Tuesday, August 16, 2011


In 1892 the US Census reported a population of 6,000 in Vista Grande, CO. But in 1893 Congress repealed the Sherman Silver Acquisition Act, and the Colo. silver boom went suddenly bust. In 1894 Mr. William Harold Cowell III closed down the Storm Mtn. Mine, and twelve hundred miners were out of work. Canvas City disappeared. The South Side Shanties were two thirds emptied, as were brothels of the Red Light District. A good half of Main St. was boarded up...

But you could still have a corking good time at the Buckin' Bronco Bar, and you could stay at the Station Hotel, or the Colonel Dawson Hotel if you were rich. The Really Rich, the 3rd St. Elite, were still doin' just fine, and most of the churches on 3rd. survived the downturn.

By 1896 there were only 2,000 hardy souls in Vista Grande. In October of that year, a local boy was killed by Indians. Retaliations almost ignited another Indian War. Christmas and New Years celebrations gave some respite, but the winter of '97 was just downright depressing for most local folk....

TELEGRAM to Thomas Gemini

Congratulations, Initiate. 1st summons. Trouble in Vista Grande, Colorado. Travel posthaste. Contact Mr. J.J. at Col. Dawson Hotel. Wells Fargo money order attached. Good luck.

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