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Sugar Beet Harvest Workers

Gale Whitman

Gale Whitman’s piano mural celebrates the sugar beet harvest and the immigrant workers who made it possible during the early 1900s.  In the early 1900s, Germans from Russia and Japanese workers were first recruited.   After 1920, Hispanic workers made up more of the workforce. Descendants of all these groups are among Fort Collins’ population. The front of the piano shows workers uprooting the beet plants, and the back shows the workers ‘topping’ the beets with handheld blades. In the background is a horse-drawn wagon ready to transport a load of beets to a railcar for delivery to the Great Western Sugar Factory.