Here’s how Denver’s Colfax Avenue got its name

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DENVER — A group of Denverites is taking time to recognize the 151st anniversary of the naming of Colfax Avenue.

Colfax was one of the main highways serving Denver before the Eisenhower Interstate System was created. Its naming pre-dates Colorado’s statehood. The long stretch from Golden to Strasburg looked a lot different back in 1868, when Grand Avenue was renamed after then-Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Schuyler Colfax.

“Nobody on an average day could tell you who Schuyler Colfax was,” said Peter Meinig, who was portraying Colfax at an event honoring the street’s naming at The Owl Saloon Saturday night.

Meinig spent his Saturday evening providing bargoers historical entertainment. He dressed up as the late politician from Indiana.

Colfax Museum Founder Jonny Barber says Speaker Colfax — who would later become vice president under President Grant — was a strong supporter of the Colorado Territory on its way to statehood.

To honor the man who recognized Colorado’s greatness early on, an annual tradition of beer, burlesque and Schuyler has been born.

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