Originally published in 1878, I reimagined the Colorado section of this book of fascinating travel essays by the Grande Dame of Colorado writers by editing it for the modern reader, updating spellings and writing conventions; and profusely illustrating it with my color photographs.
In late 1873 best-selling author and poet Helen Hunt moved to Colorado fromher native New England for the Mountain West’s dry, bracing air. Settling in Colorado Springs, which had only been established two years before, Helen Hunt explored frontier Colorado and Colorado Springs and wrote about her adventures for magazines, including The Atlantic and New York Independent. These Colorado travelogues were published, along with others about New England and California, in her book Bits of Travel at Home.
This reprint by Every Adventure Publishing of the book’s Colorado section, entitled Colorado: Bits of Travel at Home, is published for this month’s 150th anniversary of the founding of Colorado Springs in 1871. The book's fascinating chapters detail the beginnings of Colorado and give firsthand observations of those halcyon frontier days and the firstsettlers, hard-rock miners, and upstanding citizens.
As a literary journalist, Helen Hunt Jackson, traveling by carriage, horse, and railroad, roamed around Colorado’s Front Range for four years, interviewing miners living above 14,000 feet near Fairplay, descending into mines at Central City, traveling to the end of the railroad tracks in the San Luis Valley, and rejoicing in the natural beauty of Colorado Springs, her new hometown, and its spectacular natural wonders like Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods.
Looking back over 150 years, Colorado: Bits of Travel at Home offers a glimpse of the original Colorado and its colorful history. The book, indispensable reading for any lover of Colorado, includes an introduction to Helen Hunt Jackson from 1899 as well as new commentary that I wrote to preface each chapter, including ones about Fairplay, Boulder Canyon, Georgetown, the San Luis Valley, and Colorado Springs. I also included a new chapter about the vanished Seven Lakes that has not been printed since 1879.