Skip to Main Content

Colorado School of Mines History Timeline


1890 -- 

  • 1890 Building, Main Hall, Colorado School of Mines 1890The Building of 1890 is added to the Buildings of 1880 and 1882; all 3 buildings become Main Hall (aka Chemistry Hall). 


Main Hall, 1890. CSM01.02-B6810

  • The 4-year course becomes the standard number of years to earn a degree--the result of Chauvenet's efforts to move the School of Mines in a more scholarly direction.
  • School colors: Silver and blue are established as the School colors--the timing is unclear, but the football team was reportedly wearing white and blue by 1890.
  • The School of Mines Athletic Association is formed at about this time. Students assessed themselves $1.00 per semester to help pay for the athletic programs; the managers were volunteers.

1892 -- The changes in the curriculum begin to pay off as Mines graduates' reputation spreads. A mine superintendent in South Africa wrote to President Chauvenet asking that the top 2 graduates be sent to him for immediate employment at $250 a month and travel expenses paid. (In comparison, faculty salaries hover around $2,000 a year.)

  • The School of Mines is officially a 4-year institution as special courses are removed from the curriculum. The last of the special students earning certificates of assaying, etc. are gone by 1893. This change also meant the departure of the women students, who had enrolled in special classes exclusively.
  • The Scientific Society of the State School of Mines is organized, and publishes its first Scientific Quarterly journal.
  • Lab, Colorado School of Mines, 1890?-1899?Field trips to the region's mines and mills continue to be an important part of the curriculum.

Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, 1889?-1899? CSM01.02-B6811

1893 --

  • There are 26 mining schools in the United States.
  • The School of Mines contributes specimens to display at the mineral exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
  • The entire freshman class is suspended as a result of a classroom prank played on Professor Lakes. Many students eventually apologized and were readmitted.
  • An Athletic Field is constructed on donated land at the clay pits; it has a dirt surface. The facilities are described as, "several acres of rocky ground surrounded entirely by wind....After a nice wind storm, they have to get out the surveying crew in order to find the home-plate. Then they have to sink a shaft to get to it." The School hosted the first annual Colorado Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association Field Day there. Events included: foot races, baseball throw, shot put, pole vault, hurdles, hammer throw, high jump and relays.

1894 --

  • The Hall of Engineering is built, funded by a State Legislature appropriation. Engineering Hall, Colorado School of Mines 1970-1980?
  • Spanish is added to the curriculum after students petition the Board of Trustees for language instruction.
  • Students organize a bicycle club, the Bicycle Division of the School of Mines Athletic Association.

Engineering Hall, 1970-1980? CSM01.02-B1845



1895 -- The Class of 1895 is one of the first of the large classes (numbering about 60) that mark a period of expansion and growth of the School.

  • The Colorado State Bureau of Mines is established.1895 Football team, Colorado School of Mines
  • "Gent" Bill Carter is hired by the Athletic Association as a football trainer to condition and train the student athletes. He is the School's first identified African American employee.
  • The baseball team gets its first uniforms from the School.
  • The CSM Alumni Association is founded. Members design an alumni pin in the shape of a spherical triangle.

Football team, 1895

1896 -- By the mid-1890s, the School of Mines dominates much of the regional athletic scene.

  • The School's Technical & Engineering Society is organized.
  • Students have the tradition of climbing the smoke stack of the School's engine room to paint their Class year on it as a rite of passage. President Chauvenet finally forbids the practice in 1896.

1897 -- 

  • The Board of Trustees passes the resolution that, "in matters of discipline and scholarship the action of the faculty shall be final" in response to internal School disagreements. This resolution was to have a major impact on future controversies between students and faculty.
  • The Freshman boycott classes in protest over an unscheduled chemistry exam announced by a professor after a student disrupted class (i.e. set the classroom on fire) by a prank.

1898 -- Florence Caldwell, Class of 1898

  • Florence Hazel Caldwell, Class of 1898, receives a Civil Engineering (C.E.) degree. Caldwell is the first woman graduate of the School of Mines. 
  • Percy P. Barbour, Class of 1898, receives his Engineer of Mines (E.M.) degree. Barbour became a surveyor for Clear Creek County, and went on to survey a significant part of that region.
  • The Golden Transcript offers a prize to the person who can list the largest number of marriages between Jefferson County ladies and School of Mines men. The winner listed 38 couples.

Football team 1899, Colorado School of Mines

Florence H. Caldwell, C.E. Class of 1898


Football team 1899