Photos: Denver is Strange tumblr's ten most memorable posts

If you ever had any doubts about whether the Mile High City can be a little odd at times, they'll be dispelled by a visit to the Denver Is Strange tumblr. The address collects weird and wacky images from throughout the history of the city, many of them culled from the invaluable Denver Public Library Western History Collection. We assembled our picks for the site's ten most memorable posts, complete with original text; they range from a gangland murder to a psychic lobster. Count them down below. Number 10: Pastel rules!
Denver on February 21, 1970: Candy-colored women in matching miniskirts and neckties promote financial services at a bridal fair in Denver.
Number 9: Was he killed because he was a grocer or a gangster? Denver on February 19, 1933: The body of north Denver grocer and gangster Joseph "Little Joe" Roma lies on the floor of his parlor. Roma was playing his mandolin when other gangsters shot him 14 times.Continue to keep counting down the ten most memorable posts on the Denver is Strange tumblr. Number 8: The lay of the hands
Denver on January 17, 1927: Sick people laying on cots in Denver's City Auditorium listen as evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson prays for them to be healed.
Number 7: Thanks, Mom
"It costs money to die."
Continue to keep counting down the ten most memorable posts on the Denver is Strange tumblr. Number 6: Nobody puts bookkeepers in a corner
Denver sometime in February 1934: A teacher talks to the bookkeeping class he is teaching at Rude Park Community Center. Located at 1285 Decatur, the building is now the Rude Recreation Center, and offers Zumba classes on Tuesdays.
Number 5: How now, brown cloud?
It's an old Denver favorite -- the Brown Cloud! Here it is in January 1967 -- it would get progressively worse through the years, blocking Denverites' view of the mountains and causing respiratory havoc. It was a product of the metro area's propensity to drive and its location at the base of the Rocky Mountains -- temperature inversions caused by the nearby mountain landscape trapped cooler pollutants under warm air, meaning that they couldn't disperse into the atmosphere. Through concerted efforts to reduce air pollution, Denverites breathe much easier now, but the Brown Cloud still occasionally appears on winter days.
Continue to keep counting down the ten most memorable posts on the Denver is Strange tumblr. Number 4: Santa Claws
Denver: home of the psychic gambling lobsters. I don't think I'd trust a lobster this far from the ocean, no matter what he promised. (From the 18 April 2000 issue of the Weekly World News.)
Number 3: Arch nemesis
The Welcome Arch (sometimes called the Mizpah Arch) was installed in front of Denver's Union Station in 1906 as a gateway welcoming visitors arriving by train to the city. As cars became more numerous on the streets of downtown, the arch was deemed a traffic hazard, and was removed in 1931. As the above postcard shows us, it was also possibly a hazard to humorously drunk people.
Continue to keep counting down the ten most memorable posts on the Denver is Strange tumblr. Number 2: The shocking story of Fancy Frank
Bob Huff reads a dime novel, titled Fancy Frank of Colorado in the Western History department of the Denver Public Library. DPL's Western History Collection opened to the public in 1935. Today, it's one of the world's leading research centers for Colorado history and the history of the American West (and it's also where a lot of the images on this Tumblr come from). Go visit. The people who work there are great, and they want to help you.
Number 1: Top this
This is how you celebrate the holidays: spend your time in a Denver bar! Here, a man in a top hat drinks at a heavily decorated, but unidentified bar sometime between 1930 and 1950. This photo is by Harry Rhoads, famous for his photos of ordinary life in Denver in the mid-twentieth century.

More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Five Colorado places that smell worse than the pot smoker next door."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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