GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Most people drive past the Grand Junction Regional Center on Riverside Parkway every day without knowing the history behind the buildings that house it.
In the late 1800’s, the group of buildings was known as the Teller Institute, a school created to assimilate young Native American children. Opening the school was controversial at first, but it was eventually opened in 1886 and had students until 1911.
Archaeology Professor with CMU, John Seebach, says the Teller Institute was part of a nationwide effort to assimilate Native American children into a dominant Euro-American society. Not only were students forced to attend the school, but harsh methods were used to keep the children at the boarding schools. Grand Junction historian Dave Fishell says there are legends that say one young man escaped but was brought back to Teller Institute tied to the back of a horse.
Stay tuned for an in-depth look at the mysteries surrounding the Teller Institute, and what the future of these buildings will entail.