2. The cornerstone and Denver Landmark plaque. The cornerstone reads "Presented to the University of Denver by H.B.Chamberlin Erected AD 1890" The Denver Landmark designation (#220) was bestowed in 1994, 100 years after "first-light" was achieved on the 20 inch refractor telescope.
OBSERVATORY HISTORY NOTES: The ground-breaking ceremony for the University of Denver's Chamberlin Observatory was held on June 13, 1888. Fittingly, the Observatory's namesake and donor, Humphrey Barker Chamberlin turned the first spadeful of soil. He was followed by Methodist Bishop Henry W. Warren, an important patron of the newly reorganized University. Astronomer Herbert Alonso Howe, dean of the University's College of Liberal Arts, was the final participant in the ceremony.
Herbert Howe had moved to Colorado in 1880 to teach mathematics and astronomy at the University of Denver. Remarkably, Howe was only 20 years old when he took on the duties of instructor. He had received his Bachelor of Arts degree when he was 16, and had been awarded his Masters degree in Mathematics from the University of Cincinnati at 18. Given Dr. Howe's illustrious academic career (upon securing his doctorate from the University of Boston in 1884 he was widely considered to be among the top handful of American astronomers ) it seemed unlikely that he would stay at the University of Denver. Not only was the University almost unknown in academic circles, but Denver was hardly an ideal location for scholarly pursuits. Gold and silver from Cripple Creek and Central City had turned the city into a boom town. When the cornerstone for Chamberlin was laid in 1890, Denver boasted 31 millionaires, more bars per person than New Orleans and the busiest red light district west of the Mississippi.
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