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Old 03-18-2010, 11:13 PM
 
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
3,023 posts, read 2,863,256 times
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Looking for good adventure or eco-regional or historiacal romance or whatever! type books that will give me a good heads up on Colorado Culture. The history and current 'personalities' and 'issues' that seem to dominate the collective consciousness of Colorado.

Or, um, something...

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:12 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,783,192 times
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There are a ton of books on Colorado history and environment out there. As an illustration, my personal Colorado-related book collection is near 300 books. Some good Colorado history authors are Duane Smith, Duane Vandenbusche, Robert Brown, Robert Ormes, Allen Nossaman, Tom Noel--just to name a few. Unfortunately, many of the best Colorado history volumes are now out-of-print and often hard to find.

There are a lot of good books on Colorado ecology--some "fluffy", some very in-depth. One of the best, in my opinion, is "A Sierra Club Naturalist's Guide: The Southern Rockies" by Audrey DeLella Benedict, which very accurately describes nearly every major ecosystem in Colorado. It is out of print, but usually available at Amazon or abebooks.com.

Westcliffe Publishers (Westcliffe Publishers ) has a large number of Colorado books. Although fairly high-priced, they feature first-rate printing quality and photographs. "John Fielder's Best of Colorado" (2nd Edition) is a good overview.

Fulcrum Publishing's "A Colorado Guide", which is regularly updated, offers fairly good information on where to eat and stay in Colorado, with some brief descriptions of communities, etc.

Western Reflections Publishing Company offers a large number of Colorado books, many written by Colorado authors. I am omitting their website listing, however, because when I tried it a little bit ago, it caused my browser to very unceremoniously crash--it must have a real bug in it right now. Their books are very good for the most part, however.

I recommend avoiding almost all of the nationally published tourist guides for Colorado. They are written by complete imbeciles for the most part, many of whom that have likely not even set foot in Colorado for more than a two-week trip, if that. Total trash--usually a ****-poor regurgitation of information easily available for free on the web.

Last edited by jazzlover; 03-19-2010 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:08 PM
 
79 posts, read 254,669 times
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My favorite is Tomboy Bride by Harriet Fish Backus about a woman who lived in the mining camps above Telluride.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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There is one book that is absolutely required reading for anyone who wants to get into Colorado's history regarding the old mining camps and their beginnings, when I took classes in Colorado History it was required reading. The book is "Stampede To Timberline" by Muriel Sibell Wolle. Wolle actually was an accomplished artist who received her M.A. from the University of Colorado. She spent months traveling from Telluride to Tincup to everywhere between. It is the most factual book on Colorado's mining camps that I know of. She wrote a few other books, one of them I remember being "The Bonanza Trail".

She was very much involved with the University and if I'm not mistaken CU's fine arts building is named after her.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:56 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,783,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
There is one book that is absolutely required reading for anyone who wants to get into Colorado's history regarding the old mining camps and their beginnings, when I took classes in Colorado History it was required reading. The book is "Stampede To Timberline" by Muriel Sibell Wolle. Wolle actually was an accomplished artist who received her M.A. from the University of Colorado. She spent months traveling from Telluride to Tincup to everywhere between. It is the most factual book on Colorado's mining camps that I know of. She wrote a few other books, one I remember being "The Bonanza Trail".

She was very much involved with the University and if I'm not mistaken CU's fine arts building is named after her.
Great book, though written back in 1949. Quite sadly, many, if not most of the remnants of Colorado's early history that she so vividly wrote about in the book have now disappeared--either from neglect, destruction, or redevelopment. The Colorado she wrote about is largely gone.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,018,995 times
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Some of the best works on 19th century Colorado were written by Morris F. Taylor, a professor at Trinidad State. His main focus is Southeast Colorado/Northern New Mexico. They were written in the 50s and 60s and are somewhat difficult to find. My best source for them has been the Abe Books website. Another excellent source of historical sketches can be found in old editions of "The Colorado Magazine" published for years by the Colorado Historical Society. I believe the magazine they publish now is "Colorado Heritage".
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:43 PM
 
Location: OUTTA SIGHT!
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Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,053 posts, read 12,403,387 times
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Well it just so happens last month I mentioned to someone here in town I was interested in the history of Colorado and this area. I've been given a few books and have read or are reading:

Exploring the Historic San Juan Triangle, Red Twilight the last free days of the Ute Indians, The Arbuckle Cafe, Over My Dead Body the story of Hillside Cemetary, Doc Susie, Lies Legends and Lore of the San Juans, I Never Knew That About Colorado, MOUNTAIN MYSTERIES:The Ouray Odyssey, and Jeep Trails to Colorado Ghost Towns, Trail Dust or One Man's Journey to The Cross, Silversmith: The Remaking of a Good Man, The Story of Mary MacLane, Telluride Mountain Almanac, A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains.

Fascinating books. I've also sat down and talked several times at length with an 80 something year old fella here, who was born and raised here and worked as a cowpuncher. Talk about some fascinating stories.

I figure if you're gonna live in a place with history, learn the history and appreciate the tracks you are walking in.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:44 AM
 
20,840 posts, read 39,059,222 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
...I've also sat down and talked several times at length with an 80 something year old fella here, who was born and raised here and worked as a cowpuncher. Talk about some fascinating stories. I figure if you're gonna live in a place with history, learn the history and appreciate the tracks you are walking in.
Jim, when I was back east, I used to sit down with the old RR guys and tape their recollections. I got some stories that were nothing short of eye popping (like rolling a passenger train at 105MPH through what is now a DC suburb).

Consider getting some of these old guys on tape, it's not hard or expensive, and the tapes can be turned over to the local historical society. It would be great fun too.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,053 posts, read 12,403,387 times
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I would like to, but I can understand why they would shy away from being recorded. Had someone once want to record my experiences after 35 years in law enforcement. No thank you!
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