Behind the Design of the City of Greeley Museums’ Rattlesnake Kate T-Shirt

Fascinating, larger-than-life stories of the early 20th century await visitors at the City of Greeley Museums. One well-known Northern Colorado tale is how one pioneer woman, Kate Slaughterback, fought for her life against hundreds of rattlesnakes. Her victory led to the nickname “Rattlesnake Kate,” and her story continues to be told today.

The City of Greeley Museums’ team is finding new ways to share Northern Colorado history and the stories of people like “Rattlesnake Kate.” With the help of graphic artist and University of Northern Colorado alumnus Jordan Nicholson, the museum team created a custom graphic design of the well-known pioneer woman.

“I had a lot of fun working on the design,” Nicholson said. “Kate is such a larger-than-life character, and we wanted to bring that across.”

The artwork, placed on limited edition t-shirts, stays true to Kate’s well-known style. She wears a western-style hat and a look of determination. The art is a tribute to the “Colorado grit” Kate is known for.

A Graphic Artist with Ties to Greeley

Nicholson, a Colorado native, graduated from UNC in 2009. Even after moving away from Greeley, he loves coming back to visit friends and his favorite local spots.

“Greeley is where many life-changing events and decisions happened for me,” Nicholson said. “Being able to reconnect with the city and its history through art has been an exciting opportunity.”

For graphic design inquiries or to view Nicholson’s portfolio, visit

A Story Stranger Than Fiction

The legend of Kate Slaughterback taking down 140 rattlesnakes to save her son and horse is far from a tall tale. Kate’s victory resulted in her iconic name and a place in Greeley’s history books. Her infamy recently enjoyed a brief renaissance with the premiere of the musical “Rattlesnake Kate,” which was composed by cellist Neyla Pekarek (another UNC alum and former member of The Lumineers). Her pioneering spirit continues to inspire and pave the way for other notable Greeley women today.

Interested in buying a Rattlesnake Kate T-shirt? Visit the Greeley History Museum (714 8th Street). Limited edition shirts are available while supplies last.