Legend of the Springs

FountaineAt the base of Pike’s Peak is a little valley carrying a stream the old French voyageurs… named Fontaine Qui Bouille, or Boiling Fountain…[At] its source were springs which boiled forth charged with carbolic acid gas and pleasantly saturated with soda and other minerals.

These springs were held sacred by all the Indians both of the mountains and the plains because of their supposed medicinal qualities. Around [these springs] they wove traditions, as they did about most natural phenomena which they could not understand. This was supposed to be the spot where Manitou, the great spirit of all the Indians, came forth upon the earth from the happy hunting grounds. The gas bubbles in the water were thought to be his breathing.

Major Ruxton, an eccentric English Army officer…sought health by traveling in the Rocky Mountains all alone as far back as 1834…[He] found the springs filled with bead work and trinkets, left by the Indians as …offerings to Manitou. In his memoirs is found the legend that accounted for the springs.

A Comanche and a Ute…met at the springs…The Ute had killed a deer and this had aroused the jealousy of the Comanche. As the Ute stopped to drink, the Comanche leaped upon him and held his head in the stream until dead. At once the form of Manitou, an aged man with white beard, appeared out of the stream…and, with a war cry, brained the murderer. Immediately the water of that spring turned bitter.

So that his children might not have to drink of this, the great spirit smote the rocks some distance away and sweet and healing waters came forth.

All of this happened a long time ago “when the cotton woods along the big river (the Arkansas) were no larger than an arrow” and was the beginning of that feud between the Indians of the mountains and those of the plains, which lasted for centuries.

From “Shan Kive Marks Race Friendships” The Salt Lake Telegram, September 2, 1913, by Frederic J. Haskin

Published in: on February 8, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bernstein House

Bernstein home in Pueblo, Colorado

While searching my bookshelves for something to read, I came across The Search for Bridey Murphey. The book had belonged to my husband’s grandfather – a man who wrote his name and the date he acquired a book on the first page. He bought this copy sixty years ago, the year Doubleday first published this work by Morey Bernstein (1919-1999).

The book’s initial printing in January, 1956 was 10,000 copies. It quickly hit the New York Times best-seller list, where it remained for 26 weeks. By mid March, 200,000 copies were in print. The story was promptly made into a movie staring Louis Haywood and Teresa Wright. The book was reissued in 1965 and eventually published in 30 languages.

What was the great appeal of this story? Evidence of a woman’s previous life in another time. The fly page described it like this:  “His subject, a young woman named Ruth Simmons [real name Ginni Tighe] had been put into a deep hypnotic trance in the presence of witnesses. A home tape recorder was turned on to record every step in the experiment, beginning with the age regression process… Bernstein…took his subject back to the age of seven, to five, to three, to one–and finally through the barrier of time itself. ‘I want you to keep going back,’ he told her, ‘back through space and time, and you will find there are other scenes in your memory – in some other place, in some other time’.”

Ruth recalled a past life in Ireland when she was known as Bridey Murphy. The book’s fly page reports she was “…born in Cork, in 1798, she grew into a spirited miss with a saucy tongue who married a young barrister and moved to Belfast. She died at the age of sixty-six.”

Of course, the book was controversial! There were stories that investigators in Ireland found no record of Bridey or her family. Newspapers reported parallels between incidents in Ruth Simmons’ life and the stories she told as Bridey. Regardless, the story was intriguing and remains so today. The book reports Mr. Bernstein’s prior experiments in hypnotism, information about Edgar Cayce who did “life readings” that identified individuals’ medical problems, and then contemporary research in the field of extrasensory perception.

After 20 years of reflection, Mrs. Morrow told The Times in 1976 she remembered nothing of what she said of Bridey Murphy under hypnosis but considered the recollections valid. She expressed personal ambivalence about reincarnation.

Published in: on February 1, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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College Life 1932

1930sFrom the Colorado Woman’s College Catalog 1932-1933
A Recognized Junior College with a Four-Year Conservatory of Music


If a student desires to spend a night or week-end off of the campus, it is necessary to file, two days in advance of the proposed visit, a written invitation from the people she proposes to visit and also the written permission of her parents giving the name and the address of the person or persons whom she proposes to visit. General permissions are not approved.


Tuition for all literary subjects for the year = $225.00
Charge for only one or two regular class subjects = $8.00 per semester hour

The yearly cost for books = $12.00-$20.00 depending on courses selected

Two semesters room and board for a double room = $425.00 – 475.00 per year, depending on a bath with the room or a bath down the hall.
A singe room with bath = $500.00

Campus Organizations:
Browsers – literature club
Scribblers – a writers group. Membership limited to ten women and vacancies filled based on poems, essays, dramas or short stories submitted by an applicant.
Press Club – advanced journalism students
Glee Club – 25 members selected on competitive basis
Band – newly organized that year
French Club
Spanish Club
Home Economics Association – Meetings devoted to the discussion of such subjects as make life more beautiful and housekeeping a pleasure.
B. Z. Club for students interested in biology
Pi Omega Iota – club for students preparing to be teachers
Tri Chi – for girls taking secretarial courses
International Relations Club
Art Club
Chem Club
S.I.A.C. Honorary Athletic society – Open to all students who are able to meet the endurance and scholastic requirements.
Riding Club
Pi Kappa – daughters of ministers, who call themselves “Preachers’ Kids”

Published in: on January 25, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bestselling Books 1916

Old BooksWhat were people reading one hundred years ago? Here are the Publishers Weekly bestselling novels of 1916:

Seventeen by Booth Tarkington (two time Pulitzer Prize winner: 1919 for The Magnificent Ambersons and 1922 for Alice Adams)

When A Man’s A Man by Howard Bell Wright

Just David by Eleanor H. Porter

Mr. Britling Sees It Through by H.G. Wells (prolific British writer in many genres but best remembered for science fiction novels)

Life and Gabriella by Elen Glasgow (won the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for In This Our Life but died before the selection was announced)

The Real Adventure by Henry Kitchell Webster

Bars of Iron by Ethel M. Dell (British author)

Nan of Music Mountain by Frank H. Spearman

Dear Enemy by Jean Webster

The Heart of Rachael by Kathleen Norris (a prolific author who sold over 10 million copies of her 80 books and became the highest paid female author of her day)

One interesting note in the article accompanying the list reports: “…just because a book is purchased doesn’t mean it will be read. The rising length of bestsellers may mean that more of them are simply becoming bookshelf decor. In 1985 members of the staff of The New Republic laced coupons redeemable for $5 cash inside 70 books that were selling well, and none of them were sent in.”

The term “best seller” was first used in print in 1889 by The Kansas Times & Star newspaper in Kansas City. For more information about determination of a best seller, there is an interesting Wikipedia article online titled “Bestseller.”



crazy-patchwork-quiltOver the holidays I enjoyed reading The Runaway Quilt, one in the long series of quilt themed books by Jennifer Chiaverini. It is a story that takes place in two eras – one just before the Civil War and the other in modern time.

One character mentions that “Families often set aside a special quilt to be used only infrequently by guests, but those quilts were typically the finest in the household.”

We had just such a quilt when I was growing up. It lay carefully folded in Mother’s cedar chest. I remember being very sick with chicken pox at about age 10. When I was past throwing up and beginning to feel better, mother laid that beautiful special quilt over me. I knew that I would be well soon! That quilt continued its “getting well” appearances until I left home. Later it came to stay in my own cedar chest.

The quilt had no fancy pattern. It was made of solid color satin squares laid out in rows. The squares were cut from the ribbons that trimmed flower bouquets at my grandfather’s 1927 funeral.


Published in: on January 11, 2016 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Year End Review

HPIM0188As we close the year 2015, here are the annual statistics for this blog (which posts every Monday morning):

8,599  Total blog views

In the past few years, views from foreign countries have increased. There were 875 foreign viewers from 69 countries in 2015. The top five countries were:

93     Russia

88     United Kingdom

85     Germany

78     Canada

68     France

The most frequent views continue to come primarily from children. Here are the most popular search topics in 2015. The first one has been in the top three for several years:

2,211     What did the Ute Indians eat?

78     Did Chipeta have children?

58     What was it like to live in a tipi (or tepee)?

Best wishes for the new year!

Memories of Christmases Past

HPIM1024In the last weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal for 2015, Peggy Noonan offered a nostalgic look at Christmases past. She recalls the 1950s “when families had less, when America had less, [and] a single gift could make a lasting impression.” Noonan offers stories of the gifts children who are now grown up remembered most – a wooden Daniel Boone musket; an old doll recovered from a basement and hastily cleaned up and dressed to become a treasured gift for a little girl who would not tell anyone what she wanted until Christmas Eve; a Pink Lady bicycle; a desk fashioned of scrap plywood.

My own memory brings back the bride doll I wanted at age 7 or 8. I remember waking up before sunrise on Christmas morning and tiptoeing into the living room. There beneath the tree was my doll. I believe I squealed, “He came! He really came!” Then,  hugging my doll tightly, I padded into my parents room, crawled in bed with them, and happily went back to sleep.

What is you special memory of Christmas past?

Published in: on December 28, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas Dinner

family-christmas-dinnerNot sure what to serve for Christmas Dinner? Want something different? Here is a Menu for Christmas Dinner from The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, published in 1896.

Consommé  ~  Bread Sticks

Olives  ~  Celery  ~  Salted Pecans

Roast Goose  ~  Potato Stuffing  ~  Apple Sauce

Duchess Potatoes  ~  Cream of Lima Beans

Chicken Croquettes with Green Peas

Dressed Lettuce with Cheese Straws

English Plum Pudding with Brandy Sauce

Frozen Pudding  ~  Assorted Cakes  ~  Bonbons

Crackers  ~  Cheese  ~  Café Noir


Have a Happy Holiday!

Published in: on December 21, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Christmas 1961

Here is an excerpt from “Christmas to Me,” a 1961 Harper Lee essay that appeared in McCall’s magazine, as quoted in The Mockingbird Next Door:

“What I really missed was a memory, an old memory of people long since gone, of my grandparents’ house bursting with cousins, smilax*, and holly. I missed the sound of hunting boots, the sudden open-door gusts of chilly air that cut through the aroma of pine needles and oyster dressing. I missed my brother’s night-before-Christmas mask of rectitude and my father’s bumblebee bass humming “Joy to the World.”

What sounds and scents and sensations fill your memories of Christmases past?

*Smilax rotundifolia, known as common greenbrier, is a woody vine native to the eastern and south-central United States and to eastern Canada. Used like holly as a holiday decoration.

Published in: on December 14, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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December 7th Memories

It was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who called December 7 “a date which will live in infamy” in his address to Congress the following day. Congress declared war against Japan and World War II began.

Also on that following day, Alan Lomax, head of the Library of Congress Archive of American Folk Song, asked colleagues across the nation to collect people’s immediate reactions to the bombing. People from all walks of life were interviewed over the next few days. Among the interviewees was a California woman then visiting her family in Dallas, Texas.

“My first thought was what a great pity that… another nation should be added to those aggressors who strove to limit our freedom. I find myself at the age of eighty, an old woman, hanging on to the tail of the world, trying to keep up. I do not want the driver’s seat. But the eternal verities–there are certain things that I wish to express: one thing that I am very sure of is that hatred is death, but love is light. I want to contribute to the civilization of the world but…when I look at the holocaust that is going on in the world today, I’m almost ready to let go…” Lena Jamison, “What A Great Pity,” December 9, 1941.

To read more of these “Man-on-the-Street interviews, go to http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/afcphhtml/afcphhome.html


Published in: on December 7, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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