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Colorado's San Juan Mountains are home to some of the most historic, and notorious, gold and silver mining towns in the West: Ouray, Silverton, Telluride, and Creede. For five centuries, the San Juans were the summer home to the Ute Indians. They were explored and claimed by Spaniards 250 years ago, and it has only been 150 years since they were entered and permanently settled by European Americans.
Probably above all else, the San Juan Mountains' legacy will be tied to the mining camps and towns that littered their terrain. The 1859 Pikes Peak gold rush brought the prospectors, followed by entrepreneurs of all stripes who opened saloons, hotels, and general stores. Still others came to practice their chosen professions: lawyers, newspaper editors, gamblers, and the occasional gunman. Two decades later, the rich silver veins in the San Juans were adding to the mining frenzy.
John Ninnemann's photographs illustrate the text and include the natural, and sometimes harsh, beauty of the area, narrow-gauge railroads, and mountain trails. Duane Smith, recognized historian of Colorado's mining areas, provides the history of the San Juan Mountains, the mining camps, boomtowns, and ghost towns.
Throughout the nineteenth century, miners were given virtually free rein to profit without having to worry about impacts to the land, water, and air. But during the twentieth century, the mining industry has evidenced serious concerns about its effects on the environment. Since the 1960s, mining and its consequences have become heated issues of public debate and legislative reform. By the mid-1970s, a number of industry hard-liners were still clinging to nineteenth-century values, but many more were accepting the legacy of mining's past and were beginning to integrate preservation and reclamation into their plans. 'Mining America" is a vivid account of the damage wrought by almost two centuries of mining, but its main focus is on the conflicting attitudes behind the destruction and on society's responses. Veteran author and historian Duane Smith asserts that the marriage of mining and environmental issues was bound to touch America's sensitive pocketbook nerve -- but the question now is, are all groups willing to pay the price?
"Horace Tabor: His Life and the Legend" is the first biography to give full attention to Tabor's mining, business, and political activities as well as to his matrimonial escapades. It is a careful and detailed portrait of a man so extraordinary that even in his own lifetime the facts were largely obscured behind the legend. Rarely has the Victorian American West, both good and bad, been better synopsized in the figure of one man.Show More an.Show Less
An 1858er who had spent nearly two decades following the will-o-the-wisp Colorado mining frontier, in 1876 Tabor was then living and working in out-of-the-way Oro City, near where Leadville would be one day. Soon thereafter came the Little Pittsburg silver strike, and Tabor's fortune took flight. Very quickly, Colorado - and the rest of the nation - was hearing about Horace Tabor. "Denver's lucky star was on high when Governor Tabor decided to spend his fortune here," praised the "Denver Tribune" in 1881. "The Leadville Daily Herald" (July 8, 1882) also understood his contribution: "Colorado has produced fortunes for many men, but no man who has met with success has so freely made investments in this state, as has Governor Tabor."
The events that followed that amazing silver discovery on Fryer Hill, May 1878 unfolded like a classic Greek tragedy. Tabor weathered them all, and his name has resounded through the succeeding decades. No other Coloradan of his generation is so well remembered, nor does anyone else so typify the tempo of this legendary mining era.
Over one hundred and thirty years ago, pioneers arriving in Colorado during the Civil War era brought the game of baseball to the high and dry Rocky Mountains frontier. From the days of games in pastures with no gloves to the high drama of Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies, baseball and Coloradans have had a love affair that has continued to flourish over the decades. In THEY CAME TO PLAY, historians and avid baseball fans Duane Smith and Mark Foster have collected the finest historic baseball photographs of teams, players, and games from around the state. They are all here, the town teams, company teams, early professional clubs, and the ethnic teams that made baseball an integral part of the life and times in Colorado's mountain towns, prairie hamlets, and bustling frontier cities. Combined with the wonderful photographs and captions is an essay that brings baseball's rich heritage in Colorado to life for the reader.
As early as the eighteenth century, Spanish explorers left
place-names, lost mines, and legends scattered throughout
Colorado's San Juan Mountains. In 1869 and the early 1870s the
legends lured hopeful prospectors to the area, ushering in its
greatest mining era and transforming it into one of the country's
most celebrated mining districts. Faced with a boom-bust economy,
unpredictable weather, and the risk of violent death, mining camps
and towns nevertheless struggled to institute local governments
that would address issues such as sanitation, the maintenance of
schools, and the enforcement of law and order.
In many ways, the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, more popularly known as the Chicago World's Fair, symbolized the American people's belief that today's glory and tomorrow's future rested with them, their country, and their democracy. A six-month extravaganza of education, entertainment, and amazement, it sparkled in the daytime and emerged at night, seductive and enchanting. The Fair aroused patriotism, pride, and a sense of achievement in almost all Americans, yet 1893 proved a troubling year for the United States, and for the young state of Colorado in particular. The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act created labor tension in the Colorado mines and contributed to a devastating national depression that would have a lingering impact on Colorado for years. In this heavily illustrated text, the authors trace the glory of the World's Fair and the impact it would have on Colorado, where Gilded Age excess clashed with the enthusiasm of westward expansion.
First produced at the Central City Opera House in 1956, "The Ballad of Baby Doe" is now widely considered a classic and is the second most produced American opera. In "The Ballad of Baby Doe, " Duane A. Smith tells the tale of the complicated birth of this most American of operas.
Inspired in 1953 by composer Douglas Moore's interest in Horace Tabor's story and funded by the Central City Opera House Association, the opera came together through a unique combination of hard work and serendipity. Smith relates how key people - including investors and historians in addition to creative talent - turned Moore's idea into a reality and brought the story of the Tabors to millions of opera fans worldwide. In addition, Smith compares the opera's libretto with historical reality, and the book even includes a chapter on the production written by John Moriarty, who conducted the opera in 1981, 1988, and 1996.
For anyone interested in opera history or this Colorado story in particular - the emblematic tale of silver millionaire Horace Tabor and the two women he married - "The Ballad of Baby Doe" will be the definitive history for years to come.
Serving longer in the U.S. Senate than any other Coloradan, Henry M. Teller was one of the Centennial State's greatest statesmen and political leaders. Now Duane A. Smith, author of "Horace Tabor: His Life and the Legend," rescues this larger-than-life figure from obscurity in this new and definitive biography of the Central City lawyer turned Colorado senator. Teller was a prime example of what a politician should be in an era when elected officials left a great deal to be desired. As Colorado's representative, Teller stated his beliefs and stuck by them. Not all agreed with him, but all admired him for his honesty and integrity. His legal career in Colorado encompassed much of the early legislation in the territory, such as developing mining law and the organization of the Colorado Central Railroad, while his Washington career touched on nearly every important western economic development issue that occurred in Colorado between 1876 and 1909. Teller declared to the U.S. Congress that Colorado was a part of the nation, and that the West deserved a say in its decisions. Incorporating extensive primary and secondary sources, federal documents, the Teller papers, a wealth of newspaper articles, and a superb array of photographs, Smith's biography will be a wonderful source for anyone interested in Colorado history and the political past of the state and nation.
Chronicling the people, places, and events of the state's colourful history, this is the story of how Colorado grew up. Through booms and busts in farming and ranching, mining and railroading, and water and oil, Colorado's past is a cycle of ups and downs as high as the state's peaks and as low as its canyons. The second edition is the result of a major revision, with updates on all material, two new chapters, and ninety new photos. Containing more than a humdrum history, each chapter is followed by questions, suggested activities, recommended reading, a 'Did you know' trivia section, and recommended websites, movies, and other multimedia that highlight the important concepts covered and lead the reader to more information. Additionally, the book is filled with photographs, making this a fantastic text for middle and high school Colorado history courses.
"Few Americans at the end of the Mexican War in 1848 dreamed of the vast mineral potential of the country they had wrested from their southern neighbor," writes Duane A. Smith, author of Rocky Mountain Mining Camps. "Few would have believed that within a generation this land would be criss-crossed by prospectors in search of gold and silver, that valuable deposits would be found, and that permanent settlement would rapidly follow." Yet, from the first gold rush into the Rockies in 1859 to the "playing out" of most of the area's gold fields in the 1890s, a previously unsettled wilderness experienced urbanization and some crude, Western mining camps were transformed into burgeoning cities overnight. In this absorbing history of a number of Rocky Mountain mining settlements, Smith traces the cycle of this frontier phenomenon as camps pop up, experience the uncontrolled booms associated with gold and silver discoveries, and either die with the depletion of resources or survive as permanent agricultural and mining communities.
The historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado, founded in 1874, lies in Bakers Park and is ringed by 12,000 and 13,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains. However, it was not the beautiful scenery but rather the highly mineralized veins that lay in the nearby mountains that attracted the early prospectors. The town really came into prominence with the arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in July 1882. three other narrow gauge lines were eventually built ut of the city, which drew business to the San Juans for nearly a century. When the silver bust of 1893 occurred, Silverton was not greatly affected as vast amounts of gold had been discovered in the nearby mines. Mining continued to dominate the economy until the 1980s, but tourism is now the main economic factor for Silverton. Duane Smith had done a marvelous job of explaining the historic nature of the local mining, which can still be enjoyed in the form of mine and mill tours, trips to the local museums, or exploring ruins in the nearby high country.
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge -- A Quick History, sets the scene for the historcal and still present Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The land, the people, the events included in this book bring the colorful history of railroading in Southwest Colorado to life, and provides a way to relive "yesterday's" train ride today, traveling through some of the most pristene and beautiful scenery in Colorado.
"Time for Peace", historian Duane Smith's chronicle of southwest Colorado's Fort Lewis, belies the Western myth of soldiers riding out from isolated posts to rescue wagon trains and protect pioneer towns. Long on daily routine and blissfully short on action, Fort Lewis lost nary a soldier in battle. Nevertheless, it was influential in the settlement of the West. Fort Lewis and its contemporaries provided an economic windfall, a sense of security, and a cultural hub for settlers. The presence of Fort Lewis in the four corners region of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah attracted farmers, businesspeople, and ranchers to settle the area. The fort's social season, band, and baseball team helped make this rugged outpost an agreeable destination. The men who served at Fort Lewis, who made up a diverse cross-section of nineteenth-century America, served for little pay and poor food. With Smith's history, their contribution to the settlement of the West is recognised at last. Readers interested in Western and military history and in Colorado will enjoy this long-untold story.
Originally published in 1988, Mesa Verde National Park: Shadows of the Centuries is an engaging and artfully illustrated history of an enigmatic assemblage of canyons and mesas tucked into the south-western corner of Colorado. Duane A. Smith recounts the dramatic 1888 "discovery" of the cliff dwellings and other Anasazi ruins and the ensuing twenty-year campaign to preserve them. Smith also details the resulting creation of a national park in 1906 and assesses the impact of more recent developments -- railroads and highways, air pollution, and the growing significance of tourism -- on the park's financial and ecological vitality. This revised and completely redesigned edition includes more than 50 illustrations and will be enjoyed by readers interested in environmental, Western, and Colorado history.
Historian Duane A Smith details Colorado's mining saga - a story that stretches from the beginning of the gold and silver mining rush in the mid-nineteenth century into the twenty-first century. Gold and silver mining laid the foundation for Colorado's economy, and 1859 marked the beginning of a fever for these precious metals. Mining changed the state and its people forever, affecting settlement, territorial status, statehood, publicity, development, investment, economy, jobs both in and outside the industry, transportation, tourism, advances in mining and smelting technology, and urbanisation. Moreover, the first generation of Colorado mining brought a fascinating collection of people and a new era to the region. Written in a lively manner by one of Colorado's pre-eminent historians, this book honours the 2009 sesquicentennial of Colorado's gold rush. Smith's narrative will appeal to anybody with an interest in the state's fascinating mining history over the past 150 years.
In her pulchritudinous prime Baby Doe was called the Silver Queen of Colorado by journalists and "that shameless hussy" by the proper wives of the men who eyed her. Flirtatious, adventurous, ambitious, Elizabeth McCourt Doe gave everyone a lot to talk about when she met Horace Tabor, the Silver King of Leadville, in 1880. Three years later they were free to legalize their passion. Although thirty years separated them, they were well matched in romantic recklessness. If "The Legend of Baby Doe" is the lowdown on the high jinks of two public lives, it is also the story of a love that survived spectacularly good times and bad.
Before bad times came, Baby and Horace went on a spending spree. They built an opulent opera house in Denver and bought an Italian-ate villa. Baby Doe went out bejeweled and ermined, and sat at home alone, snubbed by the social dragons. John Burke has written about the giddy rise of a bonanza king who dreamed of entering the White House with Baby Doe on his arm and about the disastrous fall they took together. Wiped out by unwise investments and the Panic of 1893, Tabor soon died, leaving Baby Doe and their two daughters penniless. Reportedly, his deathbed order was to "hang on to the Matchless," a played-out mine filled with water. She managed to do that for almost four decades, struggling heroically against loneliness, poverty, and heartbreak, and becoming one of the great legends of the American West.
The house didn't know it was evil. How could It? It barely knew how to control peoples' thoughts. But when it came to eating Hahn House was well versed in the art. An ancient house holding an even more ancient evil attracts its food with sweet thoughts much like the Venus Fly-Trap attracts its food with an alluring smell. And, like that carnivorous plant, the house takes in and devours its prey.
As one of the great mining regions of Colorado and the United States, the San Juan Mountains provide insight into the development of both the industry and the state. First published in 1982, Song of the Hammer and Drill, with the help of more than 100 historical photographs, traces the mining and urban history of the San Juans from 1860 to 1914 through the lives of the people who opened, settled, and developed the beautiful but rugged mineral-rich peaks of southwestern Colorado.
This is a lively history of three Rocky Mountain states in the twentieth century. With the sure hand of an experienced writer and the engaging voice of a veteran storyteller, the well-known historian Duane Smith recounts the major social, political, and economic events of the period with verve and zest. It is obvious that Smith is thoroughly familiar with his subject and has a genuine enthusiasm for the history of the region. Written with the general reader in mind, Rocky Mountain Heartland will appeal to students, teachers, and , rmchair historians? of all ages. This is the colorful saga of how the Old West became the New West. Beginning at the end of the nineteenth century and concluding after the turn of the twentyfirst, Rocky Mountain Heartland explains how Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming evolved over the course of the century. Smith is mindful of all the factors that propelled the region: mining, agriculture, water, immigration, tourism, technology, and two world wars. And he points out how the three states responded in varying ways to each of these forces. Although this is a regional story, Smith never loses sight of the national events that influenced events in the region. As Smith skillfully shows, the vast natural resources of the three states attracted optimistic, hopeful Americans intent on getting rich, enjoying the outdoors, or creating new lives for themselves and their families. How they resolved these often conflicting goals is the modern story of the Rocky Mountain region.
Revised and updated, Duane A. Smith's classic study of this important silver mining town is back in print.
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