It’s a never-ending debate amongst the denizens of Denver: Is Wynkoop pronounced “win-koop” or “wine-koop”?
While we were inspecting this illustration of Denver from 1889, we noticed something we thought might settle the debate. Wynkoop Street is labeled “Winkoop.”
Before consulting an expert, we thought we’d put the question to Twitter.
It turns out you’re all wrong. Or you’re all right. It’s probably a little bit of both. Everybody is wins and loses in this crazy life.
The correct pronunciation depends on whether you’re referring to the street or the brewery, says Shannon Schaefer, outreach and tour coordinator for Historic Denver.
“It is ‘wine-koop’ street and it’s ‘win-koop’ brewery,” she said. “The pronunciation of Wynkoop [Street] is the actual person’s name that the street was named after.”
So, that old map is misleading.
Schaefer said that one of Historic Denver’s volunteers spoke with Gov. Hickenlooper, who said the pronunciation was changed for his brewery so it wouldn’t have the word “wine” in it. They specialize in beer, you see.
The street is named for General Edward W. Wynkoop, who came to the Colorado mining settlements after being appointed sheriff of Arapaho County in the mid-1800s, according to the National Parks Service. During the Civil War, he was an ally to the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, and two years after the Sand Creek Massacre, President Andrew Johnson appointed him as a special agent to the two tribes. You can read more about him from the NPS here.
Now, go forth to Wynkoop Brewing Co. and start correcting people. They’ll thank you, we swear.