June 12 from 2-5 p.m. Book Signing with Victor Author Jan MacKell-Collins Lost Ghost Towns of Teller County Victor Lowell Thomas Museum
Get Lost in the History of Teller County Ghost Towns
Throughout Teller County, history lovers can find abandoned towns and forgotten main streets that once bustled with life and commerce. Even before Teller was carved from surrounding counties, the scenic mountains and lucrative mines of the gold rush era brought thousands of settlers and attracted resort owners and tycoons eager to exploit the rich setting. Seemingly overnight, towns in the Cripple Creek & Victor Mining District and other places popped up, flush with gold and people looking for opportunity. As the ore disappeared, the miners moved on in search of the next big lode. One by one, the towns were all but forgotten.
Join Jan MacKell Collins and discover the booming history, lost towns and hardy settlers of Teller County. Her latest book, The Ghost Towns of Teller County, will be released June 6. Sunday, June 12, the author will be at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum to meet the public and sign copies of the book. The book signing is from noon to 2 p.m. at the museum at the corner of 3rd St. & Victor Ave. in downtown historic Victor, CO.
MacKell Collins, a Victor resident, is a historian whose work focuses on the more interesting aspects of the West. Author of several books and over two thousand articles, her writing has appeared in such magazines as Colorado Central, Kiva, Frontier Gazette, True West and others. In 2010 and 2011 she was a nominee for the WILLA award by Women Writing the West for her 2009 book Red Light Women of the Rocky Mountains, and as a contributor for the 2010 anthology Extraordinary Women of the Rocky Mountain West.
Sept. 3 from 3-6 p.m. Diamond Lida: A Victor Bad Girl Does Good Jan MacKell-Collins Victor Lowell Thomas Museum
March 19 Women's History Month Presentation Those Who Came Before - Women Doctors in Colorado from
February 20 Teddy Roosevelt at the Gold Coin Club
Victor Lowell Thomas Museum Hosts Book Signing for Local Author
The shady side of history has been the focus of research for Victor author Jan MacKell Collins. Collins has just published a third book on the subject of red light districts in the West. The books put a human face on the hidden histories of prostitutes and the shady side of mining camps.
Collins’s latest book, Wild Women of Prescott, Arizona, tells the stories of shady ladies in the uncivilized territory of Arizona. Prostitution was a wide spread business in the West and often, as Collins found out in researching her latest book, some of the same paths crossed over into more than one camp. One such case was Lida Winchell, whose real name was Eliza Jane Crumley. Cripple Creek District historians will recognize the last name from the story about the shooting of mining mogul Sam Strong in the Newport Saloon on Bennett Avenue. As Collins found out, Lida is the niece of Grant Crumley who shot Strong in a gambling argument in 1901.
Both Victor and Cripple Creek had active Red Light Districts in the gold rush days and Collins has captured several of the true stories of those who conducted business in the brothels and cribs.
Collins will be at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum Saturday, Sept. 5 from 3 to 6 p.m. to sign her new book and others she has written, including Red Light Women of the Rocky Mountains, Brothels, Bordellos & Bad Girls, and Cripple Creek District: Last of Colorado's Gold Booms. A limited number of books will be available for signing.
The public is invited to meet Collins at the museum and learn more about the stories of the past. The event is free and will be held in the museum gift shop.
Collins writes about prostitution history and other interesting aspects of the West. She is formerly the director of the Cripple Creek District Museum and the Old Homestead Parlor House Museum in Cripple Creek. She has also had the pleasure of working for Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, AZ and is a former board member of the High Desert Heritage Museum in Cordes Junction, AZ. In addition, Collins has written over 2,000 western history articles for magazines in Colorado, Montana and Arizona, including True West magazine. In 2010 she was nominated for Women Writing the West's WILLA award for her 2009 book, Red Light Women of the Rocky Mountains; also, she was a co-nominee in 2011 for the 2010 anthology Extraordinary Women of the Rocky Mountain West. In addition to her writing, Collins has given over 40 programs on the subject of prostitution and western history, and has been featured on Rocky Mountain PBS.
Veterans Remembered at Victor Sunnyside Cemetery Walking Tour
Step back in time and learn about Victor’s 1890’s cemetery, its resident veterans, and the history that brought them to the gold mining camp. This event is sponsored by the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum and will be held Saturday, May 16 as part of Colorado’s Archaeology andHistoric Preservation Month. That days is Armed Forces Day and the focus of the walking tour will be on the veterans and their stories.
Local historian Veldean Petri will provide insights into the cemetery, its history and some of the veterans who reside there. The event will be held at the Sunnyside Cemetery which is south of town on Seventh Street. Meet just outside the gate in Pauper’s Field by 10 a.m.
Pre-paid credit card reservations are encouraged and can be made at VictorColorado.com. Tickets at the event are by cash only. All tickets are $10 per person. Proceeds benefit the museum’s building and restoration fund.
Be sure to dress appropriately for spring mountain weather (which can include wind, cold temperatures, snow, and rain), wear good hiking shoes or boots, and bring water and sunscreen. There are no restroom facilities at the cemetery.
Book By Ed & Cherry Hunter Mining History Book Released
The Victor Lowell Thomas Museum celebrated the release of a new book by local mining historian Ed Hunter and his artist wife Cherry on Friday, Aug. 23. The new book features the mining history art of Cherry Hunter and Ed’s descriptions.
The book release reception was held at the VLT Museum with Liz Hunter-Ball and Kim Sailor-Hunter and many friends attending.
Reservations for the book are available... Click here for details.
Tour a Real Gold Mine from the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum
Experience mining old and new this summer and explore gold rush history past and present at the Victor Lowell Thomas Museum. The Museum, which is has operated in its current location for over 50 years, will open Saturday, May 28 at 9:30 a.m. and again be hosting tours of the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company operations near Victor.
Modern mine tours will start May 29 at 10 a.m. from the Museum. These popular gold mine tours feature the modern mining operations of Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company, which is operated by Newmont Mining Company. Tour experiences will offer the chance to see giant haul trucks, shovels and drill rigs in action in the large surface mine between Victor and Cripple Creek, Colorado. Watch boulders being crushed into gravel and learn about the modern refining methods while helping to preserve the district’s 1890’s history - all tour proceeds go to the Museum to help offset operations and building renovation costs.
This summer the mine tours will be available May 29 through Sept. 5 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., daily except no tours will be held on Thursdays. In addition, tours are offered Sept. 11 and 12 at 10 and 1 p.m. Check VictorColorado.com for additional tour times and dates. The cost is $7.50 per person - an affordable way for the entire family to see a real working gold mine. Only children 5 years of age and older are allowed on the tours. Please be sure to reserve your tour dates (June is the slowest and the best time to make a reservation) as they are very popular and fill up quickly. June is the slowest and the best time to make a reservation.
Reservations may be made online at VictorColorado.com or by leaving a message at 719-689-4211 or starting May 28 at 719-689-5509. The maximum on each tour is 13. The best way to reserve a mine tour is online at VictorColorado.com – online reservations receive first priority.
In addition to the mine tours, you can step back in time and pan for gold at the museum. Panning is included in this year’s admission prices and is a great way to spend an hour in cool, sunny Victor this summer.