The bagpiping blacksmith

The 100th anniversary photo series continues with a look at a blacksmith with a very particular set of musical skills.

March 19, 2018 | By: TAP Staff
Colin Ross: The bagpiping blacksmith.
Colin Ross: The bagpiping blacksmith.


In 2018, Denver Water is celebrating its 100th anniversary — a milestone that will usher in a new century of innovation, foresight and commitment to you, our customers.

We’ve seen and done a lot in the last century, much of which has been captured in photographs. So, throughout the year, we are hand-picking a series of historical photos that help share different parts of Denver Water’s storied history.

This month, we’re looking back at the March 1935 edition of Denver Water’s flagship newsletter — WaterNews — and a feature on Colin J. Ross, a Denver Water blacksmith who had an affinity for playing Scottish bagpipes.

Take a look at the full article below. The most entertaining line comes in the third paragraph:

“Eloquent and sincere testimony was voiced by one of the Commissioners, who remarked that ‘this is the first time I’ve ever heard anyone play a tune on one of the things.’”

We don’t know who said it, but we do know the 1935 Board of Water Commissioners consisted of Richard Wensley, Herbert S. Sands, Frederick R. Ross, A.P. Gumlick and Karl C. Brauns. One of them was clearly not a huge fan of the bagpipe.

News clip from Denver Water News regarding Hosse permit from 1935.

4 thoughts on “The bagpiping blacksmith”

  1. Well! The article on the bagpiping blacksmith was certainly interesting…. I think we need an article about the history of watering restrictions! One day permits to use a hose!! But buckets are okay. Omigosh. Residents today would go nuts!!

    1. Thanks, Beth! And, fun idea on the history of water use rules; we’ll add it to our editorial calendar for discussion.

  2. Thank you for running this historic piece. It made my 84 year-old father, Don Anderson, very happy. Colin Ross was his grandfather. We are all proud and excited to have the story live on as part of Denver history. -Appreciatively, Wade Anderson

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