‹‹ Colorado Postcards


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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Professor of Africana Studies George Junne of the University of Northern Colorado, center, leads a tour of building sites in Dearfield Wednesday, July 21, 2021. The group is walking past the former general store and dance hall.
The land was dear in Dearfield

Inspired by Booker T. Washington’s “back to the land” movement which aimed to give African Americans property ownership and self-sufficiency, O.T. Jackson founded a self-sustaining Black settlement 30 miles east of Greeley in 1910.

People who saw the potential headed to the prairie, built homes and farms, a school, restaurant, churches and a cement factory. The land was dear to them, so they named the settlement Dearfield. Minerva Jackson ran the thriving town. Picnics, fishing parties, and dancing enlivened Dearfield. Land value increased astronomically over a decade. But the good times did not last. Just two decades after its founding, the community collapsed under repeated droughts, the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. Today, it’s a ghost town, but there are efforts to make Dearfield part of  the National Park System, to help tell the story of America’s Black experience.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.