Long Hot Summer

Anyway, everyone is aware of the drought, fires, heat and COVID that have made 2020 one of the most unpleasant summers most of us in Colorado can remember.

Even in the Grand Valley, we weren’t immune. My friends on Rapid Creek had a rental house, shop and several vehicles burn when a brush fire roared up the slope from I-70.

And on our road, a transformer fell over in a wind storm and started the fire pictured above. Judy and I were out of town when this occurred, and my neighbor took this photo, which shows flames perhaps 100 yards from my barn full of hay. Thankfully, the Palisade and Clifton fire departments showed up quickly and prevented any damage to two nearby houses, including the one in the background of this picture, or to my barn.

Thank you so much to all the firefighters — the ones who help control the blaze on our road and the many who have been working for more than a month on the Pine Gulch and Grizzly Creek fires. It’s impossible to fully express our gratitude.

COVID, unfortunately, has prevented me from doing any live book events, but I have done several online events related to my Cadotte book, and they have gone well. I have several more scheduled and will post about them when they get close.

And, to prove I haven’t been totally wrapped up in fire and COVID concerns, here are some links to my recent history columns.

Facebook meeting

On the evening of Saturday, June 27, I’ll be holding a live, Facebook conversation about my new book, The Cadottes: A Fur Trade Family on Lake Superior.

The meeting will be held on the Wisconsin Historical Society Press Facebook page. Those interested may go to the page now, and see information about the upcoming meeting. If you go to “Posts” and scroll down a few posts, you’ll see one about the book that has a link to a video I did for my book. Judy filmed it and we had fun with it.

Books are here!

This week I received author copies of my new book, The Cadottes: A Fur Trade Family on Lake Superior.

happy author

As you can see from the accompanying photo, I’m a bit excited about it. It’s been a long process of researching, writing and editing. But it’s done, and it’s my first hard-bound book. It should be available online and in stores beginning next week.

In the meantime, below are links to some of my recent history columns in The Daily Sentinel.

Gunnison quarantine 3-23-20

Dewey 4-6-20

Reeder Sheriff 4-20-20

Silent Westerns 5-4-20

Wisconsin Magazine of History

It was great to learn that my forthcoming book is featured on the cover and inside the Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring 2020 edition.

WHS cover

Although other events related to the release of the book, The Cadottes: A Fur Trade Family on Lake Superior, are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, I was pleased to receive a copy of the magazine this week.

WHS insideLearn more about the magazine by clicking the link below.

Wisconsin Magazine of History

Civil War Spy on West Slope

Captain Milton Cline was an interesting character in the history of western Colorado. Co-founder of town of Ouray, involved in helping hostages after Meeker tragedy, and a former Civil War spy.

Cline obit photo

This photo ran with his obituary in Montrose in 1911.

There is more information about him available than I anticipated when I began researching his background. You can read my history column on him by clicking the link below.

Captain Cline 2-10-20

 

Trains on the West Slope

Attached are a couple of history columns I’ve written recently about the Denver & Rio Grande Railway’s work in the 1880s to cross the Western Slope and eventually connect all the way to Salt Lake City.

Motezuma engine 1871

This photo, from 1871, shows the Montezuma 1, believed to be the first locomotive in the D&RG’s narrow-gauge line.

The first column is about the work of the D&RG to push over Marshall Pass and through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The second column concerns the continuing work to reach Grand Junction and connect with the Denver & Rio Grande Western to make it to Salt Lake City.

D&RG I 01-13-20

D&RG in GJ 1-27-19

Fur Trade presentation

I’ll present classes on fur trade history for New Dimensions in Grand Junction, Feb. 12, Feb. 19.

Alberta_1890s_fur_trader

The first class will be more general, looking at the fur trade across the Continent over hundreds of years. It will use a great deal of information from my forthcoming book, The Cadottes: A Fur Trade Family on Lake Superior.

The second class will look at one of the most important fur traders to operate in Colorado and Utah, Antoine Robidoux.

Both classes will be held in the Unitarian Universalist Church in downtown Grand Junction beginning at 10 a.m. and they will last approximately one hour.

More information about New Dimension classes, and registration information for theses and other classes is expected to be available early next week at http://www.newdimensionsgj.org.

Comanche migration

The Comanche Indians are believed to have migrated from northwestern Colorado/southern Wyoming to the Southern Great Plains late in the 17th century. And some likely did so through Western Colorado.

Comanche Horsemen
George Catlin produced this painting in the 1830s, showing the skill of Comanche horsemen

However, archaeologists and historians are still trying to determine exactly how and when the migration occurred.

I discussed some of the most recent research in the history column here.

Comanche move 12-30-19

Dr. Eldridge was a physician, poet and novelist

Dr. E.F Eldridge was an early Grand Junction physician who wrote poetry and novels, and was a consummate booster of Colorado’s Western Slope.

Eldridge

He is a little known character now among the pantheon of Grand Junction’s founders, but deserves to be remembered for his work, both literary and professional.

Here’s a link to the article I wrote about him in The Daily Sentinel recently.

Dr. Eldridge 12-2-19

The Cadottes

This is my latest book, which will be published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press in May. Cadotte coverI’ve been working on the book for more than five years and I’m thrilled that we’re finally nearing publication.

Those people interested in preordering the book can do so through independent bookstores such as Grand Valley Books and Out West Books in Grand Junction and Lithic Books in Fruita.

Here is a link to an Independent Booksellers site to find other book stores if you’re not in the Grand Junction/Fruita area.

Independent booksellers website

People can also preorder it through Amazon.