Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/content/nothing-daunted-unexpected-education-two-society-girls-west[12/8/2015 11:36:03 AM] Home Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the WestNothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the WestSubmitted by nwharton on 9-21-2011 05:45 AMAuthor: Dorothy Wickenden Publishing: New York, NY: Scribner, 2011. vii + 286 pages. Black and white photographs, bibliography, index, notes. 6 x 9. $26.00 hardcover. Reviewer: Arianth C. Stettner During the spring of 2011, there was great anticipation from a cadre of Routt County residents awaiting the release of Dorothy Wickendens book, Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West. Several years earlier, a request for information about Elkhead, Colorado, went out to local historians. An editor from The New Yorker was coming to northwestern Colorado in February to research and to visit the remote Elkhead School. Dorothy Wickenden was writing about her grandmothers experiences as a teacher at the rural one-room schoolhouse in 1916. She was inspired to do so when she discovered the letters her grandmother, Dorothy Woodruff, wrote to family in New York while she and her childhood friend, Rosamond (Ros) Underwood, were both teaching in rural Colorado. Guided by descendants of early settlers from the area, Dorothys pilgrimage to the Elkhead School through five miles of untracked snow via snowmobile and skis gave her a taste of her grandmothers adventures nearly one hundred years earlier. Wickendens article, Roughing It, appeared in the April 20, 2009, New Yorker magazine. Readers were captivated by that first glimpse into those long ago experiences. When fans learned that Wickenden had expanded the article into a book, they were delighted. The book builds on the original New Yorker article to relate the story of the unexpected education of two society girls in the West. The book describes the social climate, the development of northwestern Colorado, and the stories of the resourceful people who populated the area during that time. A number of interesting nonfiction books about the early days in Routt County, Colorado, have appeared in print in the last five years. From photo collections to accounts based on the letters or memoirs of individuals, these books have provided a glimpse of life in the remote corner of the state. Not since 1962, however, when award-winning Colorado author and historian John Rolfe Burroughs published Where the Old West Stayed Young, a colorful account of the history of nearby Browns Park, has there been a book about the area so rich in historic detail and so thoroughly documented. Wickendens book is far more than an account of her grandmothers adventures. Thoroughly researched, Wickenden provides a historic context for the status of women in the workplace and society in the early twentieth century. The two adventurous graduates from Smith College had few opportunities for employment available to them. Teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in the frontier West was one respectable option, although the girls wealthy families in upstate New York thought otherwise. Once she was in Colorado, young Dorothys lively letters described the hardy and hopeful settlers with whom the 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 AmericanCasimiro Barela, state senator for over 37 years, fought to ensure Colorados first constitution was published in English, Spanish and German.
Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/content/nothing-daunted-unexpected-education-two-society-girls-west[12/8/2015 11:36:03 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us teachers lived. Eventually, the reader learns how many different lives changed course because of the young womens teaching experience. Through Dorothys and Ross encounters, Wickenden has interwoven the history of the development of the Yampa Valley coal fields, the coming of the Moffat Railroad, and the early days of the now venerable but then experimental Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp. It was a seminal time in Routt County history, and two eastern women were witness to and part of the transformation. Wickendens readable style is engaging. Nothing Daunted unfolds like a novel. As many of Wickendens followers already know, the reader is in for a treat, as history does, indeed, come to life through her writing. Reviewer Info: Arianth C. Stettner recently earned a master of arts degree in historic preservation from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. A resident of Routt County since 1971, co-founder of Historic Routt County, and former member of Steamboat Springs City Council, Stettner is the 2011 president of the board of Colorado Preservation Inc. Add new comment