No Wealth for Levinia

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No Wealth for Levinia
Series Title:
No Wealth for Levinia
Jones, Linda
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Center for Colorado and the West
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Auraria Library
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Auraria Library
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No Wealth for Levinia | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:50:32 PM] Home No Wealth for LeviniaNo Wealth for LeviniaSubmitted by nwharton on 10-20-2013 08:39 PMAuthor: Amy Hoskin Hill and Dennis Mayfield Publishing: Central City and Champion family history 1863-1912., 2013 Reviewer: Linda Jones Levinia Perry Champion came to Central City from Cornwall, England, in 1863, only four years after the initial discovery of lode gold there. She lived in the town for the next forty-nine years, most of them in the same house, before dying in 1912 at the age of seventy-five. During those tumultuous years her husband died, at the age of forty-eight, and she lost six of her ten children. For over two decades she supported herself and her remaining children by taking in boarders and laundry and baking the favored pasties of Cornish miners. Her journal provides an irreplaceable window on the everyday life of a gold miners family in a bustling mining town. Levinias personal triumphs and tragedies are interwoven with the booms and busts, accomplishments, and history of the Richest Square Mile on Earth. Her pride in her husband, this new country, and the new territory of Colorado are mingled with the mundane chores of daily life in new surroundings. The extraordinary strength women needed to live in a newly settled frontierphysical, mental, and emotional is evident on every page. Physically, Levinias life revolved around chores from sunup to sundownand latersix days a week. She baked for her large family, took in boarders, and sold Cornish pasties. She also cleaned, mended, sewed, ironed, and helped neighbors in their misfortunes. But Sunday was sacred to her, for Levinia was a staunch Methodist and reserved Sundays for the walk up the hill to St. James Methodist Church. Bible reading and prayer were also daily routines in her household. The book, written by one of Levinias grandchildren, Amy Hoskin Hill, is not a word-for-word translation of her valuable journal but is based on memories of Hills visits with her grandmother and on her grandmothers unpublished journalas well as boxes of clippings, programs, announcements, and other memorabilia. Hill researched and wrote the manuscript over a ten-year period from the 1960s into the 1970s. Hills grandson, Dennis Mayfield, discovered and published her manuscript. The book contains some misspellings of names and a few dating errors, enough to make the reader wish for a discerning editor. I also wish Levinias own words appeared more often. Many of her descriptive adjectives and adverbs are quoted, but no lengthy examples of her actual writing are presented. But these are trivial complaints. This book transports the reader to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Levinia had successfully owned and managed two sewing rooms in Cornwall and was a quick study in judging people and solving problems. Her independent nature sometimes clashed with her new husband because Hugh Champion was a typical Cornishman, quite sure that he should support his family monetarily and be the sole decision-maker in all important matters. Levinia remonstrated with herself often to be 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 AmericanWhile on the Dominguez-Escalante expedition in 1776, Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco drew the first map of Colorado.


No Wealth for Levinia | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library[12/7/2015 3:50:32 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us quiet and not interfere, but like many wives throughout history, she found ways to slyly introduce him to new ideas and ways of thinking. To our twenty-first-century eyes Levinias life was hard. She had been the oldest of six in her birth family and helped raise the younger five when both their parents died. Because she was passionately in love with Hugh in Cornwall, she was only twenty-five years old when she left her birth country behind to come to a strange land and marry him. She remained devoted to him her entire life, but like most miners he died young (forty-eightolder than most) of silicosis. Silicosis also killed one of her sons in the prime of his life, at the age of thirty-six in 1906, making him the ninth burial of Champions prior to her own in the Knights of Pythias cemetery above Central City: her husband, six children, and two grandchildren. The well-known events of Central City history are told through Levinias eyes: the arrival of the first train in Central City, the great fire of 1874, the laying of the diminutive Gilpin Tram tracks, the Sleepy Hollow mine disaster, the panic of 1893 and its effect on Colorado, and the completion of the Bobtail Tunnel. Through her daughters work in the towns retail business in the twentieth century, she furnishes insight into the commercial life of Central City. Even the red-light district inhabitants rate a mention, although this Christian lady held them in low regard. The chapters are quite shortthere are forty of them in the books 236 pagesand the headings are explicit, so following the fortunes, or lack of them, in this pioneer family is a quick read and an intriguing one. I recommend it. Reviewer Info: Linda Jones has written two books and over 1,200 published articles, most of them on some facet of Colorado history. She has worked as a tour guide since 1976 and owned a tour company since 1983. She was president of the Gilpin County Historical Society for twenty years and continues to be a trustee of the organization as well as their event chair. Linda launched the groups popular Cemetery Crawl in 1989 and continues to organize it, as well as planning the sold-out Victorian Teas in the Stroehle House in Black Hawk, arranging the Aspen/Ghost Towns autumn tours, and assisting with the October Creepy Crawls.