DENVER — A historic piece of Colorado’s past is now on display at Denver’s Union Station for all to enjoy. It’s called the ‘Loving Cup of Admiration’ and it was a gift to railroad visionary David Haliday Moffat.
Moffat was an iconic figure in Colorado at the turn of the 20th century. At the time, he was considered one of the wealthiest men in the state.
“David Moffat was a local businessman who single handedly paid for a train to run from Denver over the Continental Divide,” explained Kimberly Kronwall.
If Moffat’s name sounds familiar, it’s because Moffat County in northwest Colorado, the town of Moffat in Saguache County and the Moffat Tunnel are all named after him.
“His legacy lasted well past his lifetime,” Kronwall said.
As a way of thanking Moffat for creating a railroad across the mountains and into Denver, Coloradans (at the time) raised money and created a ‘loving cup’ for him.
“Loving cup is an example of a ceremonial trophy. Traditionally, it was handed around at weddings. You would share a drink, or wine,” Kronwall said. “In appreciation for what everything Moffat was doing for Denver, everyone decided they wanted to get the biggest loving cup made at the time!”
The cup itself weighs 200 pounds and can hold 75 pints.
“It’s made entirely of sterling silver and marble,” Kronwall said.
The silver and marble both came from Colorado.
The cup was presented to Moffat at a surprise ceremony at the Colorado state Capitol in 1904.
Moffat passed away seven years later in 1911.
His wife donated the cup to History Colorado in 1920.
The ‘Moffat Cup’ will be on display at Denver’s Union Station (across from the Amtrak ticket counter) for the next year.