Lost Highways: Dispatches from the Shadows of the Rocky Mountains

History Colorado

Lost Highways from History Colorado explores stories about Colorado and the American West--overlooked stories about how we got to now and how our region has shaped the world. Hosts Noel Black and Tyler Hill take listeners well beyond the “mountains and marijuana” stereotypes to uncover stories about their home state they can’t believe they never heard. Lost Highways is presented by the Sturm Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Trailer
Trailer 3 min 29 sec

All Episodes

As we get to work making Season 3 of Lost Highways, we wanted to share a podcast we think our listeners would love as much as we do. This is Episode 2 of a 4 part series called "The Order of Death" by JoshMattison and Shannon Geis. It's an in-depth look at the neo Nazis who assassinated Denver radio host Alan Berg, who was the subject of the S1 Lost Highways episode, "The Passion of Alan Berg." To hear more go to https://www.theorderofdeathpodcast.com/ or search "The Order of Death" on any podcast app. 

Feb 23

37 min 53 sec

Juan Federico Miguel Arguello Trujillo lost his name, his language, and his culture at a Catholic school in Trinidad, Colorado in the 1940s. When he found them again he found himself at the center of some of the most important moments of 20th Century Chicano history. 

Jan 28

1 hr 5 min

On this episode, how Trinidad, Colorado -- an iconic Western mining town along the old Santa Fe trail on the New Mexico border -- became the unlikely location for two pioneers of gender confirmation surgery. Their work would earn Trinidad the now-dated nickname: "the sex change capital of the world."

Jan 13

1 hr 4 min

As the Covid-19 Pandemic rages on, we update this episode about what we can learn from the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu outbreak in Colorado. In particular, we look at Gunnison, the mountain town that almost managed to avoid the outbreak altogether. 

Dec 2020

32 min 14 sec

In 1970, a man named Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche came to the US with the mission of teaching Tibetan Buddhism to Westerners. He enthralled hippies across the country and paved the way for a distinctly American Buddhism. But there was also a "shadow side" to his charisma. On this episode, Noel and Tyler explore the life and times of a beloved teacher who was no stranger to controversy.

Dec 2020

58 min 43 sec

As people across the country celebrate Thanksgiving, we're re-broadcasting one of our more popular episodes from Season 1 in light of current events. Please stay tuned at the end for an update with two of our guests. On this episode of Lost Highways, we look at the history of American Indian mascots and the different ways that tribes, teams, governments, and communities have grappled with the controversy.

Nov 2020

1 hr 2 min

Noel and Tyler look back at intentional artist communities Drop City and Libre to understand why one thrived while the other died, and what these two communes might teach us about the balance between freedom and order. (Photo Credit: Dean and Linda's Dome by Roberta Price)

Nov 2020

1 hr 8 min

This is a re-release of an episode we published early due to the COVID-19 quarantine. We're posting it again in case you missed it the first time, and in honor of the 95th anniversary of the day Kate Slaughterback became "Rattlesnake Kate." Musician Neyla Pekarek (formerly of the Lumineers), helps tell the legend of Rattlesnake Kate, an early 20th century woman who refused to play by the rules. After surviving a rattlesnake attack, Kate earned herself a place in the pantheon of American tall tales. 

Oct 2020

53 min 35 sec

Noel and Tyler explore the complicated stories of sex workers in Denver in the late 1800s by hearing from contemporary sex workers about their own experiences. 

Oct 2020

59 min 50 sec

This is a re-release of an episode that we published early due to the COVID-19 quarantine. We're posting it again in case you missed it the first time, and in honor of the 30th anniversary of the ADA. On July 5th, 1978, nineteen disability rights activists blocked multiple buses at one of Denver's busiest intersections, causing a 24-hour traffic jam. Their actions would revolutionize the way we think about accessibility.

Sep 2020

52 min 33 sec

In 1936, Colorado Governor "Big Ed" Johnson declared martial law in an attempt to close the Colorado/New Mexico border. In this episode, we unravel the historical context of this one decision, touching on issues of race, labor, and immigration that speak to the United States' current political moment as well.

Sep 2020

57 min 24 sec

Musician Neyla Pekarek (formerly of the Lumineers), helps tell the legend of Rattlesnake Kate, an early 20th century Western icon who refused to play by the rules. After surviving a rattlesnake attack, Kate earned herself a place in the pantheon of American tall tales.  History Colorado wants to hear from you about how COVID-19 is changing your daily life. More information at https://www.historycolorado.org/covid-19

Apr 2020

53 min 34 sec

Colorado had both the highest AND lowest death rates in the country when it came to Spanish Flu in 1918. What can Coloradans today learn from that? John Allnutt's memories about the 1918 flu can be heard in their entirety on COauthored, History Colorado's podcast featuring some of the most compelling oral histories from our collection. History Colorado wants to hear from you about how COVID-19 is changing your daily life. More information at https://www.historycolorado.org/covid-19    

Apr 2020

30 min 16 sec

On July 5th, 1978, nineteen disability rights activists blocked multiple buses at one of Denver's busiest intersections, causing a 24-hour traffic jam. Their actions would revolutionize the way we think about accessibility. _________________________________________________________________ History Colorado wants to hear from you about how COVID-19 is changing your daily life. More information at https://www.historycolorado.org/covid-19

Mar 2020

52 min 20 sec

One hundred years ago, a pitcher with a nasty curveball and a mind for business named Rube Foster formed "the Negro Leagues." In a story that in many ways mirrors American history from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans in baseball shaped the game and American society beyond the ballfield. It’s a story that runs, surprisingly, straight through Denver and an event that called itself “The Little World Series of the West.”

Feb 2020

22 min 59 sec

There are still more than a thousand public high schools across the country that use stereotypes and caricatures of American Indians as their mascots, and Colorado is no exception. We still have more than 30 of them.  On this episode of Lost Highways, we look at the history of American Indian mascots and the different ways that tribes, teams, governments, and communities have grappled with the controversy. 

Nov 2019

58 min 55 sec

Born and raised in Wheatridge, Colorado, Dean Reed moved to Hollywood at the age of 19 in an attempt to become a star. He was groomed to be a teen pop idol by Capitol Records before becoming a socialist during a tour of South America in the 1960s. He eventually settled in East Germany, where, despite remaining unknown in the United States, he became one of the socialist world's biggest stars. In this episode, Noel and Tyler dig into Reed's archives at History Colorado as they reconsider the legacy of the Red Elvis.

Nov 2019

56 min 18 sec

In the aftermath of the American Civil War, all-Black settlements sprang up throughout the West as formerly enslaved people and their descendants sought to build a better life. In this episode, Noel and Tyler look back at one of those communities in Colorado.

Oct 2019

56 min 45 sec

Noel and Tyler spin the dial on the talk radio time machine to meet Alan Berg, the loud-mouthed Denver media personality who helped pioneer the “outrage for profit”  business model that drives political media today. Berg was on his way to stardom until his assassination by neo-Nazis in 1984.

Oct 2019

49 min 23 sec

Tyler and Noel set out to investigate an alleged feud between two bickering bonsai clubs. But their quest leads them instead to Amache, a WWII prison camp for people of Japanese ancestry in southeast Colorado.

Oct 2019

55 min 3 sec

In 1975, a newly-elected Boulder County Clerk named Clela Rorex had just settled into her job when two men walked into the courthouse and asked for a marriage license. Her decision would reverberate across four decades of LGBTQ history, and ultimately help redefine marriage as we know it.

Sep 2019

49 min 48 sec

Lost Highways: Dispatches from the Shadows of the Rocky Mountains. Debuting September 18, 2019.

Aug 2019

3 min 29 sec