The Bassett Women
Grace McClure Ohio University Press, 1985 Library of Congress F781.B37M33 1985 | Dewey Decimal 978.8
In the late nineteenth century, Brown’s Park, a secluded valley astride the Utah-Colorado border, was a troubled land of deadly conflict among cattle barons, outlaws, rustlers, and small ranchers. Homesteader Elizabeth Bassett gained a tough reputation of her own, and her daughters followed suit, going on to become members of Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch’s inner circle. Ann—who counted Cassidy among her lovers—became known as “queen of the cattle rustlers.” Both sisters proved themselves shrewd businesswomen as they fended off hostile takeovers of the family ranch. Through the following decades, the sisters became the stuff of legend, women who embodied the West’s fearsome reputation, yet whose lived experiences were far more nuanced. Ann became a writer. Josie, whose cabin still stands at present-day Dinosaur National Monument, applied her pioneer ethics to a mechanized world and became renowned for her resourcefulness, steadfastness, and audacity.
For The Bassett Women, Grace McClure tracked down and untangled the legends of Brown’s Park, one of the way stations of the fabled “Outlaw Trail,” while creating an evenhanded and indelible portrait of the Bassetts. Based on interviews, written records, newspapers, and archives, The Bassett Women is one of the few credible accounts of early settlers on Colorado’s western slope, one of the last strongholds of the Old West.
Benjamin B. Lindsey University Press of Colorado, 2009 Library of Congress JK7845.L55 2009 | Dewey Decimal 364.132309780904
Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey’s exposé of big business’s influence on Colorado and Denver politics, a best seller when it was originally published in 1911, is now back in print. The Beast reveals the plight of working-class Denver citizens—in particular those Denver youths who ended up in Lindsey’s court day after day. These encounters led him to create the juvenile court, one of the first courts in the country set up to deal specifically with young delinquents. In addition, Lindsey exposes the darker side of many well-known figures in Colorado history, including Mayor Robert W. Speer, Governor Henry Augustus Buchtel, Will Evans, and many others. When first published, The Beast was considered every bit the equal Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and sold over 500,000 copies. More than just a fascinating slice of Denver history, this book—and Lindsey’s court— offered widespread social change in the United States.
In Below Grass Roots, the second book in Frank Waters's Pikes Peak saga, turn-of-the-century Colorado Springs is prospering with the mining boom and a growing tourist industry. Patriarch Joseph Rogier becomes ever more obsessed with the treasures of the towering mountain and tries to enlist his son-in-law Jonathan Cable in his mining schemes. Cable instead leaves for Navajo country with his young son. Rogier, convinced that new wealth lies deep within the mountain, below grass roots, sinks his mines and what remains of his fortune ever deeper into the mountain's granite.
As in the other two novels in this semiautobiographical saga, Waters's masterful narrative draws on his own keen perception of the human condition to bring us this compelling tale of struggle and hope in the American West.
Pike's Peak is composed of three condensed novels: The Wild Earth's Nobility, Below Grass Roots, and The Dust within the Rock.
Best Backpacking Trips in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado provides everything you need to know to organize and execute the best backpacking trips in the Mountain West. Mike White and Douglas Lorain, who have walked every mile of the trails described inside, take readers and hikers into some of the wildest and most scenic backcountry landscapes in the nation and help them design the ultimate trip.
Focusing on one-week excursions, the book offers details on all the aspects of trip planning—trail narratives, technical data, maps, gear, food, information on regulations and permits, and more. But it is more than a basic guidebook. Trip information is enriched by valuable and interesting sidebars on history and ecology that will increase appreciation for these natural areas and the people who were instrumental in their discovery or protection.
In Best Backpacking Trips in Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, White and Lorain pass on their knowledge of quality hikes, planning and preparation, and the unique satisfaction of multi-day backpacking. This guide, put into practice, will result in the trip of a lifetime.
In her calm, carefully reasoned perspective on place, Andrea Jones focuses on the familiar details of country life balanced by the larger responsibilities that come with living outside an urban boundary. Neither an environmental manifesto nor a prodevelopment defense, Between Urban and Wild operates partly on a practical level, partly on a naturalist’s level. Jones reflects on life in two homes in the Colorado Rockies, first in Fourmile Canyon in the foothills west of Boulder, then near Cap Rock Ridge in central Colorado. Whether negotiating territory with a mountain lion, balancing her observations of the predatory nature of pygmy owls against her desire to protect a nest of nuthatches, working to reduce her property’s vulnerability to wildfire while staying alert to its inherent risks during fire season, or decoding the distinct personalities of her horses, she advances the tradition of nature writing by acknowledging the effects of sprawl on a beloved landscape.
Although not intended as a manual for landowners, Between Urban and Wild nonetheless offers useful and engaging perspectives on the realities of settling and living in a partially wild environment. Throughout her ongoing journey of being home, Jones’s close observations of the land and its native inhabitants are paired with the suggestion that even small landholders can act to protect the health of their properties. Her brief meditations capture and honor the subtleties of the natural world while illuminating the importance of working to safeguard it.
Probing the contradictions of a lifestyle that burdens the health of the land that she loves, Jones’s writing is permeated by her gentle, earnest conviction that living at the urban-wild interface requires us to set aside self-interest, consider compromise, and adjust our expectations and habits—to accommodate our surroundings rather than force them to accommodate us.
By early April 1914, Colorado Governor Elias Ammons thought the violence in his state’s strike-bound southern coal district had eased enough that he could begin withdrawing the Colorado National Guard, deployed six months earlier as military occupiers. But Ammons misread the signals, and on April 20, 1914, a full-scale battle erupted between the remaining militiamen and armed strikers living in a tent colony at the small railroad town of Ludlow. Eight men were killed in the fighting, which culminated in the burning of the colony. The next day, the bodies of two women and eleven children were found suffocated in a below-ground shelter. The “Ludlow Massacre,” as it quickly became known, launched a national call-to-arms for union supporters to join a ten-day guerrilla war along more than two hundred miles of the eastern Rockies. The convulsion of arson and violence killed more than thirty people and didn’t end until President Woodrow Wilson sent in the U.S. Army. Overall at least seventy-five men, women, and children were killed in seven months, likely the nation’s deadliest labor struggle.
In Blood Passion, journalist Scott Martelle explores this little-noted tale of political corruption and repression and immigrants’ struggles against dominant social codes of race, ethnicity, and class. More than a simple labor dispute, the events surrounding Ludlow embraced some of the most volatile social movements of the early twentieth century, pitting labor activists, socialists, and anarchists against the era’s powerful business class, including John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and helped give rise to the modern twins of corporate public relations and political “spin.” But at its heart, Blood Passion is the dramatic story of small lives merging into a movement for change and of the human struggle for freedom and dignity.