Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Colorado News - Travel

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo Property of the Author

Some of us are traveling this time of year, while others may wait until next year. One thing is almost certain, our characters travel. I thought it might be fun to look at the news around traveling from some of the early Colorado Newspapers. I'll start you off with one from the April 23, 1859 issue of the Cherry Creek Pioneer.

It is a bit hard to read, but it tells of flat-boats on the Platte River heading for the Missouri River. Unfortunately, it seemed two of them, according to the report, are now underneath the Platte River. 

As someone who grew up near the Mississippi River and learned its history, a number of the rivers in the early days had rapids, were hard to navigate, and one always had to deal with floods. Even the Mississippi, with all the attempts to control it, still manages to defy man and flood.

The next piece is from the February 29, 1860 issue of The Western Mountaineer. This piece is a report from one of the Eastern papers about the migration of 'gold-seekers'.

The article references the Pikes Peak or Bust era. I've always found this interesting as Pikes Peak is some seventy miles to the south of the area that started the rush. They mention that St. Joseph, (Missouri) had recently seen one hundred twenty 'gold seekers' from Ohio who were heading to Colorado. It says the next 'wave' will be better prepared with all the provisions, etc. that one would need on such a trip.

The final article is from the July 12, 1860 issue of The Western Mountaineer. This one is a reprint of a Leavenworth Herald piece. It also speaks of the migration and travel to the gold fields in the West.


It boggles the mind that so many families were making the trek in 1860 for a new life. As the article says, according to the gentleman who'd traveled from Denver to Leavenworth, there was a total of 17,086 people. Then another gentleman traveling from Denver to Fort Kearney indicated that he'd seen 22, 974 people heading west. 

So much of that early travel was to either find gold, silver, or land. Regardless the newspapers were documenting the migration. As a storyteller, I wonder what the stories were of those early travelers.

Until next time, each of you has a wonderful Holiday Season, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -

Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History


Julie Lence said...

Hi Doris: Interesting how they wrote about travel back then, too. I think I would've waited for the train, or, at the very least, an established town to get to. Hugs! and thank you for sharing.

Renaissance Women said...

I've always found the way people express things so fascinating. I might have been one of those who took off for the unknown, but then, no I would have been. LOL.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Doris

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Dang, I had no idea of the tremendous number of people that headed west seeking a better life. Great research, Doris.

Renaissance Women said...

Thank you, Sarah. It surprised me to see a concrete number. I'm always on the lookout for this tidbits of information. Doris

Elizabeth Clements said...

Well, Doris, those were definitely interesting tidbits of information. Mind=boggling, actually, to imagine all the people and animals, and the volume of food and water that had to be carried....no 7-11 or Save-on-Foods down the road. I found that last article especially interesting.

Renaissance Women said...

Elizabeth, I found the information pretty astounding also. When I read these I knew I had to share. Doris