Day 2 - Cañon City / Florence
Tour of Red Canyon & Garden Park with Colorado Jeep Tours
Colorado Jeep Tours offers scenic off-road jeep tours all around the Pikes Peak Region. Amelia took an interpretive tour of Red Canyon, which offers views similar to those found in Garden of the Gods in the Springs! They visited an area famous for the excavation of many complete dinosaur skeletons.
Antiquing in Florence
Amelia next traveled to Florence, the antiquing capitol of Colorado! She wrote the following guidelines on how to go antiquing like an archaeologist!
How to Go Antiquing Like an Archaeologist
By: Amelia Dall
I, and I think (actually, I assume?) many other archaeologists, have reservations about antiquing. I do think upcycling and/or recycling antiquities is great, and is eco-friendly! However, the question I ask when I go antiquing is if the shop also sells Native American cultural resources or any other illicit antiquities. I look around, and assess in my head whether there are any and if there is even at least one, I then leave.
Archaeologists pay attention not only to the artifacts from excavations, but also their contexts: where they were buried, which time period, analyze their purpose, and so on. Looting and antiquities trafficking destroys the context of the artifact. All information that would have been known about a particular culture, and the education that could have been shared, is lost.
You may be thinking “what’s the big deal?” Well, first of all, antiquities trafficking is a yearly millions-to-billions dollar business and most often conducted by criminals looking to launder money, or fund terrorism, to name a few of the examples. The Islamic State is known to loot, and there is evidence of their activities.
“Traffickers are offering large artifacts, including mosaics, architectural elements, and Pharaonic coffins – all still in situ. These individuals are finding buyers before they put in the effort to remove the objects.” – ATHAR Project
When antiquing, it is important to keep all of those information in mind!
1. Ask for Provenance
2. Have Ideas Ready!
3. Always Be Ethical
In Colorado, a quick drive from Canon City, is the small town of Florence has been dubbed as the ‘Antique Capital of Colorado’ for the estimated 20 antique shops along main street! Named after the daughter of a pioneer and settler of the town, James McCandless, Florence also has bakeries and other eateries, as well as a museum.
Willie’s, a massive building on the far end of Main Street, was not open when I was there unfortunately and did not seem to have anything on their shelves for sale. However, to get to the remaining antique stores from Willie’s, parking on Main Street is recommended. Almost immediately, you are showered with a row of antique themes: salvaged items, vintage décor, handmade gifts, wooden furniture, among various other stock. The old buildings on Main Street gives off a very antique-y vibe as well. Which makes a person understands right there and then why Florence is named the Antique Capital of Colorado. A unique must-see on Main Street is the Blue Spruce Gallery, which is a co-op of about 20-plus artists and on display are all sorts of artwork; pottery, jewelry, paintings, drawings, antiquities!
Visit Florence and be transported back into time!