Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Let's take a Ride

 Post by Doris McCraw

writing as Angela Raines

Photo Property of the Author
Stagecoach Tracks through the Grasslands

Imagine you are in Trinidad, Colorado. You are tired of walking and wish for a change. You decide to take a Streetcar. As you travel on this horse/mule-drawn car, perhaps you see Marshal Masterson as he goes about his business. The year is 1882 and the Trinidad Street Railway Company was founded that same year.

Perhaps Dolores Baca, who, along with her husband Felipe, donated land to create the town of Trinidad, is outside her home on the Plaza. The location was perfect. The Sante Fe Trail ran through the land. Soon the wagons bound for Santa Fe were replaced by trains. Sheep gave way to cattle and then when coal was found nearby the city was on its way.

In the course of its history, many famous people came through the area. In 1872, Sister Blandina arrived to teach the poor in the area before she was sent on to Santa Fe in 1877.

To have a Street Railway Company was a sign that an area had the population to support such an endeavor. 

At the same time, the area was still a frontier town.

USGS Photo of Fishers Peak, 
West of Trinidad, CO

These types of research fuel my imagination and make my writing so much fun. The wonderful 'What If' of storytelling. I can see my young protagonist taking in the wonders of the area.

This is what I did when I told the story of Grant and Hetty in "The Outlaws Letter". Not only does it help add authenticity to the story, but I was also able to share things about my adopted state that fascinate me.

Below is a short excerpt from that story on just that subject of sharing bits of history. In this case the town of Canon City.


 Pulling up about a hundred yards away from the prison wall, Hetty climbed down from the wagon, walking slowly forward. She took in the wall, built by the inmates she had been told, the three-story stone building where the prisoners were housed. There were men in the yard, their striped clothing marking them as criminals, along with armed guards watching them.

How did Grant survive? Hetty thought. To be confined, having to live by someone else's schedule. All these thoughts tumbled through Hetty's mind. She wasn't sure she'd ever understand. At the same time, she was thankful Grant had kept that concern for others. Where would she be now if he'd become hardened, jaded with the world, from having spent time behind these walls? What of Maude's husband? How would his time here change him?

Turning away, Hetty returned to the wagon where Maude and Clover waited.

"Thank you," Hetty began, "I know—"

"Don't ya let it bother ya," Maude interrupted. "My husband only has a few more months. Moved here ta be close jest in case—" Maude paused, then smiled. "In the meantime, I've my memories."

Hetty watched Maude as her eyes became unfocused, a smile on her face. Would she ever have that kind of joy with Grant? For that matter would she ever see him again?

Post (c) Doris McCraw 2022 

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