‹‹ Colorado Matters

A personal journey through family history to Dearfield

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15min 59sec
Courtesy of Terri Gentry
Anscestors of Terri Gentry, whose great great maternal grandparents were Dearfield homesteaders.

Dearfield was once a thriving community in northeastern Colorado where hundreds of Black farmers homesteaded beginning in 1910. It fell victim to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, but its memory and its history live on. Now, there's a study underway to determine if it should become part of the National Park Service.

For Terri Gentry, that designation would have extra special meaning. Gentry is on the board of directors for the Black American West Museum and Heritage Center in Denver. She is also the great great granddaughter of Dearfield homesteaders. And this process continues to be a uniquely personal journey for her. She spoke with CPR's race, diversity, and equity reporter Elaine Tassy.

Courtesy of Charles Nuckolls
A brochure promoting Dearfield, Colorado, a community where African Americans homesteaded in the early 1900s.
Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A partially propped-up wall of a building in Dearfield, on Highway 34 in Weld County. The town was once the largest Black homesteading settlement in Colorado