Basins of Silver: The Story of Silverton, Colorados Las Animas Mining District | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/basins-silver-story-silverton-colorados-las-animas-mining-district[12/8/2015 1:14:44 PM] Home Basins of Silver: The Story of Silverton, Colorados Las Animas Mining DistrictBasins of Silver: The Story of Silverton, Colorados Las Animas Mining DistrictSubmitted by cowestadmin on 9-26-2009 07:35 PMAuthor: Eric Twitty Publishing: Lake City, CO: Western Reflections Publishing Company, 2008. Photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index. v + 386 pages. 6-1/2 x 9.5-1/2. $32.95 hardcopy. Reviewer: Duane A. Smith Reviewer Affiliation: Fort Lewis College-Durango, Colorado Mining districts throughout Colorado should be the beneficiaries of a study similar to Basins of Silver: The Story of Silverton, Colorados Las Animas Mining District. This book could become an example of how archaeology and history can be blended together to produce a readable, in-depth, and scholarly examination of an important San Juan mining district. This district, one of the longest operating mining ones in the United States, is significant in the history of Colorado and American mining. It has long needed its Homer, and he has been found. Twitty, armed with a MA in history from the University of Colorado Denver, has become a recognized mining scholar and author. He owns a mining consulting business in Boulder that specializes in mining sites and history. His work on this district is outstanding. Located just north of Silverton, high in the rugged San Juan Mountains, the Las Animas Mining District witnessed the entire spectrum of Colorado mining, from 1860s placer mining to 1890s corporation controlled mining to the final decline and 1950s end of the district. There are still those, though, who believe it is far from played out. Hope springs eternal. The book is more than just the history of mines, however. It is the story of the people who owned them and the men that worked them. Well-known individuals make a bow, such as the Guggenheim family and Winfield Scott Stratton. Lesser known individuals also played major roles in the districtthe Crooke brothers, Jack Slattery, Charles Chase, and the Stoiber brothers. The districts famous mines are brought into clear focus, including the Highland Mary, Iowa, and Silver Lake. The successes and failures of mills and smelters, the key to successful operations, play a major role in the story. Mining camps and towns, for example Silverton, Quartzville and Howardsville, illustrate why mining was an urban West. The story of Otto Mears and his Silverton Northern Railroad traces the significance of the iron horse to Colorado and mining in general. Without that little narrow-gauge line, the districts history would have been much different and chronologically shorter. The Las Animas Mining District contained some major mines, some coquettes that teased those who tried to work them, and a healthy group, which that old Nevada silver miner Mark Twain described as a hole in EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWithin Colorado boundaries are lands once claimed by Spanish kings and Mexican governors.
Basins of Silver: The Story of Silverton, Colorados Las Animas Mining District | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/basins-silver-story-silverton-colorados-las-animas-mining-district[12/8/2015 1:14:44 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us the ground owned by a liar. The successes and failures, the hopes and realities, and the rise and decline of nineteenthand twentieth-century mining are all clearly illustrated. Basins of Silver includes maps, drawings, and scores of photographs, all of which help explain and illustrate the story as it unfolds. Eric Twitty has done a masterful job with a complicated subject and along the way keeps his readers clearly in mind. He carefully brings them with him as the story unfolds over the decades. When finished with the book the reader will gain a much clearer understanding of the vicissitudes of mining, which are clearly described. This book is recommended, for general readers and scholars alike, for Colorado and mining history. Reviewer Info: Duane A. Smith is a professor of history at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, where he has taught Colorado history since 1964. Known as The Sage of the San Juan and The Homer of the Hills, Smith has authored more than fifty books and innumerable articles. Smith received his BA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Colorado. Add new comment