Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Today's Wednesday Wonders features 
Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region

by a consortium of authors for 
Pikes Peak Library District Special Collections

Book description:

Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region serves as an intense summary of many of the major fires, floods, and other catastrophes of this area. Though thoroughly researched by the contributors, this book is not intended to be a comprehensive accounting, but rather a collection of some of the more significant calamities impacting the area—many of which were discussed at the 9th Annual Pikes Peak Regional History Symposium, also titled “Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region.”

Readers will learn that recent misfortunes experienced in the Pikes Peak region were unprecedented in their destruction, but were not unfamiliar, or even unpredictable, events. In fact, we should expect some natural disasters. For example, did you know that Colorado was designated the “hail capital of the U.S.”? Or did you know that Colorado is on the western borderline of Tornado Alley and that twisters have damaged property in both the El Paso County plains and Manitou Springs, where an estimated $1 million in tornado damage occurred in 1979?

In these pages you will learn how the devastating 19th century fires in Cripple Creek and Colorado Springs influenced how these communities developed and how waging battle against destructive flames evolved from making fire breaks by blasting buildings to sophisticated military missions involving satellites, GPS, and aerial firefighting methods. You will understand, from first-hand accounts, how the 1898 Antlers Hotel fire started and quickly burned an extensive area of Colorado Springs three blocks long and two blocks wide. And you will be shocked by the damaging 1935 Memorial Day Flood, and other floods, that swiftly overcame Colorado Springs’ parks, streets, and buildings.

 449 pp. Maps, illustrations, notes, bibliography, index.

ISBN 978-1-56735-318-1 (print), $24.95; 978-1-56735-344-0 (Kindle), $5.99; 978-1-56735-345-7 (Smashwords ePub), $5.99 (available for free to your readers at through 30 April with coupon code ZU66Q)


Purchase Links for Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region:

Amazon (Kindle) | Smashwords | Clausen Books (Print)

(Clausen Books will eventually list the print version on Amazon and AbeBooks)



Defining Disaster: Death, Destruction, or Distress?
Michael L. Olsen • 1


Evolution of Fire: Our Changing Views of Fire in the Pikes Peak Region
Erinn Barnes • 15

Colorado Springs Burns, 1876 • 52

Pikes Peak Timberland Reserve Fires
John G. Jack • 62

The Antlers Burns:
The 1898 Fire that Destroyed a Landmark • 64

The Antlers Hotel Fire of 1898
Bill Crosby • 90

Help from on High: Space Assets & Military-Civil Cooperation during the Waldo Canyon & Black Forest Fires
Rick W. Sturdevant • 105

In Our Own Backyard: Excerpts from the Waldo Canyon Fire Oral History Project
Heather Jordan • 129

Crossing the Denial Divide: Arid West Lessons from the Waldo Canyon & Black Forest Fires
Katherine Scott Sturdevant • 166


Harbinger: The Fountain Valley Flood of 1864 • 187

When the Waters Rise: Recovering & Learning from Pikes Peak-Area Floods
John E. Putnam • 191

                                   The Memorial Day Flood of 1935               
Preston & Lindsay Petermeier • 231

Hell & High Water: Natural Disasters at Glen Eyrie
Susan A. Fletcher • 245

Flash Flooding: A Legacy of the Waldo Canyon Fire
John E. Putnam • 282


The Cripple Creek Volcano: A 35-million-year Disaster
Doris A. McCraw • 319

Earth, Wind, Fire & Other Mini-disasters in the 1800s
Nancy K. Prince • 344

The Fountain Depot Explosion of 1888 • 357

“Worse Than Fire or Flood, Tornado or Earthquake”:
The Collapse of the Building & Loan Industry in
Depression-Era Colorado Springs
Alice Echols • 388

Selected Bibliography • 417

INDEX • 421

You may connect with the Pikes Peak Regional Library and their collection at the following:


Featured Author – Doris A. McCraw:

Author of “The Cripple Creek Volcano: A 35-million-year Disaster”

Doris McCraw is an actor, historian, poet, photographer, and (of course) writer. After she retired Doris decided to pursue her other dreams. She performs as Helen (Hunt) Jackson, Katharine Lee Bates, as stand alone historic characters. She researched and wrote on Karol W Smith, Colorado's first film commissioner, and currently is researching the early women doctors of Colorado prior to 1900.

She writes and post haiku with her photographs, five days a week on her fivesevenfive page. 

Writing fiction under the pen name, Angela Raines, she contributes to the following blogs:,, and yes, she finds time to write her Western and Medieval romances. She claims it keeps her young.


Other books in the
Regional History Series

The Colorado Labor Wars: Cripple Creek 1903–1904,
A Centennial Commemoration

“To Spare No Pains”: Zebulon Montgomery Pike
& His 1806–1807 Southwest Expedition

Doctor at Timberline: True Tales, Travails,
& Triumphs of a Pioneer Colorado Physician

Legends, Labors & Loves:
William Jackson Palmer, 1836–1909

Extraordinary Women of the Rocky Mountain West

Lightning in His Hand:
The Life Story of Nikola Tesla

Enterprise & Innovation in the Pikes Peak Region

The Pioneer Photographer:
Rocky Mountain Adventures with a Camera

A City Beautiful Dream: The 1912 Vision for Colorado Springs

Film & Photography on the Front Range

Doctors, Disease, and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region

Rush to the Rockies! The 1859 Pikes Peak or Bust Gold Rush

Candy Makers’ Manual for the Household

Massacre, Murder, & Mayhem in the Rocky Mountain West

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this information. While depressing, it also is a beacon of hope, for the community came together and became stronger because of these events. Doris