The Lake County War: Unanswered Questions

By Charles F. Price One hundred and forty years ago this June, gunfire punctuated the predawn darkness at the base of Land’s Hill on the west side of what is now Hwy. 285 between Salida and Buena Vista. Shot twice from ambush, a homesteader named George Harrington fell dead. His wife, Helen Mary, pulled his […]

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Book Reviews

 Season of Terror: The Espinosas in Central Colorado, March-October 1863 By Charles F. Price University Press of Colorado, 2013 ISBN 978-1-61732-236-8 $34.95, cloth, 352 pages Reviewed by Forrest Whitman A new book about an old terrorist threat is getting a lot of press in Central Colorado lately. Felipe and Vivian Espinosa, and later their nephew […]

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The Fading of a Legend: Doc Holliday in Leadville

By Charles F. Price On July 17, 1882, nine days after a visit to Salida – described in the April and May 2009 issues of Colorado Central – John H. (“Doc”) Holliday pulled into the town’s division yards on a DR&G train from Pueblo, headed for the silver camp of Leadville. This time he didn’t […]

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Bat Masterson; Buena Vista Marshal?

by Charles F. Price One of the standard histories of Salida, Eleanor Fry’s Salida: The Early Years, asserts that famed Western lawman and gambler W.B. (“Bat”) Masterson once acted, albeit briefly, as town marshal of Salida’s upriver neighbor, Buena Vista. Wrote Fry, “Town fathers needed to rid the place of ruffians who ran off peace […]

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Espinosas Scapegoating Goes Awry

The Strange Case of Capt. E. Wayne Eaton Part Two By Charles F. Price Maj. Archibald H. Gillespie and Capt. Ethan Wayne Eaton seem to have openly clashed first in early February 1863, days before Carleton’s order for the re-arrest of the Espinosas arrived. The issue was relatively trivial—Gillespie felt the escort for his census […]

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Espinoas Scapegoating Goes Awry

The Strange Case of Capt. E. Wayne Eaton Part One By Charles F. Price The first and surest consequence of any calamity is the laying of blame. Whatever the disaster, natural or human, someone must pay for letting it happen. The worse the event, the more urgent the need to find and punish a party […]

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The Rampage of the Espinosas, second of two parts

Article by Charles F. Price History – November 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine ON APRIL 29, 1863, the bodies of five of the six men murdered by the Espinosas in South Park were buried in a little cemetery atop a windblown hill behind the town of Fairplay — where they still rest today. A few […]

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Sources for the Espinosa articles

Sidebar by Charles F. Price History – November 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine Books: Dyer, J.L., The Snow-Shoe Itinerant, Cranston & Stowe, 1890 (Reprint). Malkoski, Paul A., ed., This Soldier Life: The Diaries of Romine H. Ostrander, 1863 and 1865, Colorado Territory, Colorado Historical Society, 2006

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The Rampage of the Espinosas, part 1

Article by Charles F. Price Local History – October 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine Terrorists inspired by religious fanaticism launch a murderous attack on a culture they regard as godless, greed-based, racist and colonialist. Fear-stricken, yet determined to protect themselves and discover and exterminate the terrorists, that culture retaliates with urgent violence, overriding civil liberties […]

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