Cotopaxi, Colorado: Russian Jewish Colony





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For the latest updates see Jen Lowe's blog:



In 1882 there was a large Colony of immigrant Russian Jews in Cotopaxi, Colorado...

They were NOT likely the first Semitic agricultural colony in Colorado...






Description of Photos: click description for larger photograph


Top Left Cotopaxi as seen looking north-west from the hill behind the Cotopaxi church.

Top RightView from Cotopaxi looking west through the canyon.

Bottom LeftLooking west from the "Mow" ranch towards areas of the large black-shaded area of map.

Bottom Center:    BLM map with approximate colony lands shaded black.    
Related Map Page


Bottom RightLooking south over part of the lower colony lands.




Quick Look - Cotopaxi History   Mrs. Elizabeth Gulliford's  Account of Cotopaxi  

The Cotopaxi Colony:  A Thesis by Flora Jane Satt

With permission from Flora Jane Satt, her thesis "The Cotopaxi Colony" is posted here.

This thesis contains a good history of Cotopaxi, and I think this is the best source of info on the Cotopaxi Colony. 

Much credit is due to my wife, Cruz,  for entering most of the thesis into MS Word documents. My sister Jen Lowe has entered  Part VI - Bibliography .  Jen has also done a tremendous about of research and is compiling the Cotopaxi colonist's genealogy.


A good number of people, including quite a few local residents, have had a good interest in the Cotopaxi Colony History over the years, and several have compiled a history of the Colony.  No two seem to agree completely on every detail, but add to that legal documents and genealogies and we hopefully arrive at a fairly accurate history, and again, this is supplied well enough in Fora Jane Satt's thesis.


We are continually learning more about Cotopaxi's history.  Sometimes new info comes via email, sometimes by a "new" document from that period, often by local oral history, frequently by reading something for the 15th time and finally realizing what was said, and in at least one case, a "bombshell" (yet to be disclosed) of info comes from physical evidence - which in this case supports, or is supported by, a local oral history.  The more we learn about early Cotopaxi the more respect we have for the colonists...Cotopaxi was a pretty rough little town at one time!   There is a lot of info yet to post!


Check out Jen's IF-Then Blog:  If you think it didn't happen

concerning the Jews of Brest Litovsk

that did not come to Cotopaxi

the Holocaust:

From Jen Lowe,

"....when you do genealogy and see that an entire family of 3 generations ALL died on the very same day.....
you know that it is real."



Cotopaxi Colorado:  A Road Marker for the Return to Jerusalem?

with excerpts from Ramban and Pirkei D'Rebbi Eliezer!



Were the Colonists Hassidim or Haskalah?

  Well.....If they were strict Chassidim, they would likely have never left Russia...





The Descendant's Page  


Ship manifest for Shames, Prezant, Washer, Milstein families!!

Jen Lowe has documented some 800-1000 Cotopaxi Colony descendants!


The People - List of the Cotopaxi Colonists


Schradsky Family Descendants


Schneider (Snyder) Family and Descendants


Milstein - Shuteran - Prezant  Families & Descendants


Kinship Report for Menashe Milstein 

 Milstein-Shames Descendant chart  


The Land Declarations 

Colony Lands - Map of Colonist's Plots - identified by name 


coming:  Congregation bnai Shalom, Cotopaxi, Colorado 1882

There was a synagogue in Cotopaxi!



The Cemetery Page   


Gravesite marker is up!

With Jerry Klinger (red shirt) at the colony gravesite, April 29, 2011

A special Thank You to Jerry and Judy Klinger

with the

Jewish American Society For Historic Preservation (JASHP)




Thanks to Congressman Doug Lamborn for the kind words about us

recorded in the July 13, 2011 Congressional Record.



 A panoramic  view of the "upper" colony site. 

Click to enlarge!

This represents a bit more than 180 degrees.


On the left side, the view is towards the north,

the center part represents the easterly view,

and on the right side, towards the south.





Emanuel Saltiel page

Hero or villain?



Just a quick look:   Wanted in Montana


 Emanuel Saltiel's "Sweated Labor" (Jewish Colonists)


No smooth talking is going get in the way of history on this site.


But I think the bottom line will remain thus:

Although not likely his primary intent, Saltiel helped some Jews get out of Russia at a time that saved them from immediate Russian government oppression and also saved them from the future Holocaust.

In this light, Saltiel's good BY FAR out weighs his not-so-good.

Crook, shyster, con man ? Absolutely. It's well documented.


But if one Jewish life was saved by his actions, even inadvertently, then he is elevated far above many others.

This is a proper view of Emanuel Harris Saltiel.

All the while, bearing in mind -

The Colonists that came had the mindset to come, Saltiel or no, as evidenced by Jacob Milstein's presence in America before Saltiel met with HAIS.





Saltiel OWNED Cotopaxi.

Tid Bits

Above, The Cotopaxi Mine Built by Peter Young in 1919.

Burned down in 1956.

This was later (note vehicle) than the time of the Cotopaxi Colony. 

A miner's lien against Emanuel Saltiel for unpaid "work and labor" Saltiel attests that several colonists worked here...


Colonist Joseph Nudelman, who's son is buried at the Cotopaxi Cemetery, later in life founded the first orthodox synagogue in the Pacific Northwest; Shaari Torah, Portland Oregon.

Quote: "In 1905, a small group of Jewish community members began meeting in Portland stores and homes to hold prayer services. Eventually, the topic of organizing a synagogue came up, and after months of organizing and fundraising, they founded Shaarie Torah. Under the able leadership of Joseph Nudelman, of blessed memory, the group purchased a Presbyterian Church on SW Third Avenue and moved it to First Avenue, south of Hall Street. The building was refurbished and became the first official home of Shaarie Torah."


Researching Canon City Historical Center records

Microfishing Findings:


Fremont County Leader, Sept 2, 1882:



Chuturin-Snyder - On August

25, by Rev D. Grupitzky, Mr. Marcus

Chuturin and Miss Fanny Snyder,

 both of Cotopaxi, Colo."


Thinking: D. Grupitzky probably was David Korpitsky. BUT maybe not..... developing...

Chuturin = Shuteran etc,  Snyder = Schneider

Note the "Rev" - good to have a sense of humor.


We have found three marriage certificates of the colonists:

Marcus Chuturan & Fanny Snyder, August 25, 1882

Jacob Milchstein & Yenta Milchstein, (cousins!) August 31, 1882

Moses Minkorsky & Sarah Snyder, September 28, 1882


In Flora Jane Satt's thesis, she shows another previous wedding took place:

 "David Korpitsky served as rabbi and performed two weddings that first summer.  The first united Max Shuteran and Hannah Milstein and the other was the religious ceremony which finally, even in the eyes of the most orthodox, sanctioned the civil union of Jacob Millstein and his cousin Nettie."

 "Hannah" is often a name associated with "Fanny", and it is likely an error by Satt's and/or her source regarding the last name "Milstein".  Marcus = "Max".



 The Gold Tom connection! developing!




We Have Found:  The Beehive Mine

(perhaps better said: "that workings up beehive canyon")

This is of local history interest to those interested in buried treasure...



Photo:  an old crib in an old shed in Cotopaxi...



Julius Schwartz, March 2, 1883 letter to HEAS:


"Now the facts are, that only six

of the houses are constructed on town lots,"


(so this should be read - six of the shacks Saltiel built were within the Cotopaxi townsite - not on the land they were supposed to farm...that was up to 8 miles away!.)


"The houses are double-boarded with tar paper between them, are sixteen by twenty feet and are twelve feet high in the center"


in other words....they were clapboard/tarpaper shacks....


At some point, we will have to take a look at just where these properties were.

Local rancher, educator, historian and author Nancy Oswald has finished her fiction novel about the Jewish Colony. To read an excerpt of her book, Nothing Here But Stones, go to her website: click here!  It's a great book!!!

Our Cotopaxi Colony pages

Flora Jane Satt Thesis Homepage

The People - List of Cotopaxi Colonists

Milstein Family Genealogy page (Makovsky Family Tree)  OLD VERSION

Map of Cotopaxi Colony land

Colorado Magazine, July 1941

The Cotopaxi Cemetery page 

Colony Lands Map  with ownership designation 

The Land Declarations 

The Descendant's Page  Their "What's New?" Page! 

The People - List of the Cotopaxi Colonists

Schradsky Family Descendants

Schneider (Snyder) Family and Descendants

Milstein - Shuteran - Prezant  Families & Descendants

Kinship Report for Menashe Milstein 

Milstein-Shames Descendant chart  

Emanuel Saltiel's "Sweated Labor"




Additional information on the Jewish colony in Cotopaxi Colorado:


Maps and Photos


Photo of Cotopaxi 1880-1890

Notice there is no E.S Hart building.  A 1920's shot shows the two similar buildings left of center as  the RR depot, and Hart's store (Glenn Mullins' home now) would be just to the right a smidge and across the tracks.   Note Saltiel's house, background left is single story.  I think he built the house in 1881, and added a second story in 1883 (?). And Vic Miller made it a one story again in the (?) 1950s.  So...this might even be before the colonists were in Cotopaxi.


Cotopaxi Topographical Map  

History of the American West, 1860-1920: Photographs from the Collection of the Denver Public Library  



Other Cotopaxi Colony articles, documents and websites


Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation

Cotopaxi - The failed Russian Jewish Agricultural Colony, 1882-1884

Congregation Zera Abraham - formed in 1887  by Colonists

Cotopaxi Torah Mystery  - Denver Post By Claire Martin  9/27/2009

Cotopaxi Jewish Colony -Shanna Lewis/Western Skies Oct 6, 2005

The Jewish Agricultural Colony at Cotopaxi, Colorado by Dr. Yitzchok Levine 

Hard Times: The Jewish colony at Cotopaxi, by Nancy Oswald

Why the Jews emigrated, by Martha Quillen 

Aaron Armstrong's  Cotopaxi Colony site

The Christening of Cotopaxi

Mrs. Elizabeth Gulliford's account of Cotopaxi  

 Cotopaxi article, University of Denver curriculum guide  

Names of the Cotopaxi Colonists. Jewish Genealogical Society of Colorado  

Excerpt: Julius Schwartz's Report

Ira M. Beck Memorial Archives

Bibliography of North American Jewish Community Books: Colorado

The Boston HIAS Database, 1882-1929  

Jewish - Jewish Colorado History

Carol McNew's Cotopaxi Cemetery Page "The first burials were Russian 


 Photograph: Cotopaxi Colonists in front of E.S. Hart store in Cotopaxi

 From Cotopaxi to Denver: Immigrant Jewish Farmers Become American Urban Community LeadersY





Colorado Historical Society Roadside Marker Program 

A Brief History of Highway 50

Cotopaxi, Ecuador  The other Cotopaxi! 

My Big Sister's  BLOG:


     and last and least:  for extra Cotopaxi history and...other stuff...



Thanks to all the sites linking! 

Make no mistake, this is the original  authentic Cotopaxi-Colony website!

Copyright 2001-2016 Nelson Moore. All Rights Reserved.

Tell me your Cotopaxi Colony story; email