Rabbit Creek Country: Three Ranching Lives in the Heart of the Rocky Mountain West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/rabbit-creek-country-three-ranching-lives-heart-rocky-mountain-west[12/8/2015 1:11:39 PM] Home Rabbit Creek Country: Three Ranching Lives in the Heart of the Rocky Mountain WestRabbit Creek Country: Three Ranching Lives in the Heart of the Rocky Mountain WestSubmitted by cowestadmin on 9-26-2009 08:30 PMAuthor: Jon Thiem and Deborah Dimon Publishing: Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2008. Photos, endnotes, bibliography, index. xxvi + 440 pages. 6-1/4 x 91/4. $29.95 paperback. Reviewer: R. Mark McGoff This book tells the stories of three persons who were intertwined in a ranching operation in northern Colorado in the early twentieth century. John Elliott was first a freighter who moved goods from the Livermore area northwest of Fort Collins to places as distant as Steamboat Springs. With money earned from that business and with calves stolen on open range, he was able to parlay his cowboy skills into ranch management and finally into ownership of a ranch which exceeded 10,000 acres. He married Ida Meyer who had migrated to the area with her family and had taken employment as a waitress and pie maker at the Livermore Hotel. Ida was a quiet, subdued woman whose sensitivity was evident in her photography at a time that cameras were just beginning to be used by ordinary people. Into the lives of John and Ida Elliott came Josephine Lamb, who was employed as a teacher for the Elliotts son, Buck, and in several area schools. Although she was an educator, she was also intensely interested in owning and operating a ranch, an interest that had been piqued by her winning of a livestock judging contest while she was in high school. With John Elliotts assistance Josephine was able to acquire a smaller parcel of ranch land adjacent to the Elliott ranch. With his support and tutelage, she was able to become modestly successful as a rancher. However, as Josephine and John worked closely together, their relationship changed dramatically, and she was soon living in the Elliott ranch home with John and Ida. John and Josephine became lovers and were inseparable in both the Elliott home and their combined ranch operation for the next forty-two years. During this time Ida was relegated to a second bedroom in the family home, and Ida became the cook and housekeeper for them all. As would be expected, knowledge of this triangle became a matter of gossip within the community and affected the social standing of each of them. Jon Thiem constructs the stories of these three lives largely from photographs, letters, and interviews with family members and associates. Additionally, the stories of their lives are made more complete through the vivid explanations of ranching operations of the time and wonderful descriptions of the land in which these lives were led. The author often enters the narrative to inform the reader of his explorations of the Elliott ranch and the Livermore area or to explain the circumstances of an interview or information that he has discovered from textual research. Although this convention is not usual, this reviewer found it to be very helpful to understanding the impacts of the land on his characters, as well as the transition from free range to ranches with defined borders and fencing. 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 AmericanIn 1893, Colorado became the first state in the union to allow women the right to vote through popular election.
Rabbit Creek Country: Three Ranching Lives in the Heart of the Rocky Mountain West | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/rabbit-creek-country-three-ranching-lives-heart-rocky-mountain-west[12/8/2015 1:11:39 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us This book is extremely well written, and its extensive bibliography is indicative of solid research. It is a delightful read about a lesser known area of Colorado and three individuals who had profound impacts upon each others lives. This book is a welcome addition to the literature of our state. Reviewer Info: R. Mark McGoff has undergraduate degrees in English and philosophy and a masters degree in adult education, and he is an avid reader of Colorado history. He was a longtime warden in the Colorado prison system, served as a board member and chair of the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities, and is currently a member of the Colorado Historical Society and Arvada Historical Society. Additionally, he is on the Arvada City Council. Add new comment