Suggested Reading List
Cinders and Smoke: A Mile by Mile Guide for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Author: Doris B. Osterwald
Description: By the same author as Ticket to Toltec. Ditto all the above, only about the Durango and Silverton (D&S) Narrow Gauge Railroad, another Denver and Rio Grande (D&RG) successor. Also includes brief histories of the two towns that the D&RG reached in 1881 and 1882. Highly recommended. This book is available at the Colorado Railroad Museum and at shops in Durango and Silverton. It is not available at the D&S gift shop or on the train.
Messages in Stone: Colorado's Colorful Geology
Author: Vince Mathews and the Colorado Geological Survey
Description: Introduction to the rocks, structures and geologic history of Colorado. Includes discussion of landforms and geologic hazards. Lavishly illustrated with photographs of Colorado sites and maps. Appropriate for geologists and non-geologists.
Mountains of Silver: Life in Colorado’s Red Mountain Mining District
Author: David Smith
Description: A little over a century ago, the Red Mountain Mining District in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado was the scene of a "silver rush" with an output of precious metals second in Colorado only to that of Leadville. In a period of less than twenty-five years, more than thirty million dollars in silver, lead, zinc, copper, and gold were taken from the rich deposits in the mines along Red Mountain Divide -- an amount roughly equivalent to a quarter billion of today's dollars. The histories of the communities that sprang into being with these mines, the railroads constructed to service them, and the men and women who lived, worked and died in them, are the threads deftly woven into the richly textured story of Mountains of Silver. It is a colorful and varied tapestry that depicts the lives of prospectors who made the first rich strikes; the land promoters, speculators, and road-and-railroad builders who capitalized on the frenzied rush to the area; and the motley collection of miners, lawyers, merchants, prostitutes, saloonkeepers, and freighters who attempted to profit from the boom.
Scenic Driving Colorado, 3rd (Scenic Routes & Byways)
Author: Stewart M. Green
Description: This guidebook offers travel and historical information for 30 visually stunning driving routes, from Pawnee National Grassland of the Great Plains to Rocky Mountain National Park, the San Juan Mountains, and the deserts of the Colorado Plateau.
The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico
Author: Virginia Simmons
Description: Using government documents, archives, and local histories, Simmons has painstakingly separated the often repeated and often incorrect hearsay from more accurate accounts of the Ute Indians.
Tomboy Bride: A Woman's Personal Account of Life in Mining Camps of the West
Author: Harriet Fish Backus
Description: Just after the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, twenty-year-old Harriett Fish took the train from Oakland to Denver to marry her fiancé George Backus. After the wedding, they journeyed by narrow gauge train to Telluride high in the San Juan Mountains. George was an assayer for the Tomboy, a silver and gold mine at timberline over 11,000 feet high. This is just over the ridge from the Yankee Boy Basin mining area we visit on our four-wheel drive trip. Author Harriett Fish Backus, describes their life in vivid detail. Over half the book covers their years at the Tomboy; also covered are their mining and milling experiences in British Columbia, Idaho, and back to Colorado. At the beginning of World War I, George pioneered the process still used today to concentrate molybdenum, a metal used to strengthen steel. This is the best book that covers everyday life in the mining camps of the West.