Old Colorado Photographs

Welcome to the Wild West!

Old (or antique) Colorado photographs can show in one picture, that which would take paragraphs to describe. Of course, since I spend a lot of my free time writing, that knowledge doesn’t slow me down too much, or stop me from trying. Favorite subjects: buildings, saloons, questionable characters and glimpses into everyday life.

500 feet underground in Cripple Creek mine

Old Cripple Creek Mine entrance. Specific mine name not provided. Looks foreboding, however.

Actress Colorado

Questionable young lady! It was believed she was “an actress”. I’m going to venture that proper ladies did not show their legs (laughing).

Becker and Nolan Block Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek in its heyday. Probably Harrison Avenue – the main street through town.

Vindicator Mine

The Vindicator Mine was in the Victor mining district – produced a lot of good ore. Now there is a walk that goes by it, and several other mines. A great was to spend an hour or so on an afternoon, listening to the wind blow through the abandoned buildings and mine structures.

Chinese Opium Den

Photo attributed to the Denver China Town. Probably circa 1910

Central City Bar 1870 to 1880

Central City Bar – locals called the town “Central”. Rival town about a mile and a half away called Nevadaville, now a ghost town. Saloons were split along economic lines, rather than ethnic lines.

Breckenridge Saloon

Not many know, but Breckenridge came to life as a mining town, long before skiing was popular.

Colo Insane Asylum - Copy

Pueblo – picture of the old Colorado Insane Asylum

Denver Street in Snow

Denver in the snow and mud. Location not specified.

Halliday Market Street Prostitution

Market Street was the ‘new’ name for Halliday Street. The Halliday’s asked that their name be taken off of the street because of its reputation. Visible in the photograph are two women soliciting from the doorways. One is wearing a white brothel gown.

Down the Rabbit Hole – Host Jerry Fabyanic

Posted by on Jan 12, 2018 in Featured, Portfolio | 2 comments

Saturday Jan. 13 2:00 102.7FM This is an excerpt from The Big Horn Book Club’s post: Writers Talk 2018: A chock-full line up of Colorado authors begins with Randi Samuelson-Brown at 2:00 MST Saturday, January 13th. Randi’s work, The Beaten Path, is her first published novel and set in 1890’s Denver. Randi’s interests include historical preservation, mourning jewelry, traveling and exploring ruins such as castles, mining structures, and old houses. At 3:00 MST, Sunny Weber, author of Beyond Flight or Fight, returns to talk about her latest work, The Dog at the Gate: How a Throwaway Dog Becomes Special, the story of Max, an Australian Shepherd, who faces hunger, living alone outside, a vicious dog next door, menacing raccoons, and abandonment before venturing forth on a heroic path. Read more about Randi at http://www.randisamuelsonbrown.com/ and Sunny at http://sunnyweber.com/. And listen in via streaming at...

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Travel Article in Atlas Obscura – Anschutz Museum of Western Art

Posted by on Nov 23, 2017 in Featured | 0 comments

Colorado Places to Visit I love Atlas Obscura – a great resource of the off-beat, uncanny and downright interesting places around the world. They started up a Denver chapter, and I consider myself very lucky to participate in a lecture on Victorian Mourning customs (in October 2017). I was then fortunate again to have this travel article published. If you haven’t seen their work – check them out! They are awesome! https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/american-museum-of-western-art   SaveSave...

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Historical Novel Society Review – The BEATEN TERRITORY

Posted by on Nov 11, 2017 in Featured | 0 comments

The Beaten Territory BY RANDI SAMUELSON-BROWN Find & buy on Denver was a booming city in the 1890s, and along with the growth of the railroad and industry came brothels, gambling dens, and all manner of vice and corruption. The brothels thriving on Market Street were left alone to flourish in squalor and seediness. The lowest of the prostitutes lived and worked in cribs, rows of makeshift hovels. The Ryan family has a tradition of working businesses on the wrong side of the law. Annie Ryan has been working as a prostitute and now aspires to open her own brothel. She meets Lydia Chambers, a wealthy society woman with a laudanum addiction and a miserable marriage. Lydia has recently purchased a building on Market Street without her husband’s knowledge. She rents the building to Annie in a secret arrangement to start her brothel. Annie hires her 16-year-old niece and her daughters, already seasoned prostitutes. This book highlights the oppression of women during that time and the limits governing their lives. They didn’t have career choices or protection under the law. It would do no good for Lydia to go to the police when her husband beat her. The police didn’t bother with a prostitute being beaten or murdered; it didn’t even merit a mention in the newspapers. I became immersed in this harsh world of prostitution, underhanded booze dealings, bribery, fraud, corrupt cops and politicians, drug addiction, and murder. There were no honest people or upstanding citizens to be found. The author was so good at pulling me into the story that I could set aside my feelings of revulsion for these characters. It is a gritty and unsentimental book with a gripping plot. Read it to get a sense of the reality faced by many women in the Old West. SaveSave SaveSave...

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Great Review and Turn out for the Tattered Cover – LoDo!

Posted by on Oct 19, 2017 in Featured | 0 comments

Randi Samuelson-Brown book talk and signing Wednesday, October 18, 7 p.m. Tattered Cover Historic LoDo Set in Denver during an era when the downtown district was lousy with gaming parlors, saloons, brothels and various other dens of iniquity, The Beaten Territory drips with the intrigue of what was still considered the Wild West, back in the 1890s. The latest novel by local author Randi Samuelson-Brown tells the story of Annie Ryan, a Market Street madam who gets swept up in Denver’s seedy underworld when she meets laudanum-addled socialite Lydia Chambers. Soon enough, a shocking murder shakes this world of booze-besotted good-time girls to its very core. Join Samuelson-Brown at the historic LoDo outpost of Denver’s Tattered Cover bookstore franchise for a reading and discussion of The Beaten Territory ($25.95, Five Star Publishing), a true page-turner that thrillingly flouts the sometimes stodgy conventions of historical fiction. Visit the Tattered Cover’s events calendar to learn more....

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Updated Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction Lists

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

Recommended Reading Lists – American West Frontier Historical Frontier Fiction and its non-fiction counterparts have always held a special place in my heart. For some time it has niggled at me that I haven’t been able to find a suggested reading list of good assembled in one place, including Good Reads.  I will admit to a special partiality to book written by women, but its just a bias. Obviously, Frontier Fiction, and Western Non-Fiction books apply to my areas of interest. The grittier the better. Admittedly, some of my interests are off-beat, and I have attempted to be more inclusive than just my favorite topics of prostitution, land grabs, ghosts, drug usage and other unsavory aspects of the Western Frontier experience. I have listed my favorites, and not-so favorites, that I used/encountered for the background in the BEATEN TERRITORY. If you see some omissions of book that you like, I am always interested in hearing suggestions.  Feel free to suggest additions, and I’ll check them out! Currently I am reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, a Pulitzer Prize winner. So far the verdict is the writing is beautiful…but it’s a bit slow for...

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