We need your help to win the presitigious honor of owning this year's Most Significant Artifact in Colorado!
VOTE for the "Fulford Signal EXTRA" from Eagle Valley Library District and Eagle County Historical Society!
Click this link to check out our artifact, and others from around the state, that have been nominated this year!
The Fulford Signal was the newspaper of the small, short-lived mining boomtown of Fulford, Colorado. This single page issue, released quickly to spread news of a suspected ore strike, was quickly printed onto orange paper and as a single side—the only issue to ever do so. It was released mid-week on July 3, 1893 with a proclamation of “GOLD!” at the top. The newspaper features the names and owners of producing claims and the assay office’s returns from each claim listed. By July 7th, it was suspected that samples were ‘salted’ and the strike wasn’t a strike at all.
Reality was much different: over 500 mining claims were filed in the Fulford Mining District, but less than a dozen actually saw gold production.
The newspaper is stored in protective mylar sheets in large drawers.
It is rarely handled and was removed for a quick picture. Richard Perske, the donor, also provided high-resolution scans.
The text can still be read with ease and the edges are intact, which is remarkable for an artifact of this age.
Newspapers like this one are the few remnants displaying the in-the-moment excitement and disappointment that came with early mining.
Many mining towns did not last long, often leaving us limited information for reliable historical records. Fulford was no different; the town was established in 1889 and by 1912, community staples like the school and post office had been shuttered. (Did we mention that we need votes to win? Vote here!)
Newspapers, as a format, provide an unprecedented glimpse into the moments when history was unfolding right before our ancestors’ eyes. We are able to see active mines and claims, important people and names, places, and families that were part of this moment in history. Newspapers like this one are the few remnants displaying the in-the-moment excitement and disappointment that came with early mining. The Fulford Signal has connected and corrected details about the people, businesses, claims, and history of what was happening in the area with its “no story too small” attitude towards the news.
Much of Colorado’s history begins with mining and the effects of mining are still present today: the town of Gilman is now an EPA Superfund Site and the 2014 Gold King Mine toxic spill are a few examples. Mining is inextricably linked to the early economy, population, and growth of Colorado. The stories of boom and bust have become legends, along with their characters. The Fulford story is one that touches every cornerstone of Colorado history: boom and bust mining, early businesses and ranching, cross-country business deals, and at the heart of it, a strong family unit that supported each other in remarkable ways. Given that the town of Fulford only survived for a little more than two decades, newspapers such as this provide an unprecedented look at history as it was happening.
The newspaper was generously donated by Richard Perske, author of "Boomtown to Ghost Town: The Story of Fulford". Perske has been cleaning up the awards this year and was also recently honored by History Colorado. Come check out the book, the newspaper, and more local history at the library or on our new Digital Archive!