Speaking in Olathe

Judy and I are off to Olathe today, where I am making a presentation before the Montrose County Historical Society.

Montrose meet

I’ll talk about the history of the Colorado Plateau and the importance of preserving links to our history. The historical society is trying to raise funds to protect some of its larger artifacts. I may also try to sell a few books while I’m there.

Meanwhile, here’s a link to my latest history column for The Daily Sentinel, about trying to locate where Dominguez and Escalante camped when they stopped near Collbran 242 years ago.

Santa Rosalia 9-24-18

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Grand Mesa Vacation

In the last years of the 19th century, the Colorado Midland Railway offered a mountain getaway on Grand Mesa in conjunction with Grand Mesa Lakes Resort.

GM Lakes p5
This photo shows Eggleston Lake on Grand Mesa, as pictured in a 19th century Colorado Midland Railway brochure

But getting there was no quick jaunt. From Denver, one took the train south to Colorado Springs, then northwest to Leadville, through a tunnel under the Continental Divide, then down river valleys to the small town of De Beque, east of Grand Junction. Then it was a stagecoach trip, with a stop in Plateau City, before reaching the top of Grand Mesa.

Here’s the history column I wrote for The Daily Sentinel about the vacation package.

Midland GM tour 9-10-18

 

Another book project

I had great news this month when I signed a contract with the Wisconsin Historical Society Press to publish my book on the fur trade around Lake Superior.

Tentatively called “The Cadottes of Lake Superior: One Family’s Journey through the Fur-Trade Era,” the book traces a family of part French-Canadian and part Ojibwe traders who were involved in the fur trade around Lake Superior through five generations and over nearly 200 years. It focuses on a couple who lived and traded on Madeline Island, near present-day Bayfield, Wisconsin.

I’ve been doing research on the project for almost a decade, and have written several versions of the manuscript. No doubt more versions will be required. But I’m very excited about this.

cave rock

The illustration here is from an 1826 book about a tour of Lake Superior, by the U..S. Indian commissioner at the time, a man named Thomas McKenney, who visited the Cadottes at Madeline Island. The caves in the drawing look very much like those near Madeline Island.

No publication date for the book, yet. But not before spring, 2020.