Pages from Ellingwood's scrapbook and journals.

(Photo: Courtesy of the American Alpine Club library)

 The results of a statewide vote to determine Colorado’s most important artifact are in, and the winner is Albert Ellingwood's journal and scrapbook. The on-line vote was organized through the Colorado Connecting to Collections initiative.

The group started with dozens of artifacts, winnowed the list to 17 and asked the public vote online to determine the winner.  

Voters faced a wide array of choices that included a carcass of the state's last-known grizzly bear and a 5000-year-old sandal. 

The runners-up in the vote include the state's oldest operating locomotive and frontiersman Kit Caron's will. 

Albert Ellingwood was known for being the first person to climb some of the most challenging peaks in Colorado and by 1925 became one of the first to climb all of Colorado's 14ers, the name given to the peaks that are at least 14,000 feet in elevation.  

Ellingwood learned many of his climbing techniques from European climbers while he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University. His journal and photographs are the most complete record known of those early years on Colorado's high peaks.

See below for a list of the winning artifacts:

*  Albert Ellingwood’s journal and scrapbook:  Alpine Club, Golden 

*  Denver & Rio Grande Western 346 steam locomotive:  Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden
*  Kit Carson’s will:  Pueblo City-County Library District
*  Yucca woven sandal from Franktown Cave:  University of Denver Museum of Anthropology
*  1860 Archbishop Lamy / Joseph Machebeuf documents:  Archdiocese of Denver, Archives
*  Colorado’s last know grizzly bear, the Wiseman Grizzly:  Denver Museum of Nature & Science
*  Ute boy’s cradleboard:  Ute Pass Historical Society, Woodland Park
*  Film depicting discovery of 1st projectile point in mammoth ribs in Colorado:  Denver Museum of Nature and Science
*  Ute Indian Leader Ouray’s pipe and pipe bag:  History Colorado, Denver
*  Colorado River Compact Agreement: Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University, Fort Collins