An expertly woven tale of two ‘society girls’ who came west to teach at the wildly remote Rock School at Elkhead. With an abundance of local Northwest Colorado characters, this true story follows the lives of two sophisticated young ladies and the ragamuffin children of struggling homesteaders in the rugged country north of Hayden. The children’s and the teachers’ lives were dramatically altered by this amazing encounter during the school year of 1916 - 1917. With Photos.
"Staking Her Claim - Women Homesteading the West" by Marcia Hensley
Author Marcia Hensley writes about her new book: "Like the stories of the pioneers who have fascinated me since childhood, my life story has been a westward journey. I was born in Missouri, not far from where Oregon Trail pioneers began their treks. Later, my family moved to Oklahoma where I grew up and was educated. I still see Wyoming’s landscape, wildlife, people, and history with the same sense of wonder I felt when I was first introduced to them. I have found my voice as a writer and my heart’s home."
Marcia drew her research for this book from our region of Colorado and Wyoming, and presents a delightful and honest look at the successes as well as the "failure to thrive" stories of these women who braved the elements, the social climate, and the odds to try to find their place in the sun and the West.
Grace McClure has created an even-handed account of the Bassetts. Drawing on interviews with surviving family, friend and enemies, on memoirs, and on oral and written records, she presents believable, life-size characters who respond realistically to the demands of pioneer life. This is one of the few creditable accounts of early settlers on Colorado's western slope, one of the last strongholds of the Old West.
"Letters of a Woman Homesteader" by Elinore Pruitt Stewart is a frontier classic. Written by Stewart when she was a widowed young mother who had accepted an offer to assist with a ranch in Wyoming. In Stewart's delightful collection of letters, she describes her homesteading experiences to her former employer, Mrs. Coney. Stewart's charming descriptions of work, travels, neighbors, animals, land and sky have an authentic feel. The West comes alive, and everyday life becomes captivating. Stewart's writing is clear, witty, and entertaining. Clear as a bell, concise yet comprehensive, replete with localisms and skillfully rendered frontier humor, it makes one want to toss the PC and reference library into the trash and move to some unspoiled wilderness. The 26 letters are brief and tell about her life on the ranch in the early 1900s. The author frequently and unnecessarily apologizes for being too wordy; she begs forgiveness for many "faults," like being forgetful, ungrateful, inconsistent and indifferent, all without apparent cause. On occasion, language reflects the racial prejudice of the time. Many times in "Letters of a Woman Homesteader" Stewart attempts to portray the culturally diverse characters she meets by writing their various dialects as they sound. Elinore Pruitt Stewart was a remarkable woman. After enjoying this book, readers will be equipped with a whole new view of not only life in the early 20th century but of the impact woman had on it.
The Life and Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart by Susanne K. George
Generations of readers have delighted in Elinore Pruitt Stewart's Letters of a Woman Homesteader (1914) and Letters on an Elk Hunt (1915), among the most engaging accounts of life in the American West. Stewart related her adventures on an isolated Wyoming homestead with such vividness, gusto, and sympathy that she has become the woman homesteader. Until now, however, little has been known about her except what she chose to reveal in her published letters. Old friends and new acquaintances alike will welcome this book combining Stewart's previously unpublished or uncollected letters with Susanne K. George's extensive research. Here is as full and candid a portrait as we are ever likely to have of The Woman Homesteader: the illness, disappointments, and grinding hard work that lay behind her genial public persona; the family, neighbors, and correspondents who peopled her letter-stories and shared her life. Softbound 218 pages $15.95
Explore the lives of the pistol-packing, hell-raising, high-spirited gals who traveled with Butch Cassidy's notorious Wild Bunch gang. With text and photos, Wild Bunch Women tells the stories of the dynamic women who rode the outlaw trail. Softbound 133 pages $11.95
"Tomboy Bride" 'A Woman's Personal Account of Life in Mining Camps of the West' by Harriet Fish Backus
A true pioneer of the West, Harriet Backus writes about her amusing and often challenging experiences with heart-felt emotion and vivid detail. New foreword by Pam Houston and afterword by author's grandson Rob Walton are featured.
From the 1880s to the 1950s, the Harvey Girls went west to work in Fred Harvey's restaurants along the Santa Fe Railway. At a time when there were "no ladies west of Dodge City and no women west of Albuquerque," they came as waitresses, but many stayed and settled, founding the struggling cattle and mining towns that dotted the region. Interviews, historical research, and photographs help re-create the Harvey Girl experience. The accounts are personal, but laced with the history the women lived: the Dust Bowl, the Depression, and anecdotes about some of the may famous people who ate at the restaurants--Teddy Roosevelt, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, to name a few.
A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains is the story of Isabella Lucy Bird, daughter of a clergyman, who set off alone in search of health and found she had embarked on a life of adventurous travel. Over the years she explored Asia, the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii, and both the Eastern and Western United States. In 1873, wearing Hawaiian riding dress, Isabella Lucy Bird rode her horse through the American Wild West, a terrain only newly opened to pioneer settlement. Traveling alone, usually on horseback, often with no clear idea of where she would spend the night in what was mostly uninhabited wilderness, Isabella Lucy Bird covered over a thousand miles, most of it during the winter months. A well-educated woman who had known a comfortable life, she thought nothing of herding cattle at a hard gallop, falling through ice, getting lost in snowstorms, and living in a cabin where the temperatures were well below zero and her ink froze even as she wrote. Isabella Lucy Bird befriended desperados and climbed 14,000 foot mountains, ready for any adventure that allowed her to see the unparalleled beauty of nature. Her rare complaints had more to do with having to ride side-saddle while in town than with the conditions she faced. "A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains" contains letters written to Isabella's sister during her six-month journey through the Colorado Rockies in 1873. They tell of magnificent, unspoiled landscapes and abundant wildlife, of encounters with rattlesnakes, wolves, pumas and grizzly bears, and her reactions to the volatile passions of the miners and pioneer settlers. An awe-inspiring woman, Isabella Lucy Bird was a talented writer who brings to life, in "A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains," the Colorado of more than one hundred years ago, when today's big cities were only a small collection of frame houses, and beautiful scenic areas were still largely untouched. A classic account of a truly astounding journey.
"Doc Susie" 'The True Story of a Country Physician in the Colorado Rockies' by Virginia Cornell
The bestselling true story of a woman doctor at the turn of the century and her triumph over prejudice, poverty, and even her own illness. When she arrived in Colorado in 1907, Dr. Susan Anderson had a broken heart and a bad case of tuberculosis. But she stayed to heal the sick, tend to the dying, fight the exploitative railway management, and live a colorful, rewarding life.
"IDA: HER LABOR OF LOVE" by Carol Crawford McManus is the true expanded biography of a woman living in Colorado during the late 1800s. Rich in the details of pioneer life, this story enchants, amazes and illuminates the woman's role in civilizing the then raw wilderness of the American West. The reader will be facinated by the life of this frontier woman, experiencing her joys and sorrows along the way.
"Bess A Woman's Life in the Early 1900s" is Carol McManus' second historical novel. BESS is based on the author's close observations of pioneer women who lived and worked in the first part of the twentieth century in western Colorado. This era in American history was filled with women who were determined to make life better for themselves and their families. As opposed to their Victorian counterparts, the women of Bess' time began to develop a sense that they and their children could become successful if they were willing to work hard enough. Women such as those depicted in this book brought civilization to western Colorado, exhibiting emotional, spiritual and physical strength that allowed them to cope with always-present dangers while never forgetting how to have fun.