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George Washington Carver Day Nursery Records

Identifier: WH950

Scope and Contents

Materials include minutes, reports, correspondence, financial records, student records, personnel records, photographs, and event programs and other ephemera. Includes materials of the George Washington Carver Day Nursery; the Negro Woman's Club Association of Denver; and various clubs comprising the NWCA, including the Carnation Art and Literary Club, the Pond Lily Art and Service Club, and the Taka Art and Literary Club. Also included in the collection are records related to the Mile High Child Care Association; and the Denver, Colorado, Northwest regional chapter, and national records of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs. Individuals represented in the collection include school directors Erma Ford and Nancy Ward, and Carver Board members, including Lillian S. Bondurant, Dorothy N. Reaves (also frequently listed as Dorothy Reeves), Ora B. Harvey, Mildred Westbrook, and others.


  • 1895-1988

Language of Materials

Material is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

The George Washington Carver Day Nursery was Denver’s first racially integrated daycare center, serving the needs of working parents in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood since 1916. Their early motto was that the school was "A Haven for the Children of Working Mothers." The nursery was founded by the Negro Woman’s Club Association of Denver in their clubhouse building, in response to the death of two neighborhood white children who died unattended at home while their parents worked. The original club building, located at 2357 Clarkson, housed the nursery school, a residential home for working women and their children, and multiple African American women’s social clubs. Both the school and the home charged low, sliding-scale fees for their services, and the women’s clubs supplemented this community service mission through club dues, donations, and fundraisers.

Eventually educating and caring for children from 2.5 to 12 years old, the school was an integral part of the Five Points neighborhood, and later the Whittier and City Park West neighborhoods. Many influential members of the area’s African American community served on the board of directors, and provided additional financial support to the school. The school was also partially supported for several decades by the United Way Fund.

In 1966, after fifty years of serving Denver families on Clarkson, the school moved to a new location at 2270 Humboldt, where the school remains in operation today. In 1972, George Washington Carver Day Nursery merged with several other day cares to form the Mile High Child Care Association, but the school maintained its unique name. The school has provided care and education for tens of thousands of Denver’s children for more than a century.

Erma L. Ford served the school as executive director from 1947-1980.


8 Boxes (8 linear feet)

3 OVBoxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Mrs. Ira Slack, George Washington Carver Day Nursery Inc.,Denver, Colorado, 1990.

Related Materials

Denver Public Library staff have curated an online photo gallery related to the school. It contains images from multiple collections.

You will find the gallery here:


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.

Laura Ruttum Senturia
June 2021
Description rules
Anglo American Cataloguing Rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States