BerwindJail

Jail at the abandoned coal town of Berwind, Colorado

Colorado mining history is usually thought of in terms of gold and silver, but coal mining in the state also dates back to the earliest days of the state’s existence. Coal was found in large seams along the foothills shortly after John Gregory, the Russell brothers, and George Jackson made their more famous gold strikes in 1859.

Coal isn’t glamorous, or precious- It’s dirty, it smells, and those who toiled underground to extract it were faced with the grim aspect of underground fires and explosions and pockets of poison gas which could extinguish life in the blink of an eye. The future wasn’t much brighter for those who were lucky enough to avoid disasters, as inhaling the powder fine dust of the mines resulted in “black lung” and various cancers which cut many a life short.

But coal was vital to the industrialization of America and the westward expansion- Coal was used to fire the furnaces that smelted the gold, silver, and copper ore mined in the mountains. Coal fueled the giant boilers of the steam railroad engines that connected the United States, transporting people, goods, animals, and armies across the continent. And, for many miners who failed to find riches in the gold mines, there was always plenty of demand for coal miners.

Traveling south along Interstate 25 in Colorado, just as you cross the Arkansas River and leave the city limits of Pueblo you enter the heart of Colorado’s coal country. A quick side trip down nearly any of the many exits along this southern stretch of I-25 will lead you to sandstone and concrete ruins- The final reminders of the many small coal towns which once dotted the foothills in the late-1800s through through the 1950s- Places like Lester, Rugby, Tioga, Tobasco, Ludlow, Pryor, Valdez and Berwind.

Here is a collection of random images of these fading faces of Colorado’s coal industry:

(Click on image to make larger)

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IF YOU ENJOYED THESE PHOTOS PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK, Thanks!

FOR MORE ABANDONED COLORADO PHOTO BLOGS CHECK OUT THE LINKS BELOW

Thank You for Visiting!

 

25 Abandoned Buildings In Colorado You Must See Before They Are Gone

25 (More) Abandoned Buildings in Colorado You Must See Before They Are Gone

25 Forgotten Cemeteries and Burial Plots of Colorado

Autumn Colors in Colorado’s Ghost Towns

Abandoned Faces of Colorado’s San Luis Valley and Northern New Mexico.

“The Gray Ghosts of Colorado- Book I: The Copperheads” The True, Suppressed History of Colorado’s Secessionist Movement of 1860-1861, and the Coloradans Who Fought for the Confederacy During the Civil War $19.99

 

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Photos I took during the 2016 and 2017 “Hot Rod Hill Climb” in Central City, Colorado. It’s a great event featuring pre-1965 vintage style hot rods. If you get a chance come on up to this year’s Hot Rod Hill Climb on the weekend of September 14-16, 2018.

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hillcc1“The Gray Ghosts of Colorado- Book I: The Copperheads”  Only $19.99! Order Here!

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As Colorado’s past is swallowed up daily by the manic, urban, insanity that has overrun the state, it is easy to forget about those who came before us- But there were thousands of them, and their final resting places can be found tucked away in the trees or in isolated corners of the prairie. Here is a quick look at 25 of Colorado’s forgotten grave sites and cemeteries. (Click on images to expand)  Enjoy!

1. Red Wing Cemetery

Huerfano County, Colorado

2. Sligo Cemetery

Weld County, Colorado

3. Dory Hill Cemetery

Gilpin County, Colorado

4. Tijeras Cemetery

Las Animas County, Colorado

5. Captain Silas Soule’s Grave

Denver County, Colorado

Silas Soule disobeyed orders and refused to fire on the Cheyenne people during the Sand Creek Massacre on November 29, 1864. Soule was assassinated in Denver in 1865 after testifying against Colonel John Chivington during an investigation of the massacre.

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6. Bald Mountain Cemetery

Gilpin County, Colorado

The Gray Ghosts of Colorado Book, Only $19.99! Click Here To Order!

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7. Martinez Cemetery

Otero County, Colorado

8. Gold Hill Cemetery

Boulder County, Colorado

9. Bordenville Cemetery

Park County, Colorado

10. Odd Fellows Cemetery

Gilpin County, Colorado

11. Norton Cemetery

Elbert County, Colorado

12. Como Cemetery

Park County, Colorado

13. Marble Cemetery

Gunnison County, Colorado

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14. Virginia Dale Pioneer Cemetery

Larimer County, Colorado

15. Vasquez Cemetery

Clear Creek County, Colorado

16. Parkville Cemetery

Summit County, Colorado

17. Confederate Veterans Plot

Fremont County, Colorado

18. Russell Gulch Cemetery

Gilpin County, Colorado

19. Sunshine Cemetery

Boulder County, Colorado

20. German Veterans of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871 Plot

Denver County, Colorado

21. Central City Catholic Cemetery

Gilpin County, Colorado

22. Prospector McKee’s Grave

Gunnison County, Colorado

23. Civil War Veterans Plot, Riverside Cemetery

Denver County, Colorado

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24. Idaho Springs Cemetery

Clear Creek County, Colorado

25. Farasita Cemetery

Huerfano County, Colorado

After a couple of initial bumps in the road, my book “The Gray Ghosts of Colorado- Book I: The Copperheads” is now available for purchase through the link posted below.

This book is the first in a four book series which will document the suppressed history of Colorado Territory’s southern origins, the secessionist movement of 1860-1861 and its leaders, an introduction to the Knights of the Golden Circle underground within Colorado Territory, and the political with hunt led by Governor William Gilpin and Major John Chivington that saw a large number of Colorado’s founding fathers imprisoned at the end of 1861. Covered in this book is the early history of Colorado from 1850 to 1861. Subsequent books in the series will follow in chronological order.

“The Gray Ghosts of Colorado” series represent the first work to-date, focusing solely on the secessionist/Confederate movement and organization specifically in Colorado Territory. While other texts touch on the subject, no scholarly work has ever been presented on the topic previously, and what little information there is available on the subject is largely false or sanitized based on my seven years of research and analysis. My book presents the facts, as they were in the years 1858-1861, and my research is based off of predominately pre-1920 sources, as later “accepted” sources are riddled with falsehoods and errors.

Book format: 8×10 inches, softcover, 224 pages, numerous black and white photos.

Price $19.99 plus shipping.

Also available in Ebook/Apple iPad format $3.99 and PDF file $6.99

Click the link below to get you copy of “The Gray Ghosts of Colorado- Book I: The Copperheads” and enjoy a history of Colorado you have never heard before.

Click Link Below or Copy and Paste into Browser:

http://www.blurb.com/b/8623206-the-gray-ghosts-of-colorado

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Many of you have been following and awaiting the release of my book “The Gray Ghosts of Colorado” which documents the suppressed early history, and the southern roots of the State of Colorado.

My project which began as a history of “The Reynolds Gang” has grown to include the rise of the secessionist faction in Colorado Territory, the Confederate underground network, Colonel Heffiner’s Mace’s Hole rebel army, and attempted Confederate incursions by Captain George Madison and Lt. Colonel Charlie Harrison.

The inclusion of so much new, pertinent material has resulted in numerous delays and rewrites.  As a result,  I have decided to split “The Gray Ghosts of Colorado” into a four book series, which will accomplish two goals- It will allow me to cover the subject matter in greater detail,  and it will allow the subject matter to be introduced to the reader in an easier to read,  chronological format that clearly ties the divergent paths of the topics together.

Splitting “The Gray Ghosts of Colorado” into four smaller books will require a considerable amount of “reworking” of the project,  and as of now,  I can not estimate a date of publication for the first book in the series.

“The Gray Ghosts of Colorado” series will consist of:

Book I- “The Copperheads” The southern roots of Colorado and the secessionist faction 1860-1865

Book II- “Pioneers to Pariahs” A true history of the mass exodus of Colorado’s southern-born pioneers,  a veritable “who’s who” of Colorado’s founding fathers, following the Battle of Glorieta Pass in New Mexico,  Confederate units composed of Colorado exiles and their battles,  and Confederate incursions into Colorado Territory in 1862-1863.

Book III- “The Reynolds Gang” A true history of Company A,  Wells’ Battalion,  3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment, CSA, their 1864 raids into New Mexico and Colorado,  how they became known as “The Reynolds Gang”, the sham trial and botched execution of some of Company A’s members,  and the hunt for their buried treasure which continues today.

Book IV- A collection of maps,  rosters,  appendices, and overall bibliography for the entire series.

Stay tuned for updates and thank you for your patience! This story deserves to be told correctly and in it’s entirety, and that will take a bit more time!

A collection of photos I’ve taken through the years capturing fall colors in various Colorado ghost towns, mining camps, and historic cemeteries. Various Olympus cameras from 7mp to 16mp, at various points in my life over the past decade, even a few taken on my phone.  Featured are scenes from Crystal City, Ashcroft, Central City Catholic Cemetery, Stringtown, Beaver City, Grover, Winfield, Knights of Pythias Cemetery- Central City, Idaho Springs Cemetery, Nevadaville, Ironton, Dayton, Bull Hill and Buckingham.

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Stringtown

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Ashcroft

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Central City Catholic Cemetery

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Near Grover

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Knights of Pythias Cemetery- Central City

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Ironton

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Bull Hill

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Crystal City

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Central City Catholic Cemetery

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Dayton

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Idaho Springs Cemetery

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Buckingham

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Central City Catholic Cemetery

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Nevadaville

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Idaho Springs Cemetery

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Dayton

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Ironton

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Crystal City

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Beaver City

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Central City Catholic Cemetery

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Ashcroft

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Crystal City

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Winfield

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Central City Catholic Cemetery

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Nevadville? Russell Gulch?

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Beaver City

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Central City Catholic Cemetery

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Aschcroft

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Crystal City

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Dayton

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Ironton

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Idaho Springs Cemetery

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Central City Catholic Cemetery

Enjoy!

 

 

For over 150 years Coloradans and Wild West history buffs have discussed the case of “The Reynolds Gang” a band of nine men who robbed stagecoaches along the old Fairplay-to-Denver road back in July 1864.  Every written account identifies the men as simple bushwackers- Just rowdy outlaws rasing hell and terrorizing the locals before meeting their grim fate at the end of a firing squad.

 

I have worked tirelessly for the last six years to disprove the accepted version of events and prove conclusively that “The Reynolds Gang” were in fact Confederate soldiers riding from Texas to carry out military orders nearly 500 miles behind enemy lines- A remarkable feat that they DID accomplish in the summer of 1864.

My upcoming book “The Gray Ghosts of Colorado” which will hopefully be in print this year will cover all aspects of the case of “The Reynolds Gang” from start to finish. But in the mean time here is the “proof of the pudding” which has been overlooked, disregarded, ignored, and denied for over 150 years by “historians”-

The enlistment records of every member of “The Reynolds Gang” who rode into Colorado in July of 1864. These are the twenty-two Texas Cavalrymen that left Fort Belknap, Texas in mid-June 1864 on orders from Brigadier General Douglas Hancock Cooper to raid and disrupt Union supply and mail columns and recruit for the south in New Mexico and Colorado Territories. The twenty-two men identified below represent 50% of the total strength of Company A, Wells’ Battalion, 3rd Texas Cavalry Regiment, or two full platoons per regulation of the Confederate order of battle for units operating within the Indian Territory and Texas frontier commands.

Over half of the men identified below were early Colorado prospectors and pioneers who either left  Colorado willingly to join the Confederate Army or were forced out of Colorado by anti-southern pressure in 1861-1862.

All twenty-two men reached Colorado in July of 1864 breaking into two separate platoons near present-day Branson, Colorado. One platoon under the leadership of Sergeant Abraham C. Brown conducted recruiting missions in and around the Greenhorn River, Arkansas River and Spanish Peaks region. The second group under “Captain” Jim Reynolds carried out robberies along the Fairplay-Denver stagecoach road and became known as “The Reynolds Gang.”

Sergeant Brown’s platoon safely returned to Fort Belknap, Texas in the fall of 1864 and served honorably until the Confederate surrender in May of 1865. Many men of Sergeant Brown’s platoon were present when Wells’ Battalion laid down their arms and surrendered at Hempstead, Texas in late May of 1865.

 

“Captain” Reynolds platoon engaged in a brief skirmish with local Colorado militia in Geneva Gulch above present-day Grant, Colorado on July 31, 1864. Private Owen Singletary was killed in the firefight, Jim Reynolds was severely wounded.  The men of the Reynolds platoon scattered after the fight, six were later captured, John Reynolds and Addison F. Stowe escaped safely to New Mexico. Thomas Holloman aided his Union captors in tracking down the rest of the platoon near Canon City, Colorado and was freed in exchange for his help. The five men captured near Canon City were tried in a false court, then illegally executed near Russellville, Colorado. However, two (John Andrews and Thomas Knight) of the five supposedly executed that day survived the ordeal and escaped.

John Andrews after surviving his own execution recovered from his wounds with the aid of the Confederate underground in Colorado and reunited with John Reynolds and Addison F. Stowe in New Mexico a few weeks later. While attempting to return to their unit at Fort Belknap in the fall of 1864, Addison F. Stowe and John Andrews were killed following a botched attempt to steal horses in northeastern New Mexico. John  Reynolds disappeared from history in 1864 following the failed attempt to return to Fort Belknap with Stowe and Andrews. Reynolds resurfaced under the name “Will Wallace” in Taos in 1871 where he confessed his true identity on his deathbed.

Thomas Knight who survived his own execution appears to have been nursed back to health by the Cheyenne Indians. He died in 1910 in Kiowa County, Oklahoma.  Thomas Holloman who was freed after he led the Union posse to the platoon hiding near Canon City went north, modified his name to “Holman” and died in Linn County, Oregon in 1876.

 

 

 

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John Andrews

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John Bobbitt

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Abraham C. Brown

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John Brown

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Uriah Carlton (Carrolton)

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Thomas Holloman (Holliman/Holman)

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Benjamin Jackson

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William Jackson

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Thomas Knight

ThMasoner

Thomas Masoner

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Chastine “Miles” McCracken

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Washington Nutt

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James “Jim” Reynolds

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John Reynolds

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Jackson Robinson- Colorado Territory

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Jackson Robinson- Texas

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Owen Singleterry (Singletary)

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Addison F. Stowe

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L.C. Tatum

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William Tatum

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John Wallace

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Allen Wiley

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John Wiley

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Anderson Wilson