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Remembering Denver

In the process of writing Woman of Ruinous Face I have found many great resources for information, most of which eventually take me back to the 5th floor of the Denver Public Library where all the special collections are held - the personal artifact of deceased citizens. The Woman's Club of Denver folder held numerous issues of the WCD Record as well as images and a historic report on the club from the 1930s.

With each new fact that I check I seemed to discover a new source and so it was when I sent the book off to my first round of beta readers. I decided to catch up on some reading - the pile of books about Denver history that I could not live without as soon as I discovered them, but hadn't actually read. I started with On Colfax Avenue, a Victorian Childhood by Elizabeth Young and once again found myself in a wonderfully fascinating rabbit hole.

I had put it off because it was about Victorian Denver, and Woman of Ruinous Face is Edwardian Denver, but of course as I read it I realized 10-20 years was not that long of a time. Ms. Young's descriptions of the Brown Palace and pre-civic center Capitol Hill neighborhood were wonderful, as well as the way she brought humanity to the setting of historic Denver. So I returned to the DPL.

In the special collections I found two great hidden treasures. The first was Memoirs of Denver, Story of His Boyhood When Denver Was Young and Wild 1887-1965 by Jake Schaetzel. This special stapled and typed manuscript seems to be the only one available, and tells the story of wild boys getting into trouble, working for their father in a cigar shop, and eventually becoming a husband and lawyer. It gave life to the history of the german immigrant community in North Denver.

Next I found Memoirs of My Childhood and Youth in North Denver by Quantrille D. McClung. There is evidence that this manuscript exists outside the library, but what I suppose to be sentimental value someone overpriced it. This spiral bound story gave great descriptions of the plants and buildings in the Highlands and Downtown, as well as stories of the lives of the people that lived there.

But we'll have to wait to reveal their secrets as my beta readers returned their feedback and it's time to edit. But don't worry, I'll keep you posted when I do finally get to delve in!

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