Colorado Fuel and Iron: Culture and Industry in Southern Colorado

Colorado Fuel and Iron

The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) was one of the most powerful corporations in the American West. It controlled more land, more water, and more people in Colorado and the surrounding area than any other entity, public or private, at the turn of the twentieth century. As such, CF&I was also the focus of intense controversy for its role in various labor disputes over the years, including the infamous Ludlow Massacre that took the lives of twenty-one people including more than a dozen women and children. At the same time the company offered opportunities to immigrants and their families that they may not have received in their native countries. CF&I built schools, hospitals, parks, and partnered with the YMCA to provide health and recreational services to their employees. Entire cities and towns sprung up around CF&I mines and and quarries, and industries aimed at serving miners and steelworkers exploded as the demand for goods increased. For better or worse, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company shaped the landscape of southern Colorado as we know it, and many of us are here today because of the hard working men and women who came to this country to take advantage of the opportunities that CF&I provided.

The photographs and articles in the following pages were written and assembled by staff members and volunteers from the Steelworks Center of the West, with the help of students from Colorado State University-Pueblo. It is currently maintained by former Steelworks Center staff member and CSU-Pueblo alum Chris Schreck. If you have something you would like to contribute to this project please let me know
and be sure to check back occasionally for updates. This exhibit was last updated in July 2023.

The drop-down menu in the upper left corner will provide you with the table of contents. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs in this exhibit were provided by the Steelworks Center of the West in Pueblo, Colorado. Please contact the Steelworks Center for information regarding the use of these photos. If you would like to view the Steelworks Center's complete collection you can browse their extensive online database.

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