One tough woman

Josie Bassett Morris, who grew up in Brown’s Park in Northwestern Colorado, spent the last 50 years of her long life living mostly alone in an isolated cabin near Dinosaur National Monument.

Here’s a link to the history column I wrote about her for The Daily Sentinel;

josie morris 5-6-19

Josie on horse

This is her on horseback later in life. And below is a photo of her cabin as it appears today.

Josie cabin


Indian traders, past and present

Several people who trade with the Navajo and other Indians of the Southwest were in Grand Junction recently for an exhibit and auction at the Musuem of Western Colorado.

I got the chance to talk at length with two of them, Sheri Burham and Emerald Tanner, both fifth-generation Indian traders in the southwest, and I wrote the column linked to below.

Traders 4-8-19

Emerald Tanner
Trader Emerald Tanner of Tanner’s Indian Arts, Gallup, New Mexico

Gunfights, water battles, mine booms

Here are links to my three most recent columns, including today’s column about a shootout in Escalante Canyon in 1917 that killed two men.

Lowe and friend

Ben Lowe, the man on the left, was one of two men who shot and killed each other on that fateful day. the other was Cash Sampson, a brand inspector and for Delta County Sheriff.

Here is the link to that column: Escalante gunfight 3-25-19

Earlier, I wrote about the water battle between California and Arizona at Lake Havasu. Here is that link. Havasu water war 3-11-19

Finally, here is a link to my February 25 column on the Depression-era gold boom in Colorado. Depression gold boom

Public events

I’m off to Hotchkiss Sunday (Feb. 17) to give a presentation to the Hotchkiss Historical Society related to my book, Historic Adventures on the Colorado Plateau.


Additionally, on Sunday The Daily Sentinel is going to publish an article I wrote about the trip Judy and I and some friends recently took to Cuba.  This is a photo from that trip.

cuban car

I’ll be doing a another presentation related to Historic Adventure at noon Thursday for the Mesa County Historical Society. That one will be at the Museum of Western Colorado in downtown Grand Junction

Shavano Valley rock art

Had a great trip to Shavano Valley west of Montrose with some friends recently to view the ancient rock art there.

Because the rock art is on private land controlled by a trust, we arranged the trip through the Ute Museum in Montrose, as all visitors must. We had a great guide named Russ Barr, shown here pointing out some of the art. My history column from The Daily Sentinel is below.


Shavano 2-11-19


New Year — New Events

With 2019 now a reality (How did that happen so quickly?) I’m completing some projects and resuming work on others.

At the end of the year, I turned in my manuscript, photos and drawings for my book “The Cadottes of Lake Superior: One Family’s Journey Through the Fur-Trade Era.” It is to be published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press, probably some time in 2020. Now, the process begins of working with editors at the Press to clean up and make improvements to the manuscript and get it ready for publication.

In the meantime, I have a number of presentations related to my most recently published book “Historical Adventures on the Colorado Plateau,” which was published by the History Press in June 2018.

— February 11, I’ll be at Out West Books on Main Street in Grand Junction, discussing “Historical Adventures” and signing copies of it. It begins at 6 p.m.

— February 17, I’ll be making a presentation to the Hotchkiss Historical Society based on my book. The annual meeting begins in Hotchkiss at 2 p.m.

— February 21, at the Museum of Western Colorado for the Mesa County Historical Society’s monthly presentation, beginning at noon.

As I prepare for those, I’d better get back to writing my regular history columns for The Daily Sentinel. And posting them in a timely manner.

Buffalo Soldiers on Bikes

A fascinating bit of U.S. Army history — when the Army experimented with a bicycle corps, and made Buffalo Soldiers the heart of the experiment.

bikes at Yellowstone


These are some of the soldiers on one of their first extended rides, from Fort Missoula, Montana to Yellowstone National Park in 1896.

And here’s a link to my history column that appeared in The Daily Sentinel on Monday.

Army bike corps

Lost Indian remains

In 1969, the Historical Museum in Grand Junction secured the remains of an ancient Indian with the assistance of students at Grand Junction High School.


That set of remains, described at the time as an Indian mummy, has been missing for nearly 50 years. The body was briefly displayed at the museum, then disappeared.

Erin with news

This is a photo of Erin Schmitz, currently the curator of archives and collections at the Museums of Western Colorado, who is attempting to track down the remains. She’s holding a Daily Sentinel news story from 1969.

Here is a link to my history column, which ran in The Daily Sentinel Monday, regarding the missing body.

Mystery mummy 10-22-18