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Sunday, October 6, 2019

WHAT'S NEXT TO YOUR DESK?

Post by Doris McCraw
writing as Angela Raines

Photo property of the author
Sitting and staring at the blank page, I wondered what I would write about for this month. The weather is turning cooler, the leaves are changing, and I'm thinking about what I will do as the days get shorter and the nights get longer. I definitely have a lot of reading that I want to do along with the novel I wish to finish and the ever-dreaded housecleaning.

Because of work this summer, I've been unable to do the kind of research that I would love to do. At the same time looking around my office I also see a lot of resources for some interesting information. On that note, let's see what some of these books have to say.

From "The Book of Colorado Springs" by Manley Dayton Ormes and Elleanor Reddie Ormes is an interesting segment on the Keeley Institute. It seems one Dr. Leslie E Keeley of Dwight Illinois had discovered what he believed to be a cure for alcoholism. That cure 'bichloride of gold'. It seems some people from their Nebraska had bought the rights to the secure for several Western states one of which was Colorado area. The idea was to sell $15,000 worth of stock they secured rooms in the first national Bank building and began receiving patients in early 1892. They even hosted a state convention in February 1894 and a national convention in September 1894. During the two years they were in Colorado Springs approximately one thousand people received treatment. The Colorado Springs Institute combined with the Denver Institute in October 1894, because of "... hard times, and the fact that Maj. Henry Elmer Ensley's father, in charge of the Denver branch needed him".

Mine entrance, Victor, CO.,
Photo property of the author
In "Colorado Ghost Towns and Mining Camps" by Sandra Dallas, we find the brief story of the town of Hesperus. It was located in La Plata County about 11 miles west of Durango. Its post office was established on October 10 of 1891. The town of Hesperus itself was founded in 1894 as a coal town to supply energy for Durango and other towns in the area. In fact, some of the first coal mines in that area were opened in the 1880s by John Porter. He was a mining investor who lived on Colorado's western slope. His Porter Fuel company employed about 175 men and was producing 150,000 tons of coal per year.

In the June 1970 issue of American Heritage magazine, there is an article titled 'A Ride for Life in a Buffalo Herd' by Othniel C. Marsh. Here is a small excerpt, "To my amazement, I saw that the main heard, alarmed by the shots … had started and was moving rapidly southward. I also saw what I had not before surmised; that in my eagerness, I had pushed well into the herd without noticing it, and as the great mass of animals in the rear started, they began to lap around me, and I would soon be enclosed in the rapidly moving throng, liable let any moment to be trampled to death if my pony should fail me."

Also nearby is "The Doctor's Bag, Medicine & Surgery of Yesteryear", by Dr. Keith Souter, a copied list of the early settlers in what is now Old Colorado City, the autobiography of HG Wells, and various other magazines and research information for the numerous topics that I find myself fascinated by. I even have a book of current poetry, seven of the "Covered Wagon Women, diaries and letters" series and "Lynching in Colorado, 1859 to 1919" by Stephen J Leonard.

Mustache cups and curling iron, Photo property of the author
Perhaps some of what I shared will be a spark for your own creativity. I know I will reread many of these articles and books as I tell the stories percolating in my mind that are both fiction and nonfiction. The Colorado women doctors before 1900 is the nonfiction book that I am determined to finish. Those women need to have their stories told. At the same time, I have many other fictional stories that are begging to be put down on paper. Guess I know what I'm doing this winter. Have a wonderful October, keep those fingers moving and minds active.

Amazon
Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History

10 comments:

  1. Fantastic post. You have such inspiring source material around you, I'm sure you'll be delivering another winner very soon. I'm looking forward to that book on the women doctors.

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    1. Thank you. I confess, I'm so fascinated by history and the people who made it. I will say, the years I've been researching the women doctors have been some of the most challenging and rewarding of my life. I just want to do their stories justice. (Sigh). Doris

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  2. Doris,

    I heartily agree. Studying and reading about historical events and people is so satisfying.

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    1. It is, isn't it Kaye. It is almost as important as breathing to me. LOL.

      Happy researching.(Grin) Doris

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  3. Doris, as always I so enjoyed your post. I relish having to look up something from the past because I know I'll be fascinated. But oops! there I've sat reading for an hour when I should have been only ten minutes to lookup whatever I was searching for. And you tell your findings so well. Thanks again for sharing.

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    1. Bev, Like you, I can get lost in my 'I'll just check this one thing out' and then hours have gone by.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this and other posts I have written. You made my day. Doris

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  4. You never know where that next spark of an idea will come from. :-)

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    1. No, you don't, do you Kristy? But what fun it is to create the environment to light that spark. Doris

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  5. Hi Doris and everyone,
    It's always interesting to learn the favourite sources of writers, especially when they are used so deftly to add realism and historical 'grit' to stories. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. You are more than welcome Lindsay. I learn so much from what others share here. One never knows when they will read just the 'right' thing to keep them going. Doris

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