The Colorado State capitol was built between the years 1889 to 1894.  A construction crew of approximately two hundred forty men worked on the project including sixty men at the quarries in Gunnison, 129 stonecutters, a dozen black-smiths, and wagon crews to transport the quarried granite from the Denver railroad station to the construction site on Broadway.

Many of the skilled stone-masons at the Aberdeen quarry site and the Denver Capital construction site were immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, and Europe. They were represented by the National Quarrymen's Union, Branch 46 with president Alva Adams. Some of these men were probably acquaintances of Geddes and Seerie who had previously worked as stone masons before establishing themselves as stone contractors.

"GEDDES & SEERIE" Stone Contractors

William F. Geddes and David Duff Seerie were awarded the contract to build the capital in early 1889.  Geddes and Seerie, both skilled stone masons, arrived in Denver in 1880. William F. Geddes, born ca. 1859 Pennsylvania, , was the son of Irish immigrants while David Duff Seerie, born 1862, Parish of Tealing, near Dundee, Scotland.

They incorporated the contracting firm "Geddes & Seerie" contracting large-scale projects in the Denver area including the building of the Cheesman Dam of Colorado, the Pathfinder dam of Wyoming, and the Brown Palace Hotel.

William F. Geddes and William Harvey traveled to Gunnison on the western slope of Colorado, to inspect the granite cliffs that extended for several miles along the divide.  Satisfied with the quality of the stone, they selected the Gunnison granite for their Capital building project,  in June of 1889, and named the quarry site "Aberdeen."

At the Aberdeen quarry site boarding and mess houses were established for the workers.  Supplies came in from local farmers and from Denver by train.  The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad built a six mile track to connect the quarry site with their narrow gauge railroad line.

The quarried slabs, some weighing 14 to 15 tons, were shipped to Denver via the railroad.  Upon arrival by train in Denver, the granite stone was transported by wagons to the cutting sheds  to be delivered in finished form at the building site..

"The stone was cut and dressed on the capitol grounds-all six-cut work.  About 179 men were employed, 129 of whom were stonecutters.  It is a busy scene in the enclosure surrounding the grounds.  There is music in the ring of the stonecutters' hammers, the creaking derricks, and the chorus of 12 anvils in the blacksmith shop.  Fifteen carloads are received per week, much of large dimensions.  The architect prepares the diagram with the name of the cutter, the hour, and the, and final date, and the cutters prepare the pieces."  Twelve blacksmiths were employed, one smith being required to sharpen the tolls of twelve cutters. (1)


National Quarrymen's Union, Branch 46, at Aberdeen
List of Stonemasons at Aberdeen Quarry

President - Alex McDonald
Vice-president - Axel Carlson
Secretary -Peter C. Olsen
Yard Stewards - Wallace Moore and William Thompson

George Amprimo
Albert Anderson
Magnus Anderson
Batiste Battistie
August Beyer
John Beyer
G. Bossego
George T. Boutin
Mike Brennan
Charles Chalman
Anton Calonge
Rocco Condy
William F. Conley
  William F. Conley
Lorenzo Deronsedi
Charles Edberg
T. Emanuel
Jacong Fornandes
Carl D. Frommer
Antonio Gross
J. P. Gunstrom
Peter Helm
David Henderson
Tobia Jenello
Henry Jensen
Alex Johnson
  Andrew Johnson
Frank Kalb
Jack Kelley
N. P. Longval
P. L. Matteson
Charles McCormick
John McGuire
Colin Moore
Otis Moore
John Nelson
Peter Peterson
Charles Romano
  Henry Sampson
Robert Selby
Charley Snyder
George Stone
Osmond Stone
Osmund Stone
Thomas B. Van Cleave
Wissitie Wessintin
John Whelen
Mell Wright
Peter Zare
S. F. Zugelder

List of Men employed by "Geddes & Seerie" in the year 1892


Achorn, J. D
Addie, W. J.
Anderson, Andrew
Bayha, C. W.
Bell, Stephen R.
Benzie, James
Bildner, Frank
Bird, Charles
Bishop, John H.
Bochm, Paul
Bourke, Michael
Bowman, John
Boyle, William F
Brandrey, Marshal
Brines, R. A.
Brown, George
Brown, Robert
Burnie, Thomas
Burns, Lawrence
Butz, A. L
Bystrom, John L
Caravatti, Angelo
Carling, John
Cash, H. T.
Catto, James
Chalmers, Andrew
Chapman, James E.
Colovizzae, E.
Cook, William H


Culley, William
Cullis, Henry
Davis, Robert L
Davis, William A.
Donald, Alex
Doull, Alex'r, foreman
Doull, Alexander, Jr.
Dyer, Philip J. 
Eisenrath, William
Ellis, N. E.
Eyrainer, Edward
Fallquist, John L.
Firth, Alfred
Fontano, Petro
Geddis, Robert
Girvan, Charles H.
Goard, Isaac
Gray, F. Clifton
Gray, Jasper A.
Green, James M.
Guisetto, Jerome 
Harrap, James
Hoenes, Frank L
Houghton, Robert
Howard, Ernest E.
Hurley, John
Jenkins, Edwin
Kelly, U. W.
Knowles, George H.

Kochen, Oscar
Lamb, John J.
Lavin, Michael H.
Leaver, John F.
McCormick, S. P.
McDonald, Daniel
McDonald, Roderick
McMillan, Charles
McMillen, Charles F
McNamee,  Thomas
Magner, Patrick
Mahoney, James
Manning, Thomas
Market, George C.
Mattson, Charles
Mattson, John
Milne, William
Morgan, William Jr.
Morris, John B.
Murray, Frank
Murray, John C.
Nichol, John
Nolan, Edward J.
Paige, Charles A.
Parr, Jacob J.
Pavonia, Antonia
Peduzzi, Philip
Quinn, John
Rauch, George

Riley, J. F.
Roberts, Henry
Roberts, John
Roberts, Pierce
Rodgers, Charles
Rundle, Joseph T
Ryan, John
Sanders, Albert
Sarah, Harry
Sarah, James
Scott, Alexander K
Scott, James F
Seerie, Edward
Sheehan, Michael J.
Skyles, Frank
Strobel, Edward C
Stumke, Henry C
Swanson, K. M.
Tighe, John
Tighe, Martin
Toth, William
Valentine, B
Vetter, Carl
Warren, John
Whalen, John
Williams, William B
Winn, Thomas
Young, Martin

Gold, Joseph
Johnston, Emil
Johnston, Lars
Kerr, Andy
Lindblom, August




Jajietta, Jeroloma
Macdonald, William J
Murray, John A.
Price, Rufus

Werner, Ed


Civil War Memorial

July 4, 1890 - Cornerstone Laid

Huge crowds, thousands of people, who had come in by train, filled the streets, waiting to see the parade which was to open the ceremonies for laying the cornerstone of the new capitol building. The militia, 400 strong, from Fort Logan, accompanied by the grand marshal, marshals, staffs, bands, and drum corps, comprised the largest peace-time military parade many had ever seen. Colorful floats built by merchants added to the pageantry.  Pioneers, many of them founders of the sate, marched in the parade and the mining exchange members drove burrows throughout the cheering throng.


Alva Adams made one of the principal addresses for the Masonic Grand Lodge, which had charge.


Closing of an Era - sculpture created by Preston Powers,
Art Director of the Denver School of Fine arts, at the
 University of Denver.

Sculptor was cast at his father, Hiram Powers, studio
 in Florence, Italy, 1893.
Located on east Capitol lawn facing Grant Street.


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