The Center's Summer Lectures Series "A Year in the Life of the West" continues with historian Rudy Davison's presentation
1887: Telluride and the Sheridan Mine Come of Age
Following the discovery of gold in Marshall Basin in 1875, the Sheridan Mine became a leading property that was taken over by Irish mining engineer J.H. Ernest Waters in 1883. By 1887, Waters had developed the underground workings of the Sheridan Mine into the most scientifically efficient mine in Colorado, and embarked on two engineering projects that were world famous. Together, this was the Sheridan Crosscut Tunnel that connected the Sheridan mine with uphill and downhill properties to bypass the need to raise ore out of the mine and instead transport it down to a mill in the Telluride Valley via a unique gravity fed funicular railway called the Sheridan Incline. As a result, the year 1887 was pivotal in transforming the town of Telluride and Telluride area mines into a world class mining camp that continued to grow exponentially thereafter for the next quarter century. In 1887, Waters was also influential in having the original town name of Columbia changed to the present title of “Telluride”. Although Waters was the man that put Telluride on the world mining map, he died a tragic death that precluded him from seeing the glory years of the area’s mining fame, and is a somewhat forgotten person in Telluride’s history.
Rudy Davison is a mining historian focusing primarily on the Telluride area of the San Juan Mountains. Davison has been involved with Telluride since 1975 when he was publisher of the Telluride Times newspaper, a developer in and just outside Telluride, and was an international travel guide. He is currently a board member for the Telluride Historical Museum where he also gives talks, leads “Hike Into History,” and puts together multi-day historic field trips. Davison is also involved with the Mining History Association, a national group devoted to mining history. He and his wife Andie mostly live in Durango but also maintain a home in Telluride.
Lectures are held in the CSWS Lyceum Room #120 at 1:30 pm
Parking is free in the summer months, and as always, the Center is pleased to provide free programming to the community thanks to the support of our Members.