversed by pioneers in 1858.
surveyed by w. g. russell in 1860.
route of butterfield's overland
dispatch and wells fargo express.
the trail took its human toll–
death by thirst and indian raids.
the state historical society of colorado
from the mrs. j. n. hall foundation
and by the city and county of denver
The sculpture on the woman with child and rifle is honored by the Daughters of Colorado with a plaque:
pioneer mothers of colorado
daughters of colorado
may 14, 1950
The fountain was restored in 1983. The plaque - on the side facing Colfax Avenue - reads as follows:
THE PIONEER MONUMENT
restored in december 1983 by
the park people
the city and county of denver
with the assistance of
blanche and arthur cowperthwaite
and more than fifty generous donors
In the original design the sculptor had placed a defiant Sioux at the top of the monument, but pioneers rose in wrath, held indignation meetings, and created so much furor that MacMonnies made a special trip from Paris to confer with them. The pioneers were pacified when the figure of the noted scout was substituted. Later, however, criticism was directed at the modeling of the figures. Kit Carson said the resemble a "rococo cowboy on a pony of the same extraction"; Julian Street on a visit in 1914 remarked that the scout "looked like something that might have been modeled by a Frenchman whose acquaintance with the country had been limited to the reading of a bad translation of Fenumore Cooper." The entire fountain, he added, "might have been intended for a mantle decoration in Dresden China, which, through some confusion, had gotten itself enlarged and cast in bronze." (p. 144)
Several website write "Underneath Kit Carson on the second tier are small bronze conquered Indians", but we haven't seen them.
Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (Madison County, Kentucky, 1809 – Fort Lyon, Colorado, 1868), American frontiersman. Carson left home in rural present-day Missouri at age 16 and became a trapper in the West. He gained notoriety for his role as John C. Fremont's guide in the American West. Carson also played a minor role in California during the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War (Wikipedia).