On February 4, 2011, I posted a blog about “The Red Book,” a history of Eagle County written by school children in the 1940s.
Here we are, finishing up 2014, and I am working with a poor copy of MacDonald Knight’s thesis for Western State College of Colorado, Gunnison, Early Days on the Eagle, 1953. Knight’s thesis eventually ended up as a monograph, Early Days on the Eagle, published in 1965, by Knight and Leonard A. Hammock. It continues to be the most comprehensive, well-documented account of the settling of the Eagle River drainage.
What delighted me was what I found in Knight’s introduction. On p. 1, he states: “In 1937, the public schools of Eagle County attempted to gather all material from each district in order to compile a complete county history. Most of the material was obtained from interviews with the pioneer residents.”
A date! The original Red Book did not have a date on it and neither did the photocopies made in the 1980s. At this point, I can correct catalog records and I can also do a search through our newspapers for 1937 to see if any mention was made of this project. Fun! [As a cautionary tale, this also supports the fact that reading can make a difference in your life! Just saying.]
As I continued to read the introduction, I found this: “Except where credit is otherwise given, the photographs used for illustration of this study are printed from the original Jackson negatives of the State Historical Society of Colorado at Denver, by permission of the Executive Director.”
I immediately thumbed through the thesis but found no photographs, this being a copy. It does make me itchy to see the original, housed at Western State (I hope it’s there). When the 1965 book was published, six photos from the Western History Department, Denver Public Library were credited.
Frequently, I find information for which I’m not looking. It’s always a pleasant surprise when I can tie that information to something else I’ve worked on: linking!