History By Accident Entry for October 06, 2007

One grandfather was never a part of my life, even through family stories. First because he was older than my grandmother by twenty years and because he'd moved away, to another state, from his wife and my father. My father, his youngest son was about eight years old when he left. I've always been fascinated by the mysterious parts of life so the story of that separation after many years together and parenting five sons has caused me to look for whatever information was available.

I knew my grandmother was a young emigrant from Sweden and my grandfather was Irish. I know they both spent time in Denver, in Trinidad, Colorado, and in Leadville where my father was born. From another state, my interest in Leadville has been difficult to feed although I have been steadily adding information and building research.

Last month my son sent me a flier about a presentation at the Springfield Library by a speaker who would share some Leadville, Colorado history. A combination of a short drive to the city where I taught school and spent a portion of my life and an interest in Leadville drew me right in.

I went to the totally fascinating presentation. The speaker, Douglas H. Rhoades, gave both a slide show and talk to share his background story. His interest was most drawn by the tin cans and other remnants of life he'd found under old Leadville houses and mine by the information about Leadville itself. Of course, I bought his book, "Labels, Leadville and Lore--1870's--1890 History From A Tin Can."

It is truly a beautifuly done record with incredible picures of the cans, the other artifacts, and the research into the history of the town. It also encompases the history of early food preservation and sources of the food that went to the west before there was regular transport.

A book meant to read and reread, then shared. For me, an exceptional find.

2007-10-06 14:42:02 GMT
Jo-Brew is now a columnist for the Creswell Chronicle.

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