Article by Sharon Chickering Moller
Local History – August 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine
When a fellow gets to pondering,
In the twilight hours of life,
With his mind just idly wandering
Through old scenes with memories rife;
Of strange happenings that teased him
In the days of long ago;
Of the many things that pleased him,
In the changing, passing show .
(Frank Vaughn, Leadville newspaperman and poet, 1905)
THE RED BRICK WALLS of the Tabor Opera House give few hints of the tragedies and comedies that were enacted within, nor of the equally compelling scenes that played out on the muddy, manure-strewn streets of the 1870s and 80s. Today, pigeons huddle on the windowsills and fire escape of the opera house, and there is little left to indicate the wild, often violent incidents that characterized late 19th century Leadville – where anything could happen, and often did. The streets were a frenzy then, as thousands of prospective miners arrived hoping to strike it rich.