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.

Prostitution, brothels and other naughty bits

Posted by on Aug 4, 2016 in Blog, Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

Current traces of the oldest profession (and some old photos, too) This page will grow and change as time goes on. Right now I am busily combing through my twitter posts on this specific subject. It is incredibly hard to find the last traces of prostitution in the “Wild West”. The parlor house buildings were often converted into other purposes, the cribs were probably the first to be bulldozed in the name of eradication of vice…the list goes on. The prostitutes themselves are difficult to trace because the often worked using a multitude of made-up names to spare their family’s shame. People who owned brothels, parlor houses and cribs were not keen to advertise the fact that a lot of their wealth came from the dirty money of vice. #ColoradoHistory #Victor Sunnyside graveyard. Grave of French prostitute named Blanche LeCoq. Her cabin @ CC Museum pic.twitter.com/EhjzjjT9O4 https://twitter.com/rsamuelsonb1/status/759425892309344257/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw #ColoradoHistory. #Leadville has a couple of remaining houses of ill-repute. This might be one. Research needed! pic.twitter.com/Xrs8jDAzg9 — Randi SamuelsonBrown (@rsamuelsonb1) July 17, 2016 #OldWest #Klondike #SoiledDove. She looks like she's having a good time…the truth was probably different… pic.twitter.com/zZZxzFlobf — Randi SamuelsonBrown (@rsamuelsonb1) June 29, 2016 #ColoradoHistory The Fortune Club in Victor served as my inspiration for Ryan's brothel in THE BEATEN TERRITORY. pic.twitter.com/hK35tlPrC3 — Randi SamuelsonBrown (@rsamuelsonb1) June 6, 2016...

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Updated Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction Lists

Posted by on Jun 5, 2016 in Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

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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The Beaten Territory (Historical Fiction) signed with Five Star Publishing

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

The Beaten Territory (Historical Fiction) signed with Five Star Publishing

Colorado Historical Fiction (with basis in fact). 1890’s Denver. Complete with Prostitution, Laudanum, Corruption and Murder! What could be nicer? The scheduled publication date is October 15, 2017 – stay tuned. Based on an actual Denver family who ran operations on Market Street. Not for the faint of heart, it is a honest and accurate portrayal for the rougher side of life in the western frontier. I made sure of it! People today might not know it, but Denver was a shady place at its inception. The west was not always an upstanding place, and Denver is it’s proof. City Hall and the police force were corrupt, and had their pockets lined by the proceeds of vice. Kick backs and sham “fees” were a fact of life for saloon keepers, bordellos and prostitutes. There were many of gambling halls (known as ‘hells’) lining Larimer Street . Money  money was lifted off of the unwary, the drunk and the naive.  Businesses that profited from vice paid a lot of dubious protection money. Cons were on the make from the likes of Soapy Smith and other swindlers.  Market Street  (formerly known as Halliday Street ) was the center of the vice district. The Halliday family made the city remove their name from the shadiest street in Denver, and the name was changed to Market. Denver was deemed to have one of the largest rid-light districts west of the Mississippi – and a lot of gold and silver fueled a lot of bad behavior. When the silver crash of 1894 happened, it calmed down – but just a bit – as fortunes were ruined almost over night. Not much is left of those old traces as buildings have disappeared under the name of progress and development; but a walk along both Larimer and Market Streets today does offer glimpses into the not so distant past. Denver was always up for a good time – especially in the lower streets....

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Where the Cowboys Roam Anthology – Zimbell House Press. Available Amazon.com

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

Where the Cowboys Roam Anthology – Zimbell House Press. Available Amazon.com

My short story “On the Rough Edge of Town” is included in this anthology. I have already taken this story, and “On the Fringes” and have started a novel length book about this character. Sometimes I feel “on the fringes” myself, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now I have a new idea for the direction the plot should take after watching Mysteries at the Museum. Hey, I’ll take my inspiration wherever I can get it! Cover photograph of the...

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Twitter Posts – The Dark Side of the Old West

Posted by on Sep 5, 2015 in Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

Twitter Posts – The Dark Side of the Old West

Colorado History focus: @rsamuelsonb1 (to find me on Twitter) rsamuelsonb on Pinterest – Old West Unflinching www.niume.com – the occasional post Can’t seem to help the pull of attraction toward the seamier side of the Old West, and Colorado in particular. Let’s face it, if you want wholesome stories about pioneer families my blogs and books are probably not for you! However, if you are looking more into the shadowy corners of people with desperate and hard choices to make…well. This all might be your cup of tea!...

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On the Fringes (finalist for the 2014 Laura Award)

Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Featured, Portfolio | 0 comments

On the Fringes (finalist for the 2014 Laura Award)

Finalist in the 2014 Laura Award – Women Writing the West. By the time the train reached the wilds of Nebraska, my husband and I were barely on speaking terms. Plain and simple, our marriage wasn’t working. Neither was he. Charley was called a confidence man—but he didn’t inspire too much confidence in me.   To read entire story: On the...

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