Western history

History In My Hands


History researchers in Denver beware and be aware. As of Oct. 31, the Colorado Historical Society is closing its library for the next two years while they move and reconstruct their museum. Yes, I said two YEARS!! Realization of this closure has thrown my research schedule for my next biography into panic mode. The subject for the next book is Elizabeth Tabor, known around Colorado as “Baby Doe”, the Silver Queen of Leadville.

Although my writing and research schedule has become somewhat tospy-turvy and compressed, I hit paydirt this week when I squeezed in a visit to CHS before the impending closure. The large volume of the Tabor holdings are a two edged sword. The good news is that there is much information to read, view and assimilate. The bad news is that it takes time and organization to sort through the inconsequential, sift down to the nitty-gritty, and identify the really good stuff.

Frustrations slip away when treasures fall into the researchers hands. Fortunately, those moments came and I was transported to a time long ago when our pioneer state was newly formed. A silver king named H.A.W. Tabor put aside his ego and business concerns to scribble words of love to “Lizzie”, the bold script fading but the intent still clear on thin scraps of paper. A voyeur into the past, I was able to interpret these items directly from the source. History was in my hands.

I will miss CHS while they regroup. However, when one door closes, two more usually open. The adventure is just beginning. I am almost grateful that I was forced to scramble into disjointed action. Almost.

Joyce Lohse, 10/23/09