Monday, July 26, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : Idaho Springs

If I were in Denver, I'd get on I-70 and head west. Why? One reason is because my Mom lives in the mountains west of Denver. Another is that are some cool little towns on I-70 west of Denver. Georgetown comes to mind. Lake Georgetown is there. Fish.Fear.Me. Enough said. Out of Lake Georgetown flowing east is Clear Creek, which leads us to Idaho Springs. As with many mountain towns in Colorado, mining, specifically gold, has played a significant role in the history of Idaho Springs. In January, 1859, Goerge A. Jackson, Missouri native with experience in the gold mines of California, discovered gold where Chicago Creek empties into Clear Creek (present-day Idaho Springs). Boom followed by bust visited Idaho Springs, as with so many mining towns in the Rockies and elsewhere. There are, however, restored mines in the area where one can learn of the mining history of the town and its importance to the area. As a matter of fact, you can still pan for gold there. From : "There are plenty of good little restaurants in Idaho Springs, including a brewpub. All are affordable, as is area lodging and genuinely unique shopping. After a long day of playing tourist, enjoy the hot mineral waters of the springs for which the town is named. You can stay at the hot springs lodge or just visit the geothermal springs and caves for a fitting end to your hard-working day." Get more info at the links above and make plans to visit Idaho Springs...and Lake Georgetown. Fish.Might.Fear.You.Too.

Maine Minutiae : The People of the Dawn

The People of the Dawn, or Wabanaki, consists of five tribes of eastern Indians who formed a coalition during the 19th Century to stem the tide of Iroquois aggression. The tribes - the Abenaki, Penobscot, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Mi'kmaq - disbanded their confederacy in 1862, but the tribes still maintain close relationships with each other. The Wabanaki are spread from the Canadian Province of Newfoundland to the Merrimac River Valley in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Wabanaki have faced many challenges throughout their history including wars and epidemics brought to the New World by European settlers and armies. The modern-day tribes of  The People of the Dawn keep many of their ancestral traditions alive while using 21st Century technology, i.e., the World Wide Web, to teach those traditions and to inform others of their culture. There is some fascinating information at the links in this post, so when you get some time, read them and learn about some of the First Americans.

Texas Tidbits : Jefferson

Texas, as you know, is loaded with history. One of the least-known, most historic places in the state is the city of Jefferson in Marion County deep in East Texas. In spite of its location, Jefferson is historic for being one of the busiest ports in Texas at the time. Yes, I said port. But Jefferson is in the woods, you say to yourself. True that, but it is also situated near the Red River on Big Cypress Bayou on what was, and still is, calledThe Turning Basin, where steam wheelers loaded and unloaded cargo. At that time, Jefferson was one of the most important ports in Texas... until nitroglycerin came along. Since its peak population of around 7000 at the peak of river traffic, Jefferson is now a beautiful town of 2000 that relies on tourism as one of its main sources of income, with attractions ranging from several museums and antique shops to the historic Excelsior House and carriage rides through this historic place.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker