Adams County Partners with History Colorado to Develop Colorado Curated Story: USS Colorado

Colorado Curated Story - USS Colorado

In 2023, when Adams County unveiled the Adams County Veterans Memorial – a replica of the USS Colorado – at Riverdale Regional Park, Adams County residents with ties to the renowned vessel donated items to honor the lives of veterans. Among the objects received by Adams County were letters, photographs, and artifacts that told the story of life aboard the USS Colorado. 

To honor and preserve these donated items, Adams County partnered with History Colorado to document and catalog the historic artifacts into its permanent collection. In an effort to turn the donated items into a resource for the community and to expand the impact statewide, the organizations decided to turn items from this collection into Colorado Curated Story: USS Colorado.

Colorado Curated Story: USS Colorado tells the story of the battleship (BB-45) through the vessel, crew, and journey. Items include the original name plaque from the ship, a fragment from a Japanese Kamikaze plane that attacked the USS Colorado during WWII, and several artifacts that belonged to Elton Clem, the resident cobbler aboard the ship.

“Working with History Colorado to preserve the stories and pieces of history so close to the hearts of our residents gives them the respect and kind of care they deserve,” said Emma Pinter, Chair of the Adams County Board of Commissioners. “We are especially grateful we can expand the reach of this project through the curatorial expertise of History Colorado to create a community resource.”

"As a veteran myself, it's deeply meaningful to ensure the stories and artifacts of our brave servicemen aboard the USS Colorado are honored and preserved for future generations,” said Commissioner Charles “Chaz” Tedesco. “Partnering with History Colorado allows us to pay tribute to their sacrifices while fostering a sense of community pride and remembrance."

Colorado Curated Stories is a series of Community Lending Resources created by History Colorado’s Curatorial Services and Collections Access Department.

"The military history team at History Colorado is grateful to have formed this partnership with Adams County and to have participated in creating this tribute to the brave servicemen who served aboard the USS Colorado,” said Sydney Mauck, Anschutz Military Collections Specialist for History Colorado. “This very special project has given us the chance to dive into the history of the ship that shares our state's namesake while also honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country.”

The Colorado Curated Story: USS Colorado will be on display at the Adams County Parks, Open Space & Cultural Arts Administration Building at 9755 Henderson Road in Brighton through August 2024.