Joe Arridy excursion

I swear, the more time I spend on this class, the further down the digital humanity rabbit hole I go. This has proven to be fairly difficult because I am also working on my historiography project which has really ended up being a 12-15 page discussion on how historians either think that the railroad is man’s gift to man, or it is the devil and ruined everyone’s life (hyperbole) until Richard White wrote his book Railroaded and changed everything. That aside, the last two weeks have been fairly busy.

Last Thursday Chris and I took advantage of the beautiful day in Pueblo and went on a little field trip to get the inside scoop for our wiki project on Joe Arridy. I wrote about the specifics of Joe Arridy and our wiki project for him here.


Seriously, a nice day

The idea for our little field trip came from one of the diagrams we found in the archive boxes at the library.

neighborhood map

As you can see, most of Joe Arridy’s life in Pueblo was contained to a very small area in Bessemer. The murder of the little girl only happened a couple blocks away from where Joe’s family was living at the time of the murder. Now why the general consensus that Joe had nothing to do with the murder and rapes, it is interesting to see how close everything was together.

Our goal was to see the house where the murders occurred…and while we did invite Dr. Rees to come with us, he politely declined. I can’t imagine why.


The house of Dorothy Drain

This is honestly not what Chris and I expected. It was so damn cheery. It even had a white picket fence on the side of it. Heck, if you squint your eyes, this house could very well represent the American Dream. I fully expected the house to be a visual representation of the murder that happened inside. Chris and I joked that if we were to knock on their door and ask if them if they knew a murder occurred, we could safely say that historians were worse than door to door salesmen.

We also drove by Joe Arridy’s childhood home.


And to the home his family was living in at the same time of Dorothy Drain’s murder.



We needed this break because from here on out til the end of the semester it’s going to be a lot of data entry for our GIS project. I’ll be writing a separate blog post about our experience with the department chair of Geography and Environmental Studies, John Harner. He had some wonderful insight and really I’ve never been more excited to collect data (like I said, this class is taking me down the rabbit hole).


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