residents found gold in the area in the middle 1800s and again in 1880
around the Cripple Creek area. Cripple Creek and the Victor area had
the highest community population in all of Colorado during the Gold
Rush days; 80,000 people used to dig holes in the area at 9,500 ft.
from about 1860 to 1905. A train went up Ute Pass to accommodate the
hordes of people as well as to take down the gold laden ore to a
processing plant between Manitou and Colorado Springs. The last trains
ran up to Cripple Creek in 1947. Visitors to the area can still see the
miriad of pot holes on the hill sides made by the greedy prospectors or
the many bullet holes in the olde taverns. Burials were cheaper on
weekends because there were so many of them. Information around the
1880s gold rush location can be pieced together from several online web
sites. Denver, for example, Colorado's capitol city (Colorado had
become the 38th state in 1876), experienced it's first great boom.
Denver's population propelled by mining and railroads, grew to 106,713
Gold in the Hills
Read More Books:
- Cripple Creek
- Gilpin History Museum, Gilpin County, Colorado
- Read about the origin of mining town, Breckenridgem, in Summit County, Colorado.
- Read about Leadville and Twin Lakes, Colorado. The site contains some pictures of people and places from the 1880s time period and will give a sense of the times.
- History of Pitkin, Colorado
- Early Leadville History
- Colorado, Lore, Legend, and Fact. Of particular interest is an article about Doc Susie - high country physician.
She lived a little later than the 1880 era but her story will help
readers picture what conditions must have been like prior to the 1880s.
The story of baby doe tabor and the matchless mine
will share the story of one family who was once the richest family in
Colorado but destitute at the time of their death. And the link between
silver and gold is indisputable. Read The Silver Crash of 1893.
- Find out more about mining in Colorado. USGS Mining-Environment Studies
Ask/Discuss these questions about Gold in the Hills
- Why do you think Pa's cousin, Tirzah, agreed to take
in the children -- and then treat them so badly? How did Pug Ryan and
"Old Judge" help or contribute to the poor treatment they were given?
- Why do you think "Old Judge" decided to help Hattie and Pheme? How did he help them?
- Those who moved to the West (in the United States) had to have a special kind of courage. How did the children in Gold in the Hills show that special courage? Why do you think made their father feel brave enough to move his family West?
- Many who read about the West feel that life then
was very adventurous. Do you think that life was more adventurous and
interesting in the 1880s as compared to now? What parts of the life
would you have liked? What parts would you have disliked?
- Pioneers who moved West had to select a very few
of their possessions to take with them as space was very limited. If
you were moving West what possessions would you want to take with you?
- Colorado was once "the Wild West." Do you feel
that the country now is "wild?" Why or why not? Be specific. What do
you think made the state "wild" in the 1880s?
Gold in the Hills. (1995) Walker. ISBN: 0802783716; (1997) paperback Pocket Books ISBN: 0671568337. 146 pg. HIstorical Fiction.
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© 2002 - 2004 Laurie Lawlor. All rights reserved.
Text for Curriculum section © 2002 Sharron McElmeel @ McBookwords.
Portions of this text may have been published in earlier publications
by Sharron L. McElmeel and are reprinted here with permission.