Wolle Bully!!! to paraphrase the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs hit song of 1965 (it was a simpler time …) - - - Political Correctness advisory = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcguLZaMelE A-n-y-w-a-y - - - I am a big fan of Muriel Sibell Wolle. I have two of her books, “Stampede to Timberline” and “Montana Pay Dirt:” the first highly recommended for its Colorado subject matter. She was head of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Colorado from 1927 to 1947. She became enamored of the mining communities in Colorado primarily but elsewhere as well. She drove (and hiked in to) what was left of them in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s, chronicling in words and with her delightful sketches, the remnants of the fast fading mining scene and its ghost towns. Her books contain her pocket histories of each site, developed from scholarly research she did at CU, and from oral histories she took on-site, and illustrated by her splendid sketches.
What’s more, in addition to sketching, she also took a ton of fascinating pictures, NOT in her books, sometimes (albeit rarely) of railroad related subjects.
So, courtesy of the Denver Public Library Digital Collection, here is one of her photos of a rather recognizable subject.
I'm with you on this. I have 3 of her books, the content fit my list of favourite subjects, Ghosttowns, Mining and Colorado/Montana. I found it a great pity that the photographs weren't included and was delighted later to discover the images in the DPL. It was her excursions to remote places that also led me on several great trips into the back country of Idaho, Montana and Colorado and the fact she did it in that era, a time where travel was difficult, a woman just didn't do that sort of thing and neither did very many men I gather.
Muriel Sibell Wolle shared her account of a ride up Clear Creek Canyon on the C&S in her book, Stampede to Timberline, Revised Edition, Sage Books, Swallow Press (1974), page 105. I purchased the book, a "Centennial 76 Edition," in July 1975 in the midst of my first trip to Colorado. One of my treasures as well.
In 1925 I took the Georgetown Loop Excursion trip to the mountains west of Denver. The famous "Loop" was known even in the east, and before reaching Denver I had determined to do two bits of sight-seeing - one, to climb the dome of the Capitol and the other, to take the narrow gauge road to the old silver camp of Georgetown. I had climbed the dome of the State Capitol and gazed at the solid barrier of mountain peaks, which constitute the Continental Divide, and now I was on the train about to explore one of the canyons which led up toward their summits.
When the conductor discovered that he had a tenderfoot aboard he refused to let me miss any of the interesting sights along the way. As the little train puffed along Clear Creek, its track high above the stream or almost in the water, he pointed out Floyd Hill down which the pioneers had to snub their wagons and he indicated the canyon up which the Black Hawk branch of the railroad was laid. At Idaho Springs he showed me the smoke screen that was placed over the engine's stack to prevent stray sparks from igniting the timber and causing forest fires and he told about the hot springs, which gave the town its name. As we pulled out, he insisted that I look at certain gravel banks, which marked the sites of the Jackson Diggings and of Spanish Bar, where the first gold around Idaho was panned. Although all of these things were interesting, it was Georgetown that I was anticipating. I had planned to leave the train there and to spend the hour or two before the return trip was made in wandering about the place and making thumbnail sketches of its streets. How it happened I'll never know - perhaps the scenery was too engrossing - but I completely missed the Georgetown station, and before I knew it, the train was climbing along the edge of a mountain and I was looking down upon the town where I had expected to remain. Climbing all the time, the train swept up the valley, around the curves and over the bridges of the famous "Loop" and stopped at Silver Plume, another mining camp. The excursion crowd was deposited at a pavilion at the upper end of town, close to the mines, and there I stayed until time to return to Denver, looking hungrily at the distant, snowy peaks and longing to get closer to them. On the way back my conductor gave me specimens of ore, and had I known then that the next twenty years would be spent learning all I could about the mountains and the mines, I would have listened more closely to his stories. Years later, when I visited Georgetown, I found it quite as delightful as I had expected it to be and, as with Central city, I returned to it again and again.