A Re-Examination of the American Identity



Rocky Beginnings shows the hardships and challenges of early pioneers as they worked to shape the community of Boulder County, Colorado. Migrating from various parts of the world in search of newfound opportunities, the early settlers of the Rockies left behind long standing legacies and a vibrant western spirit.

May of 1859 marked the beginning of a life‐changing journey for one of Boulder County’s first residents. For Edward Steele, the westward trek was long and hazardous. His caravan faced freezing mountain nights, Native Americans and even unexpected deaths, but Edward refused to turn back until he had reached the Rocky Mountains. Edward’s arrival truly sparked the start of a new western mentality.

Edward Steele spent the remainder of his life as a miner at Gold Hill. His goal was to earn a small fortune to support his wife and three children. The efforts of Steele and other western settlers defined the idea of the American Dream for the rest of the nation. These trailblazers of the west were given the freedom to shape their roles in society, thereby springing forward new and controversial western ideologies concerning race and gender.