Whither Pack-Burro Racing?

The sages tell us that everything is always changing, and in fact the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that nothing endures but change itself. Thus is the case of Colorado’s indigenous sport of pack-burro racing. It began back in 1949 with a race over Mosquito Pass to Fairplay. Nearly seven decades later I’m beginning to wonder […]

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The Way We Really Were

By Virginia McConnell Simmons During the elections in 1892 and in 2016, the respective populism bore no resemblance one to the other. In Colorado in 1892, union organization – especially the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) – was growing rapidly, while mine owners were trying to increase the three-dollar-a-day, eight-hour work day to nine without […]

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Jack Haverly’s Towns for Suckers

By Jan MacKell Collins “Jack Haverly, Jack Haverly I wonder where you are. Are your fortunes cast with Sirius, or ‘neath some kindlier star?” – “Memories of Jack Haverly” by Eugene Field, the New York Times circa 1901 We all know certain people in our lives who never seem to hold onto their money, no matter […]

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A True Champion

By Hal Walter In my book, what really sets the greatest athletes apart from the really good ones is what they do off the field of play with the skills they developed through sports. Recently, when I was asked to introduce my good friend Tom Sobal to the Leadville-Lake County Sports Hall of Fame, I began […]

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Leadville’s Light Rail

By Vince Matthews One hundred and twenty-five years ago, Leadville was Colorado’s second most populous city and was being touted to become the State’s Capital. Indeed, the ridge on the north end of town is called Capitol Hill, and one of the old scenery flies in the Tabor Opera House depicts Colorado’s future Capitol as […]

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Queen, Witch or Saint: Who Was the Real Baby Doe?

By Craig Wagner Leadville is home to one of the last legends of the Old West. Not a gunfighter or gambler but a tiny old woman who displayed extraordinary grit in the name of love and pride, and possibly madness. Her story has spawned books, movies and a famous opera. Baby Doe Tabor’s scandalous affair […]

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Places … Mayflower Gulch

By Ericka Kastner Some hikes are just worth repeating, and the trek to Mayflower Gulch in the Tenmile Range is absolutely an adventure to revisit time and again. In the summer, the basin is filled with wildflowers, and in the winter, Mayflower is a snowy wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels. Mayflower Gulch […]

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Leadville: City in the Clouds

By Mike Rosso It’s the highest incorporated city in North America. Towering nearby at 14,440 feet is Mount Elbert, the second-highest summit in the contiguous United States, after Mount Whitney. It is home to seven museums and a famous old opera house among its 70 city blocks of Victorian buildings. Just for kicks, the residents […]

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Nothing Else Like It: Leadville Ski Joring

By Kathy Bedell If truth be told, it all started at the old Ossman Ranch. That’s where Leadville Ski Joring officially got its humble beginnings in Lake County. For it was on that family ranch, just north of Leadville on Hwy. 91, where “Mugs” Ossman’s love of quarter horses met up with Tom Schroeder’s love […]

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Attempted Murder in the Mine

By Jeffrey Runyon A dictionary defines what a thing is – say, a mountain. Art teaches what that mountain means. This may be similar to what Oscar Wilde meant in his 1889 essay, The Decay of Lying, where he suggests, contrary to long-held belief, that art does not imitate life, life imitates art – that […]

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When, Why, Where, How?

By Kathy Bedell If you are attending Leadville Ski Joring for the first time, you may have a few questions: When is the racing going to start? How does this all work? How can I find out who won? First of all, when Leadville Ski Joring started 67 years ago, its mission was to bring […]

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The Way We Really Were

By Virginia McConnell Simmons Margaret (“Maggie”) Tobin Brown was one tough lady long before the RMS Titanic went down in 1912, making her a heroine. In Leadville, she worked at the Daniels & Fisher store and lived as a bride and mother in a two-room cabin at Stumpftown with James “JJ” Brown, a silver miner […]

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“Need Food”

by Laurel McHargue “NEED FOOD,” read the cardboard sign held by a woman who appeared to be in her 70s. It’s hard to gauge the age of homeless people, as most do not age well. I was returning from a weekend conference in Denver and stopped by our local Safeway for a few things before […]

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Book Reviews – The Railroads of Leadville, Colorado

SILVER RAILS: The Railroads of Leadville, Colorado By Christopher James Sierra Grande Press ISBN 978-0-9670867-2-6 Reviewed by Forrest Whitman This is the book I want for Christmas. I’ve read many books about railroads and railroading, but this one stands out. Many of these rail books have great pictures of a historical era or region. Others […]

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Mine Spills Not That Rare

By Christopher Kolomitz When the Gold King Mine blew out in southwestern Colorado above Silverton in early August, it sent millions of gallons of toxic sludge into the Animas River, turning the popular river orange and prompting closure of the waterway.  The blowout reminded Central Colorado residents of two eerily similar incidents that fouled the […]

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