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Juan Bautista de Anza, Cuerno Verde and Their Legacy in Colorado

Juan Bautista de Anza, Cuerno Verde and Their Legacy in Colorado By Bob DeWitt  –  “ANZANISTA” and Anza Society Board Member On Sunday, August 15, 1779 the 55th Spanish governor of New Mexico, Juan Bautista de Anza departed Santa Fe along the Camino Real on an arduous 27-day campaign in search of Comanche Indian chief Cuerno Verde, who had been raiding villages and creating havoc across the northern frontier of the Spanish Empire. To further the research and understanding of Anza and this dramatic event which would forever alter the course of history affecting much of what is now north-ern New Mexico and southern Colorado, the Anza Legacy Project desires to define the route of this expedition to include the location of campsites and battle sites. Furthermore, the Anza Legacy Project desires to establish an Anza / Cuerno Verde National Historic Trail along this corridor. The historic preservation of this route is vital in a number of aspects. Our Spanish heritage is seldo

The Mysterious Madam – The Life & Times of Laura Bell McDaniel

So very excited! Two very old and dear friends are in the process of telling the story of Laura Bell McDaniel-Madam of infamous fame. I have known Lee Michels and Jan MacKell Collins for years and not only know their quailty of research but their shared passion for Laura Bell McDaniel! The Mysterious Madam – The Life & Times of Laura Bell McDaniel Laura Bell McDaniel's amazing life story entwines the threads of intrigue, mystery, wealth, corruption, politics and prostitution into the fabric from which her life was cut. The enigmatic madam proves the exception to the rule about women in the prostitution industry who fought for their cause and won, at a very high price. Colorado native and living history presenter Lee Michels has delved into Laura Bell’s story, and those of the American West soiled doves, for over 37 years. Ms. Michel's vast and relentless research has led her down the path of the mysterious madam, branching off into portraying Laura Bell wit

Cache Creek Part Deux!

  I find the Cache Creek area absolutely  fascinating.  I feel this connection. Like a sense of deja vu. Maybe it is because my family stopped in Granite as they as they traveled back and forth between Buena Vista and Leadville over a hundred years ago. Or maybe the fact  it lies in quiet abandon from its booming days as one of the first gold strikes during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in the late 1850's . So many of the gold strikes at that time  are now large cities, including our very own state capitol of Denver Colorado. Cache Creek, however, sits up above the canyon through which the Arkansas River flows. In 1861, the town of Granite,  had a population of over 3000, and held the honor of being the county seat until  1879, and is now, barely a spot in the road. Our first visit to Cache Creek was this fall, although we drove  past it many times on our way to Leadville,not giving it a second thought. It is these hidden secrets, these stories untold  I hope to disc

Gold Fever on Cache Creek

Pikes Peak or Bust The cry of the 59'ers resonated across the country when gold was discovered in the Kansas Territory in 1859, ten years following the California Gold Rush of 1849. George A. Jackson's discovery along Chicago Creek is today Idaho Springs and Green Russell's found his pot of gold near the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, near Denver Colorado.  Today, Cache Creek, little more than a bump in the road, was once one of the largest placer gold mining operations in the state. Located west of the town of Granite Colorado, in Northern Chaffee County, Cache Creek operated from 1860 to 1911. It became the first settlement of note in the upper Arkansas Valley. Three hundred people settled along the creek that first year. The following year, the population of gold hungry miners increased to over 3000! Have not been able to located actual pictures of Cache Creek  at this time . This is an excellent example how placer mining was conducted on

Buffalo Soldiers in Colorado

Celebrating the history of the west is remembering and honoring the unsung  heroes who made our country what it is today. The history of the Buffalo Soldier laid hidden away in dusty old archives until the first book was written in 1967, which brought the history of these men to the public. The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Black Cavalry in the West, Revised Edition Shortly after September 11, 2001, we were organizing a miltiary themed walking tour for Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs. I had invited a dear friend of mine who was a Buffalo Soldier reenactor to share this history at the Spanish American War site, since the 10 US Cavalry Buffalo Soliders played an intrical part in the Spanish American War and the charge up San Juan Hill with Theodore Roosevelt.  Buried amongst these few veterans of the Spanish American War, was George Mason, a member of 10th US Cavalary , an actual Buffalo Soldier . From that day, so many years ago, these men, who in their 70