19th century artist, Eliza Greatorex, sketched Colorado in the 1870s

While researching for my latest book, “Notorious San Juans,” I came across an unexpected crop of unusually accomplished women – all from the same family. The Pratt family of County Donegal, Ireland produced two remarkable women: Eliza Pratt Greatorex, a well-known artist, and her sister Matilda Pratt Despard, a writer. Eliza Greatorex later had two daughters who followed in their mother’s footsteps. Continue reading

Labor grievances and strikes marred Colorado’s coal mining industry

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Colorado Front Range coal industry was booming. Between the Northern Coal Field (200 coal mines between Marshall and Frederick) and the Southern Coal Field (between Trinidad and Walsenberg), Colorado also saw its share of labor unrest. Continue reading