“Dress made of rattlesnakes”
When the first settlers along with Nathan Meeker came out to begin what became Greeley, they had a plan for what they wanted the town to become. Nathan Meeker came to the Colorado Territory with Robert A. Cameron and H.T. West to find a location for their town in April 1870. They wanted a utopia that had educated (people who had gone to school), religious (church-going), non-drinking people. They wanted families to farm using irrigation. They wanted men who held strong family values and worked in cooperation (together as a team) with each other. Greeley was the third community practicing temperance in the US. Greeley has had many interesting and diverse characters. One of the most colorful characters from Greeley's history was Rattlesnake Kate. Her life included several exciting adventures. The story of how she earned her nickname is the most famous one. Kate made a snakeskin dress. Kate knew how to cure animal skins so they could be kept. She used over 50 of the skins to make a flapper style dress. You may see the dress on display at the City Museum. She also used snake skins for a pair of shoes and a neck band. Kate would wear the dress to many functions. She later kept it inside a trunk where curious family members would sneak peeks at it. Before she died, she left it to the Greeley Museum along with other artifacts related to her rattlesnake legacy. Her home is pictured above.
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Greeley History Museum
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