Lesser known than the gold and silver mines of Western lore, Southern Colorado's extensive coal mines fueled the engines for Western industrialization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of the numerous companies operating the mines, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) was king. With a total of 62 mines, the majority of them in Colorado's Las Animas, Huerfano, and Fremont Counties, CF&I ruled the lives of countless miners in company towns scattered throughout Southern Colorado. Working long hours, often in cramped underground caverns, the workers emerged to families living in lonely mountain landscapes completely provisioned with company homes, stores, schools, and churches. Images of America: Mining Towns of Southern Colorado gives an intimate glimpse into the lives of these pioneer mining families.
Author Bio: Staci Comden, Victoria Miller, and Sara Szakaly selected the images from the collection of nearly 100,000 photographs in the CF&I Archives. Tim Hawkins edited the work, and Jay Trask provided an introduction. With a combined service of almost 20 years working on the voluminous CF&I Archives, located in the former CF&I Steelworks buildings in Pueblo, this team was uniquely qualified to unearth a wealth of forgotten images from the 121-year history of a Colorado industrial giant.
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