Fake News or Storytelling

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

In the 1870s the Signal Corps decided they would place a signal station on the top of Pikes Peak. Once the building was completed, the hardy men who lived up there set about doing their job. Since no one in the United States had lived at the altitude of 14,000+ feet, the stories the men told of finding animals living that high were met with wonder.

One story from the Colorado Springs Weekly Gazette told of a ‘monster’ swimming in the lake just down from the summit made the editorial from December 12, 1873. The piece further stated that the Ute’s who lived in the mountains had a “Tradition of the lake being inhabited by a large and terrible demon, which has devoured several of their number in years gone by, and whose anger and evil influence they are always anxious to appease; it is almost impossible, in fact, to get to you to pass near the shores of Lake. Be this as it may, Mr. S declares that the animal is positively there, and that his statement will yet be verified by others.”

pikes peak signal station usgs image
Pikes Peak Signal Station from USGS files pikespeak.us.com

From these humble beginnings, which started out as information from the men stationed on the Peak, one Sargent O’Keefe built stories that enthralled a nation and perhaps the world in 1876 and onward. To this day, there are still photos and stories from his writings that catch people with their believability.  He told of  fighting off rats along with his wife, but they were unable to save their baby.  He later told of killing seventeen deer with a .32 caliber Smith & Wesson and then tying them to his mule Balaam who with the Sargent went through 20′ drifts of snow on the way to the summit. The worthy Sargent continued his stories, to include the Pikes Peak Volcano erupting, his donkey going on a bender, etc. 

For those who would like to read the complete ‘stories’ you can find them at this link: The Pikes Peak Prevaricator  (Scroll down to this title)

Even though editorials were run denying the truth of O’Keefe’s story, explaining his Rat Story was merely a ‘clever hoax’, people who traveled to the top of Pikes Peak wanted to know about the rats and see the grave & monument.

When Sargent O’Keefe was released from service, there were those who wrote editorials that he was being let go because he was more popular than anyone else in service at the time.  When he passed away on 1895 the following ‘obituary’ was a carried in the local Colorado springs newspaper: 

“Sgt. O’Keefe, once famous as the officer in command of the Pike’s Peak signal station died in Denver Saturday night of stomach trouble. At the time of his death was serving as the stoker of a fire engine in Denver and leaves a wife and son. He was about 40 years of age. O’Keefe spent two years at the Naval school in Annapolis, was discharged for hazing: then he joined the signal service and was sent to take charge of the Pike’s Peak station soon after it was located; after leaving the service about 1882 he went into the railroad railway mail service, in which he served for years and was very a very efficient man. O’Keefe is well remembered by the older residents of this city with whom he was a great favorite. He it was concocted so many “fake” stories about the old Peak. It was his custom to come down off the hill and spent his time loafing around the newspaper offices. He was a great favorite with old Major Price, who conducted a paper here in the early days and he it was who gave them circulation mostly, although many of them appeared in the Gazette. It was O’Keefe who started the story about a volcano in the peak and the possibility of an eruption. It cause so much comment that even the Scientific American discussed it. His rat story is too well-known for comment, and to this day [1895] the fiction of the grave of “Bryn O’Keefe” is kept on the summit of the Peak.”

At the time of the story of the “Rat”, many articles were published by scientists to disprove his story. None the less people seemed more ready to believe a good story rather than ‘dry truth’.

Hope you enjoyed this story from the past that still echoes today. As you know I have a story in the anthology “One Yuletide Knight” and watch for a new novel coming out the beginning of the year. That is a story of chasing a chance to reclaim a dream. It is a historical western romance.

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and rest of the Holiday season.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

Every step you take should be a prayer.
And if every step you take is a prayer then you will always be walking in a sacred manner. 
Oglala Lakota Holyman.

Old West Entertainers

Post by Doris McCraw

Doris

I love entertainment; movies, plays, opera, and symphony along with so many other forms. One thing I always stop and read when I’m researching is the entertainment that those in the 1800s enjoyed. Since I’ve been in the ‘stacks’ lately researching an outlaw for an upcoming presentation and paper, I thought I’d share some ‘lighter’ news.

Many think of the Old West as cowboys, outlaws, and generally an overall free for all. That was not always the case. There were many a traveling company who were available and put on many shows across the Western states. You also individual entertainers who ‘rode the circuit’.

In Colorado Springs in 1881, the town was treated to a presentation of Camille.  You can follow the link to the ‘review’ of the event. camille in colorado springs 1881

How about the “Old Time Medicine Show”? Back Stage with a Medicine Show Fifty Years Ago by William P Burt is an article from the Colorado Magazine from July 1942. If you would like to read the article, and I suggest you do, follow this link: http://www.historycolorado.org/sites/default/files/files/Researchers/ColoradoMagazine_v19n4_July1942.pdf

Back then, there was no television, radio let alone computers and streaming. Many people found ways to entertain themselves with dances, musical recitals. If you look at the city directories of the day, you would find a number of musicians and actors offering their services as teachers. I suppose dreams of making it were just a valid back then as now.

You had people like Lilly Langtree, Sarah Bernhardt, Eddie Foy, Blind Tom, Lotta Crabtree and many a traveling theater companies. Of course there were the Booth’s, one of whom became famous for his actions as opposed to his talents, which from reviews of the day were considerable.

So the next time you turn on the television, radio or listen to your device, remember the ‘entertainers’ who became famous in the early day. Maybe even check out your own newspapers to find out who entertained folks back in the day. You may be surprised.

And to book release news, I’ve a story in the newly released Medieval anthology “One Yuletide Knight” from Prairie Rose Publications.

One Yuletide Knight by [Macgillivray, Deborah , Townsend, Lindsay, Breeding, Cynthia, Raines, Angela, Kincaid, Keena, Sherry-Crews, Patti, Wells, Beverly, Thompson, Dawn]
http://amzn.to/2lVmma1
Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

 

RESPECT

post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

If anyone has followed my timeline on Facebook, they would have seen the post about the theft at Colorado Springs Evergreen Cemetery. Someone came in and stole the metal fencing from around a small grave in the pioneer section. The headstone, which was leaning against the fencing is now lying on the ground, having been damaged at some time in the past.

I’ve thought about this act of ‘violation’ since the event. It also brought back memories of working with delinquent teens. There were times during my conversations with those teens, while they were in lock-up, where I would ask them why they thought it was acceptable to take from others. Usually they would say something like, ‘I wanted it’, or ‘they had more than they needed’. When asked how they would feel if someone took their things, they would get defensive and say that no one should touch their stuff. There was a total disconnect from what they were doing and how it made them feel if it happened to them.

The grave that had the fencing stolen was from a young girl, Ida May Cumming, who died on August 6, 1879 in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Her parents were J. (John) F. Cumming and T. Cumming. He was a teamster according to the city directory. The newspaper gave her age as 5, but the record I found of the actual burial stated she was 3 years, 6 months and 18 days. There is no record of her parents burial in the cemetery.

The above event and memories bring up a feeling of frustration that respect has flown out the window. I agree, we can’t keep everything, but to lose history because someone wants what belongs to someone else hurts. Do people have no respect for that which is outside themselves because they have none themselves? Is it that they feel entitled? I don’t know. I do know somewhere something was lost, and perhaps it’s time we started bringing it back by showing and expecting respect for ourselves, others and our history.

One commenter on my page told of two young men who were caught being disrespectful and destructive in their local cemetery. They had to research and write about the people whose stones they had damaged, and present it to the public. Some may say, ‘they are dead, they don’t care’, but if we chose to not care, then what happens to our caring about the living?

Do I have the answer? No, but I feel by asking the questions I get closer to answers, and that is important. We can’t fix it if we don’t ask and listen for answers. It is not a one size fits all, except the part about respect. As Aretha Franklin sang, “All I’m asking is for a little respect”.

Angela Raines FB photo 
Doris Gardner-McCraw –

Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History
Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines Facebook: Click Here

 

 

History’s Value

post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

I had the privilege to attend the 14th annual Pikes Peak Library District’s History Symposium.  The topic this year was “Enduring Legacies and Forgotten Landmarks, the Built Environment of the Pikes Peak Region”.  You can view a portion of it on face book here: https://www.facebook.com/PikesPeakLibraryDistrict

As I sat and listened, along with timing the speakers, I realized that despite my love and research into history, there was so much I didn’t know.  I spend a lot of time focusing on the lives and stories of people, but the day brought home how much our environment is a part of that story.

Santa Fe 253
Hospital in Santa Fe, refitted as a hotel

As I listened to how architects saw and shaped the buildings in our world, I thought of how we as authors shape the world we see through our words.  As the day wore on, it became apparent that sometimes the built environment is the marker of our past. The Santa Fe Trail, which became a railroad then highway and how those changes brought a difference to the area. The building of NORAD, the Western Federation of Miners building, which was the touchstone for those who wanted better wages and working conditions, all are there for us to learn from.

Sometimes the environment creates the people who live there, as is the case of “Salt Creek” in Pueblo, Colorado. The area helped to build the lives of those who made it their home.

The end of the day was a look at the Rural Cemetery movement and our own Evergreen Cemetery. As the speaker said, cemeteries are not the end of history, but the beginning. So as you walk, drive and ride through this world, take a moment to think about and honor the built environment around you. Think about it as you write the words that are in your heart and mind, and let their auras seep into your life.

 

 Doris Gardner-McCraw writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

 

 

 

Disasters

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

Disasters! You may be thinking I’m out of my mind, especially with all the media covering the events of the last few years. Well, that’s exactly why I am writing about disasters.

You see, the local library district released their book “Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region”, based on the history symposium that took place in June of 2012, just before the Waldo Canyon fire devastated a portion of the northwest section of Colorado Springs. This was followed by the Black Forest Fire of 2013, and the flooding in Manitou Springs.

DisastersCover.jpg

The book’s publication was delayed to include the above incidents. My chapter discussed an 35 million year disaster, which was the volcano that created the Cripple Creek/Victor gold. That event created so much good or bad, depending on what you want to focus on.

Let’s take a look at that phrase, “what you focus on”. I am not saying that disasters are not devastating, but they usually are not all-consuming. When both Waldo, and Black Forest occurred, many people asked if I was okay. Yes, I was. Both were a good 10-25 miles away from where I lived. The possibility of it coming to where I lived was remote at best. 

When I and my neighbors lost our basements due to flooding, was the rest of the area impacted. No, just select areas. You see that is the thing about media and disasters, they tell the story of the worst part of the event, as they should, but we as listeners should remember, it’s what they focus on.

HEART STORY

Writers, when telling their stories, it’s the events they want to tell about, it’s the disasters, challenges, that they focus on. Is it wrong? No. But remember, it’s what we chose to focus on that keeps us in that space. So, chose your focus wisely and remember, there is a large world out there in which disasters are a part, but not the whole picture. 

Doris Gardner-McCraw writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines – FaceBook: Click Here

 

 

Early Days On The West Side of Pikes Peak

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

With the release of the latest Pikes Peak Library Districts History Symposium book, “Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region”, I thought I’d share a bit from my chapter, ‘ The Cripple Creek Volcano: a thirty-five million year disaster’.

goldfield east of Battle Mountain
Goldfield fromeast side of Battle Mountain. Cripple Creek District, Teller County, Colorado.     October 7, 1903 (USGS image)

Early Days in the Region:
Some of the earliest people in the region were probably the Utes and various other Native American tribes. There is little written about that time and what is known is mostly supposition. It appears there may have been found some artifacts from the native people around the Mt. Pisgah area and that it may have been used as a signal mountain for those early inhabitants. Between 1842 and 1844 Capt. John C. Fremont explored the region and his travels around Pikes Peak took him into the Cripple Creek area. As the ’59r’s headed toward South Park and the mines up there, they traveled just north of the Cripple Creek area.
During the 1871 Hayden survey there was some gold specimens found by a member of that survey, but nothing of any impact came from that find. In 1874 H.T. Wood, of the same Hayden survey party, returned to the Cripple Creek district and he along with other prospectors set about trying to find gold. Wood organized the district under the name of Mt. Pisgah. The hunt was on to find the source of the gold ‘float’ that lead to one of the first ‘runs’ for gold in the Cripple Creek-Victor district. Despite this groups quest, no one was successful in finding the source.
In 1884 a second discovery started yet another rush to the area. In this rush there were as many as 5,000 people, looking for their own pots of gold, who came to the area in search of that elusive prize. The founder of this rush, one ‘Chicken Bill’ as he was known, was found to have ‘salted’ the area and barely escaped lynching. For those who don’t know what ‘salting’ is, it is the process of adding gold or silver to change the value of the ore with intent to deceive potential buyers.

 

mt pisgah
Mt. Pisgah near Cripple Creek

Early Settlers:

One of the early families that moved into the Cripple Creek area was the Welty family. At the time the Welty’s arrived in the area, it had not been surveyed for homesteading, so technically they were squatters.. Welty and his sons built a cabin and corral near to the stream, around the year 1871.
The next family to arrive was the Womack family. The Womack’s purchased the Welty squatter rights for $500 and claimed a second homestead two miles south of the Cripple Creek stream with Womack’s son Robert (Bob) building a cabin at the bottom of a ravine the Hayden Survey called Poverty Gulch.
Although other families squatted or homesteaded in the region by the mid 1880’s most of the settlers had left and/or returned to their places located on the plains east of Colorado Springs. This eastern plains as part of the Pikes Peak region had become active in the cattle and sheep industry which was thriving in the 1870’s. The abandoned homesteads were purchased by the Pikes Peak Land and Cattle Company, a partnership composed of three local residents and Phillip Elsworth, an eastern glove manufacturer. When Elsworth visited the area in 1885 he felt his partners had misrepresented the companies holdings. He forced them to quit claim their shares and then put the land up for sale. It was purchased by the Denver real estate firm of Horace W. Bennett & Julius A. Myers for $5,000 down and $20,000 if and when it could be paid. These same two men would be in the right place at the right time when the real gold rush began in the Cripple Creek-Victor Gold Mining District.

pikes peak near colorado city 1870
Pikes Peak from near Colorado City 1870 (USGS image)

For those who are interested the book can be purchased from Amazon here: Here

Doris McCraw who also writes under the pen name Angela Raines is an Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in Colorado and Women’s History

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here

Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Here

Every step you take should be a prayer.
And if every step you take is a prayer then you will always be walking in a sacred manner.
Oglala Lakota Holyman.

 

 

Early Christmas, Colorado Style

Post (c) by Doris McCraw – writing as Angela Raines

Doris

I have a novella coming out on December 8, 2016. It is available for pre-order now. It takes place in my fictional town of Agate Gulch during the Christmas season.:http://amzn.to/2h8HgiS

the-gift-of-forgiveness-a-raines-web-3

In honor of that story, I thought I would re-share some of the early Colorado Christmas stories I have found in my research. So here for your enjoyment “Early Colorado Christmas”

Let’s start in what is now the city of Denver. On November 22, 1858 Denver, Colorado was founded. That Christmas records show there were about two hundred men and five women, four of which were married. There were also a few children of various ages. This area was actually composed of two different camps and both were planning festivities. Both were planning meals. One German couple in one camp planned to have a tree with candles, a tradition on their native country, to be shared with others in the camp. The second camp had a meal of buffalo, rabbit, wild turkey with rice pudding, peach and apple pie. To quote one source “That Christmas morning was ‘soft and genial’ as a May-day…”. For others it was a day of partying, thanks Uncle Dick Wootton, who brought the ‘Taos Lightening’.

Another story from those early days is of a family who were living near the Arkansas river, near the cut off to Monarch Pass. In 1863 the family had been working a mining claim when they were cut off due to a heavy snow storm. With plenty of food, their biggest problem was lack of variety. The story is, one of the daughters brought out the good china, brought from Nebraska, and the family sat down to a feast of: mock turkey (made from beef), beans, and coffee made from browned bran. The children served their parents, who were the guest of honor at this celebration.

10-25-09-6
(c) from authors colection

Even as early as 1842, records show that the Colorado territory had holiday celebrations. The mountain men/trappers in the northern area where Colorado and Utah meet, celebrated with the Indians of the region. Here is the record of the meal these early pioneers had: appalost (lean meat and fat roasted of a low fire on a stick), buffalo cider (liquid found in the buffalo’s stomach), washena (pulverized dried meat and marrow) and pomme blanc (a type of root vegetable, sometimes called a white apple)

By 1888 in Leadville, the meal was larger and much more festive. One advertisement for a local saloon, ‘Dick Berryman’s’ said their Christmas meal would consist of: Possum, turkey, roast pig, sweet potatoes and corn dodgers. Even at 10,152 feet, they knew how to eat and celebrate. This is especially telling, for winters at this altitude were brutal, such as the storms of 1885. It took some hardy people to stay there.

Most people loved the beauty of Colorado in winter. It can be a varied as sun on the plains and snowstorms in the mountains. Isabella Bird from her book on her trip in the 1870s commented “I think I never saw such a brilliant atmosphere. That curious phenomena called frost-fall was occurring in which, whatever moisture may exist in the air, somehow aggregates into feather and fern leaves, the loveliest of creations, only seen in rarefied air and intense cold. One breath and they vanish. The air was filled with diamond sparks quite intangible. They seemed just glitter and no more. It was still and cloudless, and the shapes of violet mountains were softened by a veil of the tenderest blue.”

Wishing each and everyone a wonderful Christmas.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

 

 

Post written (c) Doris McCraw

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For those in the United States, September 5, 2015 is the celebration of Labor Day. For many it’s the last hurrah of summer, the time to get the last camping trip in. For others it’s a day of food, fun and in Colorado Springs, the balloon lift-off.

WEEKEND BLUES

According to the Department of Labor website: Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

On that same website they talk about the legislation: Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

AGATE GU;CH

I share this in preface to the Labor War in Cripple Creek/Victor Colorado of 1903-4. Here then is a bit about labor and one event with ‘Just the Facts‘ as they used to say in the show ‘Dragnet‘.

On June 6, 1904, twenty-seven non-union miners, having finished their shift, were waiting at the train depot at Independence, Colorado. This depot near the Independence mine, had a 2:15 am train that would take these men home. Just prior to the trains arrival an explosion ripped through the platform, killing thirteen of the men and wounding six.

Those are the facts of the incident, they can’t be disputed. Nothing can change the outcome of that night. While fiction writers can use the event as a starting point, historians have to work with ‘just the facts’. But those facts can and have opened a can of worms when trying to make sense of what and why it happened. The facts and events leading up to and after the tragedy are murky at best.

In 1903-04 the Cripple Creek-Victor, Colorado mining district was going through the throes of yet another ‘labor war’. Ten years earlier the miners had won the right to an eight-hour, day with a wage $3.00 per said day. This strike started out as with the miners striking in sympathy for their ‘brother’ workers at the smelters in Colorado City, Colorado.

Events leading up to the explosion had been building almost two years with no resolution between the mine owners and the striking miners. The owners had brought in non-union workers to work the mines and break the union. After the explosion on June 6, the sheriff at the time investigated the incident, but before he could act he was removed from office by the Mine Owners Association (MOA) and the Citizen Alliance (CA). Some people believe he was removed due to his sympathy to the miners. The MOA and CA, it is said, believed he could not be an impartial. This action eventually lead to a riot in the streets of Victor which added a more to the total killed or wounded. In this strike the mine owners won, and the union labor lost. The opposite results from the 1894 strike.
Some historians think the CA and MOA planted the bomb to bring about the outcome that occurred. There is evidence that this may have been the case.

There are others who believe that the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) planted the bomb to get back at the non-union workers. Evidence shows this also may have been the case.

Historians need to weigh the facts, look at the sources. Even with all the ‘facts’ they may never get a definitive answer. The writer has the luxury of choosing a side and then proceed to tell the story.

There may never be an answer to this set of ‘facts’. Too many years and lost information make an answer an impossibility. We as writers and storytellers may use these ‘facts’ and create a story that might be closer to the truth. In the meantime, the historians are stuck with “just the facts”.

Labor Day, it can mean a lot, or just another holiday. Neither is wrong, but a bit of history never hurts.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

I’ve had two stories from anthologies released as singles. Enjoy!

Lost Knight cover
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never cover option

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Angel Of Salvation Valley ARaines Web (2)

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Colorado Day

Post by Doris McCraw

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August 1 is Colorado Day. For many years the state of Colorado celebrated big on this day, but over the years many have forgotten what the celebration stands for, not that they don’t celebrate. To let you in on the reason, it was on this day in 1876 that Colorado became the 38th state in the Union, hence the name “The Centennial State”. Yes, I believe Michner took that piece of information to name is book about Colorado “Centennial”.

So what do Coloradans do to celebrate? Well, we allow everyone to visit any of our forty-two state parks and 350 wildlife areas for free. The rest of us, well, we’ll go to work.

NAVIGATE

In honor of this day, I’ll share some tidbits about this ‘Colorful’ state.

  1. At 104,094 square miles, Colorado is the eighth largest state in terms of land.
  2. The state is named for the Colorado River, which got its name for the ruddy silt Spanish travelers saw in the water.
  3. Colorado has over 50 peaks above 14,000 feet. The tallest is Mount Elbert, near Leadville, Colorado at 14,439 feet.
  4. Pikes Peak is the tallest peak, 14, 115 feet, in the Southern Front Range. The nearest mountain peak its height or taller is at least sevety miles away. It is one of the few fourteeners in Colorado that has no other peak of its altitude nearby.
  5. For a number of years it was believed the mountains in Colorado could not be crossed by the people traveling west with their wagons.
  6. Colorado is the only U.S. state that lies entirely above 1000 meters elevation. Its lowest point, 3,317 feet (1,011 m) in elevation is the highest low elevation point of any state, and is higher than the highest elevation points of 18 states. Colorado contains 75% of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet
  7. Pikes Peak Cog Railway is the highest cog railway train in the world.
  8. The world’s largest flat-top mountain is the ‘Grand Mesa’ in western Colorado
  9. The Dwight Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel between Clear Creek and Summit counties is the highest auto tunnel in the world. Bored at an elevation of 11,000 feet under the Continental Divide it is 8,960 feet long and the average daily traffic exceeds 26,000 vehicles
  10. The tallest sand dune in America is in Great Sand Dunes National Monument outside of Alamosa. This bizarre 46,000-acre landscape of 700-foot sand peaks was the creation of ocean waters and wind more than one million years ago

I’ll throw in an eleventh one for fun: 11. Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,430 feet elevation. Because there was lots of ‘silver’ named towns at the time, the founding fathers suggested Leadville

PICK UP

For those of you who would enjoy more about my adopted state, here are some links you might like to check out:

http://www.colorado.com/articles/what-are-14ers

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/how-do-you-say-that-in-colorado-check-out-the-correct-pronunciations

https://www.southernute-nsn.gov/history/https://www.southernute-nsn.gov/history/

and last a video on the ‘Prayer Trees in Fox Run Park’ near Colorado Springs. https://youtu.be/3LkYQbcnlkEhttps://youtu.be/3LkYQbcnlkE

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Angela Raines Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Current Publications Available:

“One Hot Knight” Summer Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.to/29DaO5B

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.com/B017Z2BLH6

“Angel of Salvation Valley”
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“A COWBOY CELEBRATION”
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HOME FOR HIS HEART
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Is It Worth Saving?

Post copyright by Doris McCraw

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For those who wonder, the program went well in Victor on March 19. Great audience and I was gifted with the pleasure of meeting the grand daughter of Dr. Kate Yont, who may have practiced in Victor, Colorado prior to 1900. She had someone drive her from a little over 175 miles away. The experience drives home how important it is to not give up on your passion.

VICTOR COLORADO
Victor Colorado

I admit there are times when I wonder if telling the story of these women is worth the time and effort to find them. For those who haven’t been down that road, sometimes you hit pay dirt and other times you just bang your head against brick walls. While the internet has been a blessing, there are still many resources that have not survived or are in small museums that do not have the resources to save or make them available for researchers. They have become so delicate that to even touch them would cause disintegration.

INTERIOR GOLD COIN
Stairs of the  Gold Coin Club

The current doctor I’m researching is Dr. Josephine Paddock. I know she was born in Illinois, graduated from Cutler Medical School in Nebraska and practiced in Victor, Colorado from 1896 to at least 1906. I know she went to California and lived there for many years, some with her son, then went to live with a daughter in Nebraska. She is buried with her husband, who died in 1895. His death and her schooling don’t match. More digging is in the future, but without access to personal papers or even news stories it can be difficult to ferret out the full story. These stories, at some point, become educated guesses based on the information available at the time.

GOLD COIN CLUB
Gold Coin Club, program was on the second floor.

I realize it is not feasible to save everything, but the researcher in me cringes when I think of all the information that may be lost due to lack of funds for small museums, careless handling of old resources and a loss of the love for the stories of our shared histories. So when I wonder if the effort I’ve put into finding these women is worth it, I just remember, there are those who will know at least some of the story should they want to look. That is what keeps me going, along with the gift of meeting the relatives of these special women.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL also make sure to check out her haiku and photographs at http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com.

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.com/B017Z2BLH6

“Angel of Salvation Valley”
http://amzn.to/1P4JVV8

“A COWBOY CELEBRATION”
http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

HOME FOR HIS HEART
http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu