Tales of the Gunnison Country is hosted by Western Colorado University Professor of History Duane Vandenbuche.
In just three minutes, Vandenbuche introduces us to the people, places, and stories of the early days of the region.
Hear Tales of the Gunnison Country twice weekly on KBUT. Scroll down to hear archived episodes.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Irwin Murders
Early silver finds were sensational, and many came to Irwin to strike it rich. Robert Breckenridge was one of those, and he may have ended up putting bullets in his partners’ heads.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Fred Gray’s Cabin
A man and his wife bought land in the Gunnison Country and ended up near the Lake Fork of the Gunnison, before heading into Lake City.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Avalanches on Trains
A major snowstorm hit the Gunnison Country when the railroad pulled out of Gunnison in early March into avalanche terrain.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Aspen’s Jack Trains
Aspen was isolated and had trouble getting silver out and supplies in, so they brought in the burros.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Howardsville
Miners in the Upper Animas River Valley found mining camps, and before Silverton grew, Howardsville was king.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Miners Strike in Telluride
Between Ouray and Telluride, a militia stood guard at Imogene Pass to keep the silver mines operating despite striking workers.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: the Lawless Town Creede
Nicholas P. Creede moved from Iowa to Omaha to Colorado. He was a wandering prospector who discovered mines, made it rich, and went broke before striking it big near the town of his namesake.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Competitive Skiing Starts
The year was 1946 and competitive skiing was in its infancy at Western State and in the Gunnison Country.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Ouray’s 1st-Class Hotel
Ouray was booming in the 1880’s as a silver camp and wanted a grand hotel. The Beaumont was born and would rival the La Veta Hotel in Gunnison as the finest in western Colorado.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: “Fredo”
Steve Monfredo – “Fredo” – was one of the biggest characters to have ever graced the Gunnison Country.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: “Cochetopa Shorty”
“Cochetopa Shorty” – an Englishman – fought for the Union in the Civil War before coming to the Gunnison Country to mine at Irwin.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Cowboy Bob Finds a Lode
Cowboy Bob, an aimless drunk who babbled about gold, finds his El Paso Lode.
Tales of the Gunnison Country : Gunnison’s First Newspaper
William Henry Hall arrives in Gunnison in 1878 to start the town’s 1st newspaper, “The Gunnison News.”
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Irwin Booms
With songs in their hearts and silver on their minds, miners flocked to Irwin in the shadows of the Ruby and Elk Mountains.
Tales of the Gunnison Country – US Grant Passes Through
Ulysses S. Grant needed some whiskey, so he stopped in the Gunnison Country to quench his thirst.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: William Wall Arrives In Tincup
William Wall had just arrived in Virginia City (later Tincup). He wakes up one morning with 8 bullet holes in his tent.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Carrying The Mail & The Gospel
Father John Franklin Dire carried both the mail and the gospel to miners in the Gunnison Country with his famed telemark turn.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Getting The Marble Out
Was it possible to get the marble from the quarry to the train at the valley below? Learn how they did it on today’s episode.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Marble Quarry Rock Sent to D.C.
The Marble Quarry produced the giant stone that was used at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C.
Tales of the Gunnsion Country: Sylvia Smith, Marble City Times Editor
“She was a woman’s libber far ahead of her time.” Sylvia Smith owned and edited the Marble City Times newspaper after needing to leave Crested Butte for speaking her mind at a time when women were expected to stay at home and stay quiet.
Tales of the Gunnison Country: Spain Finds Gold In the Gunnison Country
Spanish expeditions made their way into the Gunnison Country in the 1600s and 1700s.