Monthly Archives: April 2011

Tourist Season

Pikes Peak Tourist

A Pikes Peak Tourist

With spring well underway in the Rocky Mountains, thoughts naturally turn to tourist destinations and new ways to enjoy them. Our current culture did not invent the concept of traveling for fun and education. Far from it. The West can look to western expansion to explain much of its history, good and bad. After the Civil War, young men scrambled to find their fame and fortune in the West. Pioneers and tourists came in many packages. They were immigrants from different countries, and men and women from all walks of life.

Pioneer view photographers provided exciting images of natural wonders and scenery to those back east. With the arrival and connection to transcontinental train lines in Colorado in 1870, tourists came to see for themselves the scenes they had witnessed only in photographs.

Pioneer view photographer, William E. Hook, was one of those photographers. In addition to the numerous scenic views he shot all over the West, he sold photographs to tourists by the hundreds and thousands. When they departed on burros up the Pikes Peak Trail, he took their photo, printed while they were gone, then sold them a souvenir photo when they returned. During the summer months, business was booming.  As Hook said, “You can only realize the height of Pikes Peak on looking down from the summit, and all appear to try the experiment.”

Joyce B. Lohse, 4/26/11
“Artist’s Glen: A Tale of Two Photographers”
June 11, Pikes Peak Library District History Symposium


Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Western history, Western Travel


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She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain

Baby Doe Cover

Waiting for a book in production conjures up a combination of excitement and drama. After concentrating and struggling with many edits, it is hard watch the little bird fly from the nest as it wings its way off to the print shop. As the author, it is hard to let it go after a couple of years of concentrated effort, and it seems too soon to watch it fly away, out of reach and beyond further guidance and tender nurturing. It is, however, time to take a few breaths, ponder what is at hand, and switch gears and concentration to marketing mode. Fly little bird, fly.

For me, the transition was helped along when I was presented with a tough question by a fellow member of Women Writing the West. I am grateful to author Carolyn Niethammer in Arizona for her insightful and thought-provoking question, which made me collect my thoughts and express what I had accomplished and produced. I will share the exchange with you here.

Carolyn Niethammer wrote:
> Joyce, I’m curious about your new book.  Several other books have been written about Baby Doe.  What led you to do another one? What new information or new take on her do you have?  Any book of this type is an enormous undertaking and I’m sure you have good reasons to think you could do better — and I’m so curious what they were.

Hello Carolyn —

My take on Baby Doe and other characters is to go beyond myths and legends to reveal the truth and the “voice” of my characters. They are succinct reads that appeal to history buffs of all ages and tourists looking for a solidly researched historical perspective.

To find Elizabeth Tabor’s voice, I went places never before revealed. Visualize personal notes written among recipes in a favorite cookbook. I found those, along with home remedies. It was much like snooping through her cupboards and medicine cabinet. Good stuff!

If you are familiar with the work of Caroline Bancroft, my niche is a modern version of her format, except my nonfiction work is reality based. My combination of journalism and genealogy background for biography is somewhat unique. I seek primary sources for facts and I do not make up dialogue. This is the real deal, skillfully edited and crafted by Filter Press.

Good questions — thanks for asking — Joyce

P.S. Denverites: Come see me next Sunday, April 17, at the Englewood Public Library Author Showcase. With luck, Baby Doe will be with me!

I just heard that several copies are in the mail and will be in my hands for Sunday’s event. Then the fun begins!

Joyce Lohse, 4/13/11


Posted by on April 13, 2011 in Western history, Writing Life


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