This study takes a fresh look into the lives of families living in the coal camps of southern Colorado between 1890 and the Great Depression. Historian Rick J. Clyne examines the experiences of the men, women, and children who lived and worked in these isolated, company-dominated towns. With the dangerous nature of mining coal a daily reality, the fear of death and injury was pervasive—not only for the miners venturing into the earth day after day, but for their dependents as well.
Clyne reveals that a strong sense of community and tolerance existed in the camps, into which families journeyed from such far-flung locales as eastern and southern Europe to carve out a living. The shared immigrant experience—and the shared risks of mining—more often than not strengthened the bonds between both miners and families.
Coal People contains historic images of coal-town life culled from the collections of the Colorado Historical Society, as well as the author's own photographs of how several of these camps appear today.