In Tribute to Park Co.’s Civil War Soldiers

After the Civil War, many men,many with families, emigrated to Colorado for the Gold Rush. Coming from all over the country, a number of them stayed in Park County, becoming some of the area’s most solid citizens. Most were Union soldiers, although there is one Confederate buried in the Alma/Buckskin cemetery That I have found. I would like to share a few of their gravestone photos in honor of Memorial Day. If you know of any other Confederate burials, please let me know!

                 Charles Lockridge

*  Barclay, Wm.             Cass, Chas.               Baker, Mat.         Lockridge, Chas.





Shawnee Historic Day a Success

Thanks to everyone who attended the Shawnee Historic Day! Despite a little rain, the Shawnee Tea Room was packed. I had a great time presenting the “Crime in the Canon” show and telling about four of the “bad guys” in the canon. It’s not a misspelling – that’s how “canyon” was spelled in the 1800s.

I really enjoyed the two programs after mine – on the Charlie Tyler Homestead by Rhonda Dusatko and the information from Milton Gibbs’ great-great granddaughter. Also thanks to Doug Stevens for the nice article in the Flume today about the program!

Shawnee Historic Day Saturday, May 19

Shawnee, Colorado, almost five miles west of Bailey, was named a National Historic District several years ago. To celebrate Shawnee Historic Day, the Shawnee Historical Society, a branch of the Park County Historical Society, is hosting a day of fun events beginnning at 10 a.m. Please see their website at:

I am first up! I’ll be presenting a talk on “Crime in the Canon: 1800s Outlaw and Murder Stories in the Platte Canon Area.” It is a Power Point talk on some of the 1800s ”bad men” in the Platte Canon area  – plus a humorous one about a robbery at the Grant Post Office and what some of the townsfolk did to the wrong suspect! Luckily, he lived to tell.

Hope to see you there!


Park County has more than its share of exciting outlaw and murder stories, but few people know about them, other than the two enduring legends of John Hoover and Benjamin Ratcliff. Their stories are true! Hoover was literally hung out the County courthouse window in Fairplay in 1880 after the townspeople didn’t like the light sentence he received for a manslaughter conviction. Benjamin Ratcliff was executed by the State of Colorado in 1896 for killing three school board members during a meeting on the Tarryall River area.  But what about John Doolittle? Obe Fyffe? And those Draughans! Jay Draughan was a Kentucky outlaw, on the run from his home state and using an aka when he murdered his uncle up Geneva Creek.

I hope this blog will engage you in learning about the little-known history of the county and about the current happenings as well. Read on!