History’s Value

post (c) Doris McCraw


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
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Colorado Day

Post by Doris McCraw

edit hhj spc

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.


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


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




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

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology

“Angel of Salvation Valley”






Myths and Misconceptions

Post copyright by Doris McCraw


Let’s talk a bit about myths and misconceptions. For those who follow my post with Writing Wranglers and Warriors, along with two others I write for, know I have written a lot about early women doctors and other women who don’t fit the norm we think we know from history.

There are few women who were mentioned n our history lessons when I was growing up. Dolly Madison and Abigail Adams were briefly mentioned along with Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton. Footnotes mostly. I don’t suppose I thought much about it. I had strong women around me, so didn’t think about how others might perceive women and history. After I left home, I realized how erroneous my thoughts were. Since that time, I’ve made it a point to find and tell the stories of the forgotten women and men who truly made our history.

One of the biggest, in my research, is women had a difficult time being doctors. While initially there was hesitation, once the floodgates opened that doesn’t seem to hold up to scrutiny. If that were the case, how could Alida Avery be one of the early instructors and doctor at Vassar and later being asked to take charge of the hygiene for the town of Denver, Colorado.

alida c avery
Alida Avery

In Colorado Springs there were four women doctors in a region with a populations of around ten thousand by 1880. One was the proprietor of a spa on Manitou Springs, and the other three were in Colorado Springs.

In the Civil War, women were not allowed to serve as doctors, but that didn’t stop them. Mary Edwards Walker took matters into her own hands. For more about this doctor, here is a link: http://www.northnet.org/stlawrenceaauw/walker.htm  Others served alongside husbands or worked as nurses.

Nuns were also very active in the early days. Sister Blandina, a member of the Sisters of Charity, did amazing work in the west. In her book “End of the Santa Fe Trail” she talks about her confrontation with Billy the Kid and other adventures. The book and her story are well worth the time to study and read.  For more about this amazing woman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blandina_Segale  Nuns were also responsible for many hospitals and care of the indigent and ill. St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs was created when so many came to the area for a cure, but had no funds to pay for such. http://coloradohealthcarehistory.com/hospitals-st-francis-colorado-springs.html

St Francis Hospital ~ Colorado Springs Colorado ~ 1925: Spring History, Historical Colorado,

So the next time you think that women were just a side note to history, pause and rethink that thought. Colorado College hired a woman doctor for the co-ed campus, in 1894, long before they hired a woman Phd. Teresita Sandoval was part and parcel of early Colorado history. A bit of her story here: http://sweetamericanasweethearts.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-woman-in-history-everyone-should.html . Women have been movers and shakers all along. We just need to take the time to learn their stories. It is time well spent, I promise. Until next time, here’s to the unsung people of history.

Product Details
“NEVER HAD A CHANCE” , second in the Agate Gulch stories, in the Prairie Rose Publications “A COWBOY CELEBRATION” anthology http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

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HOME FOR HIS HEART the first in the Agate Gulch stories. http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

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Elevation Education by Doris

hhj spc 3Post copyright Doris McCraw

Ever Envision Entertaining the thought of writing about E? There are a lot of avenues of possibilities. For myself after entertaining the idea of Electricity- Tesla V Edison, I realized I lived at 6,000+ feet above sea level and traveled to 8,000 and 10,000 regularly. What is common place for me can be challenging and sometimes hazardous to others. Therefore a lesson in Elevation seemed in order.

Colorado Topographic Map-USGS

Colorado is considered one of, it not the highest state in the nation. It is home to over 50 peaks above 14,000 feet. The highest incorporated town in North America is here, the town of Leadville, know for it history, minerals and the folks who came, went or died there. Many people in the late 1800 and early 1900’s came to Colorado for their health. The clear air, the exact opposite of the coal laden city air of the eastern cities, was the factor that drew them here. It was life saving for many, but for some, a death sentence.

Colorado Springs historic map – Colorado Springs, Colorado City and Manitou, CO, 1882

Why a death sentence? If you have ever been to Colorado you will notice cities have their elevation listed, not population. If you have heart problems elevation is a defining factor in your traveling. It is my thought that one of the reasons elevation is listed is for that very reason. Many people with heart problems have trouble when they go above certain elevations. For many that is 8,000 feet, for others it is much less. For Mary Lincoln Mellon (Queen) Palmer, it was the reason she could not remain in Colorado Springs with her husband, Wm. Jackson Palmer, the city’s founder.

Palmer and his wife “Queen” Palmer …

Even those without heart issues can find the change in elevation challenging. Coming from sea level to Colorado Springs or higher can lead to altitude sickness, depending on your susceptibility. The following are two links describing the problem and some tips:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/altitude-sickness-topic-overview http://www.emedicinehealth.com/mountain_sickness/article_em.htm.

One interesting side effect, especially for those who imbibe in alcoholic beverages; folks you can’t drink as much at a higher elevation as you did at a lower one. There ain’t as much oxygen at higher elevations. Even when going from my 6,000 to the top of Pikes Peak’s 14,115 is a big change. I’ve been to the top many times, sometimes to speak and sing ‘America the Beautiful’ as Katharine Lee Bates, and I have to conserve and use what oxygen there is to be effective.

Pikes Peak as seen from the West
Pikes Peak as seen from the West, from the authors collection

Now you have had a bit of an education, please don’t let it stop you from traveling. There are many beautiful things to see in this world. But as they say, education is power. Power to make good choices and to prepare for eventuality. Until next time, may this little education about elevation help you make plans for travel and add insights and ideas to your writing.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

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

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/ 

A to Z Blog Challenge Post A-to-Z Road Trip

Balancing The Scale

Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw


I am going preface this post with: I love men, men in history and the contributions they have made to our world story. Having said that, this post is about balancing the scale. History has made a practice of telling the story of our lives from the male perspective, and justifiably so, but they have failed to include the story of the females who did as much if not more.

You may ask why I’ve decided to go on this journey? It has brewed for some time. I write about the women who came before. I also write about the men. There needs to be that balance.

Don Moon as Theodore Roosevelt speaking at the Stewart House on Colorado College Campus

I give you a conversation I had with my friend Don Moon, who is brilliant as President Theodore Roosevelt. We were talking about Chautauqua performances and he mentioned that women just were not as ‘popular’ as speakers, and he is right. My point is, they will never be ‘popular’ if their stories are never heard. Who remembers Jane Adams, Mary Cassat, Lucy Stone, Catherine Brewer or Gertrude Stein? In the West, how about Polly Pry, Eliza Routt, Julie Penrose? How about Virginia McClurg?

Eliza Routt

My personal favorite is Helen (Hunt) Jackson. Not only was she a writer of extraordinary talent, she made an impact on the West and the World that many have forgotten. Her writings on the beauty and people of Colorado brought many to the areas she wrote about. Her work for the Indians and their right to be recognized as human beings in the law is almost forgotten.

So to answer the above questions: Jane Adams- Social Worker in the Chicago area. Mary Cassat- Artist. Lucy Stone- First woman from Massachuettes to earn a bachelor degree. Catherine Brewer- first women in the United States to earn a bachelor degree. Polly Pry- newspaper reporter for the Denver Post. Eliza Routt- wife of Colorado’s first state govenor, and the first to register to vote when Colorado passed sufferage in 1893. Julie Penrose- wife of Spencer Penrose whose work after her husband’s death solidified the El Pomar Foundation and Broadmoor’s future. Without Virginia McClurg we might not have the history and beauty of Mesa Verde.

Julie Penrose Fountain in America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs, CO.
Julie Penrose Fountain in America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs, CO.

In this month of March, National Women’s History month, let’s balance the scale. When we honor the men in our history, and we should, let’s look further and see the women who also contributed. Look at John Adams, then deeper into the life he had with Abigail. None of us live in a vacuüm. There is always more than one side to the story. Let’s look for the whole story, both the men and the women. The good and the bad sides of each piece of history. We not only learn from the successes, but we can learn from the mistakes also.

For those interested:






So when I talk about the women doctors, know it is my way of balancing the scales. I have always wanted to know the ‘whole’ story. Until next time, happy writing and researching. I wish you the realization of your dreams.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

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

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/ 

Calling the Doctor

Post copyright by Doris McCraw







As many of the readers of this blog know, I’ve been researching the women doctors of Colorado for some time now. My cut off date is 1900. The interesting thing about my research is the request I sometimes receive when others are looking for someone. It has happened twice in the last year. One doctor was Kate Yont, who I wrote about a while back. Recently I was asked to supplement some information about Dr. Albertine Yale. She falls outside of my parameters , but you may find her story interesting.


Dr. Yale was born in Wisconsin around 1867. She was Albert Yale on June 22, 1887 and divorced him in 1907 for non-support.  Shortly thereafter she filed for ‘child support’ of $40 a month for their three children 2 boys, 1 girl, ages 19, 16, and 12. At the time he worked at the Colorado Title and Trust Company in Colorado Springs.

A 1903 graduate of the Milwaukee Medical College in Wisconsin, she received her Colorado license in January of 1904. In the 1906-07 city directory her practice as a physician and surgeon in Colorado Springs offices  were on Tejon street. Her office hours were 2-4 pm and 7-8 pm.

View of headstones in Evergreen Cemetery
View of headstones in Evergreen Cemetery

Sometime after the divorce she removed her practice to an area about twenty-five miles south of town. The area became known as Bardeen, which was her maiden name. There was a post office there from 1917-1924. Albertine died in 1920 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs. The town which bore her maiden name no longer exists. It is now part of the Ft. Carson military base.

There is more to be researched about this woman and her family, but for now, this is the story we have. Perhaps when I finish the doctors prior to 1900 I’ll move to the ones before WWII. Time will tell. In the meantime, I have a couple of fiction pieces I will be finishing up. With luck readers will enjoy them this year.

Happy researching and writing, for the stories are there if you but look.


home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

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

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/ 



Sheep and Cattle

Post written and copyright Doris McCraw 2014









In tales of the Old West there was almost always conflict between the sheep and cattlemen. That was a true fact, especially when land became the all important marker for success. As more and more decided to take up cattle ranching, the more land needed to support large herds. In some areas it takes between 40-100 acres per animal. Sheep take a smaller ratio. Recent studies have indicated that grazing the two together may be of more benefit than grazing separately.

In the early to mid 1800’s, both were common in Colorado. In the Pikes Peak Region as the area was growing sheep were a primary source of income for many. Around the young town of Colorado Springs sheep, and the wool they produced was a major industry. In the earliest city directory, 1879, the wool growers outnumber the livestock growers almost 2:1. There were some who were listed as both wool grower and livestock grower.

Pikes Peak Region 1873
Colorado City and Cheyenne Mountain. In the middle distance, about 3 miles away, is the old town of Colorado City, built in 1859, during the first days of the “Pikes Peak” excitement. The town of Colorado Springs lies about 2 miles to the east, and Manitou, where the springs are, the same distance to the west. El Paso County, Colorado. 1873. usgs library photo

In the early editions of the local paper, as they were touting the assets of the area, the clean air, the beauty of the scenery, they also spoke highly of the land and its suitability for sheep. If you remember that post on ‘Judge Baldwin’, he had a sheep ranch. The amount of wool shipped was covered and praised in those same papers.

Later cattle became the more popular choice and less and less was heard of the ‘wool growers’. The city directories started combining the two and it became more difficult to track. As the city grew other avenues of income became more important and the livestock industry got less and less coverage. Still, in those early years of the region and a lot of Colorado owe some of its success to sheep and cattle together. Now, Colorado is known for its high mountains, mining and skiing, but those early days are still a fascinating study and those early doctors had more than a bit of contact with and some stories of those days. Until next time, here is to history and the stories they can tell.


Cover for Home For His Heart

HOME FOR HIS HEART by Doris McCraw, available on:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords

Follow my haiku post five days a week at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

“Film & Photography on the Front Range” : the stories of the people who made film and photograph history on the Colorado Front Range. You can buy online at: http://www.amazon.com

The Problematic Why

doris curiosity






Post written and copyrighted by Doris McCraw

We all learned the five W’s. Who, what, when, where and why and the greatest and most problematic of these is why. Why you may ask? As a historian you spend a lot of time researching people and events of the past.  We can ascertain the who, what, when and where with ease. The whys are a bit stickier.

As an example, you know I am researching the early women doctors in the Pikes Peak Region. I am currently working on a book about the women doctors who practiced medicine prior to 1900 in Colorado Springs, Colorado who are buried in Evergreen Cemetery. In these two sentences I have answered the who and where. Who is women doctors practicing prior to 1900. The where, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

According to the records I can find one of the first to arrive was Julia E Loomis.  It is possible she arrived as early as 1876 but definitely no later than 1878.  In these two sentences I have answered who, when. The who, Julia E Loomis. The when, 1876 -1878.

You can find Julia’s family tree at: http://records.ancestry.com/Julia_E_Frizell_records.ashx?pid=33820338

Now comes the problematic why. Why did Julia become an MD? She may have practiced prior to going to the Cleveland Homeopathic College. She was born in 1816 and graduated in 1870. That made her age 54 at graduation.

More information about Cleveland College: http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=H4

After her graduation and her achieving and MD why did she come to Colorado Springs?

The biggest why I am dealing with now is why is she the only woman physician in Evergreen Cemetery that was practicing prior to 1900 to have an MD after her name? She was one of the first to arrive here, and the first to die.

To answer the above whys takes a small leap of faith and supposition. I am not comfortable with suppositions for they can be taken as fact, when in fact they are not. Why did she become and MD? The indication is that with the death of her daughter Julia Gertrude Loomis Taylor in 1864 at the age of 20-21, may have had something to do with it.  Why did she come to Colorado Springs? At that time the city was becoming a mecca for health seekers. This may have played a part in that decision.

2-19-2013 023







Now to the biggest why I am dealing with. Why is she the only early woman physician to have MD after her name? Did her husband have it put there? Perhaps it was her patients? Maybe it was the other women doctors, for there were two more from the same college who arrived between 1878 and 1880 who attended the same medical college.  Why are none of the others given that same honor?

I may never get the concrete answers I am searching for, but it will not be from lack of trying. Still the problematic why will follow my research for many years to come. Until next time.

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Below is the link to my non-fiction piece on the first state film commissioner in the United States included in this book.

“Film & Photography on the Front Range” can be purchased online at: http://www.amazon.com

Fill In the Blanks

Post written and copyrighted by Doris McCraw

doris curiosity

How do you fill in the blanks when you don’t have all the information? Do you make something up? Perhaps you make an educated guess. You may even spend countless hours trying to find the answer. Whichever one you choose is the correct one for your project?

Let’s take a look at how you might answer.  If you are a fiction writer, it makes perfect sense to make something up. It is your story, so of course you put in what you think works. Then of course there is the historic fiction writer, the horror writer and so on. There are certain rules to what is and is not true in your universe and your readers will let you know if it is wrong.

If you are writing a memoir or creative non-fiction you may make an educated guess. That may or may not get you into trouble. You might also opt to research and find the best solution to your unknown. Do you tell the truth as you know it,  or the truth of those involved in the story? It is not always a comfortable choice.

If you are writing non-fiction it can be tricky. You can make an educated guess or you can research until you find an answer. Either way you could be called on your decision.

As I continue my journey with these early women doctors I come upon more and more blanks that have possible explanations. The fact that between 1880 and 1890 women are not listed in the professional section of the city directory, but you can find them individually in the regular listings. There also was no real growth in the number between those years. Why? At this point I would need to make that ‘educated’ guess.

Why were three of the four early women doctors in the region graduates of the same medical school? (At least according the sparse records I have found.) Did someone from this region go back there and recruit them or did one arrive first and tell the other two about the region and the opportunities available? I may never know the answers unless someone from the families has letters or knowledge of the facts.

Finally, why are the women physicians left out of the histories, the newspapers and other writings of the day? These questions plague and fascinate me. It is what drives my desire to bring these women to life for the present and future generations. I may never be able to fill in all the blanks, but I will give it one hell of a try.

How do you fill in your blanks? I would love to know.

Follow my haiku post five days a week at:


Below is the link to my non-fiction piece on the first state film commissioner in the United States included in this book.

“Film & Photography on the Front Range” can be purchased online at: http://www.amazon.com

Passionate on Purpose

Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw

doris curiosity

Between now and March 16, I will be speaking to two history groups on the early women doctors and two public performances as Helen (Hunt) Jackson. I will also perform with the murder mystery company and continue my writing and work hours. For those who have known me for some time you are aware that I have a number of work and creative endeavors. I enjoy, no I love, what I do most of the time. I will point out that while I have a passion for all, I cannot and will not sustain the passion constantly. It is way to tiring.

As I prepare myself for the story of the women doctors, I have a commitment to getting it as correct as possible. I am passionate on purpose to finding the truth of these women. If they entrust me with their stories, I must get them correct. If I say that a doctor was in competition with Dr. C. F.  Gardiner then I need to be able to verify that they also treated consumption patients. I know that Julie E. Loomis would have been for she stated that she was coming to Colorado Springs to set up a clinic for the treatment of the disease. I cannot in good faith say the same for a number of the others. I simply do not have enough information to do so. I could infer, but this is history and I am passionate about getting it right.

With Helen, I have spoken as her for over twelve years. I could coast and just speak about whatever came to mind. The audience wouldn’t know the difference, but to do so would be a dis-service to Helen. Many people may wonder why I always place (Hunt) within parens. It is my way of letting people know that in her lifetime she never used all three names together. She had said that when she remarried she would not constantly remind her husband of the death and life she had with her first. I am passionate about getting it as correct as I can.

By being purposely passionate, I am able to devote my energy to what I am doing. I have the drive and responsibility to being as honest as possible.  I am passionate about my life, my work and my friends. I am purposely passionate when it comes to being true to the history I find. I believe this passionate drive comes from all the years of working within the correction system and juveniles in particular. One untruth could ruin a life. That is a responsibility. These women may no longer be alive, but their stories deserve the truth.

If I am writing non-fiction it must be right. I want to tell the story of the women doctors as non-fiction. Helen is non-fiction. The Labor Wars in Cripple Creek, they will be fiction with a major portion of truth. Why the difference? That story has too many sides and truths and untruths to be told otherwise.

May you also have lives that you can live passionately on purpose. I wouldn’t have mine any other way. Until next time…


“Film & Photography on the Front Range” can be purchased online at: http://www.amazon.com