Niwot's curse on Boulder, Colorado
People seeing the beauty of this valley will want to stay, and their staying will be the undoing of the beauty.
Niwot's Curse was folklore I learned as a young Boulder Valley student. I find much truth in this curse as I have watched my home town change. My childhood memories rapidly disappearing as million-dollar condos and high-end retail replace quaint coffee shops and quirky small businesses.
But the curse was not something Chief Niwot had wished upon this unique town; it was a premonition. He dreamed of a great flood that swallowed the Arapahoe tribe, letting only white man survive. Fearful for his people, the chief tried to make peace with the white man in hopes of saving his people.
But the overflow of gold-seekers continued to swamp the breathtaking valley pushing the peaceful natives out. Later, it is believed, that Chief Niwot died at the hands of the Third Colorado Cavalry in the Sand Creek Massacre. Proving a truth to his premonition.
Eventually, the money-hungry miners were replaced with the hopeful peace and love of the 1960's hippy movement. Swarms of liberal, peace-loving, environmental progressive humans filled the little mining town. Quickly became a forward-thinking town floating in the state of cowboys and conservative country folks.
During this time, many local Boulderites worked to protect the open space surrounding the town in hopes of preserving the community as well as the land. Building restrictions where enforced, and Boulder could no longer build up or out. The small-town limits and bleeding liberal population began earning a representation among the state, referred to the town as the People's Republic of Boulder, the Boulder Bubble, or the (liberal) island in the middle of Colorado, which at the time was very much a red state.
It is sad to think Boulder will never be the same place it was while I was growing up, but I will always be grateful for the memories of what it once was.
And still, take much joy in the breathtaking scenery.