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The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
At once a majestic journey across the West, a significant work of history, and a moving personal saga, The Oregon Trail draws readers into the journey of a lifetime. Learn more
"Benson knows the highest state intimately. Her witty, wise, scholarly explanations of how places got their names will brighten your trails."--Thomas J. Noel, author of The City and the Saloon: Denver, 1858-1916
"This fact-packed volume of Colorado place names is an invaluable supplement to the study of Colorado's past. Tourists and travelers will want to keep it on the seat beside them as they drive through the state."--Liston E. Leyendecker, author of Palace Car Prince: A Biography of George Mortimer Pullman
"A captivating look at Colorado's place names written by one of the state's premier historians. This book will settle arguments and start lively discussions--and be fun to read all the while."--Duane A. Smith, author of Rocky Mountain West: Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana, 1859-1915
About the Author
Maxine Benson, former state historian at the Colorado Historical Society, has written extensively on her native state. She is author of Mountain Naturalist and coauthor of A Colorado History.
What's in a Name? Actually, quite a lot as you will discover if you get this interesting, informative book. As a non-native of Colorado I have often wondered at, and about, some of the names I encounter when entering the outskirts of a city, town or settlement. For instance, what would motivate someone to name a town Firstview, or Last Chance, or Ophir? More times than not my inquiries of locals or natives were less than satisfactory. It is amazing the number of citizens that do not know why or how their community received its name. Thus, you can imagine my delight when I discovered this gem of a book. No longer do I have to rely on finding the right person in a town to provide me with the source of the town name or visit the local library to satisfy my curiosity. The book provides historical, geographical, and geological information on Colorado cities, towns, settlements, villages, and crossroads within all 63 present day counties. In addition, there is an abundance of stories associated with the naming of the sites that simply "seemed worth telling." The town of Ophir was named after a verse in the bible, 1 Kings 9:28 which some say has sustained the town. Some say Telluride, the famous ski resort, was named for the chemical element Tellurium even though the area contains no Tellurium! Others say that prospective visitors were warned by prospectors and miners: "To Hell You Ride." 19th century literary interests led to the naming of Montrose. The name was selected from the popular works of Sir Walter Scott, specifically his 1819 novel The Legend of Montrose. Ah, but there is more, much more. Want to know about Delta, Saw Pit, Silverton, Aspen? What about Firstview and Last Chance? They, and many more, are all here.Read more ›
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