SILVIA PETTEM
THE BOOK LODE, LLC

Historical Research & Writing

ARTICLES

I have been writing for the Boulder Daily Camera since 1977, starting with historical features, as well as a food column. From 1984 to 1988, I wrote historical features for the Longmont Times-Call. From 1996-1998, I wrote a history column for the Boulder Planet. During this time, I also contributed to the Coloradan (the University of Colorado's alumni magazine) and have freelanced for a number of national and international publications from the California Mining Journal and Evidence Technology Magazine to the British magazine Cornish World.

In 1998, I returned to the Camera as history columnist. Compilations of some of my history columns are in my books Only in Boulder: The County’s Colorful Characters and Boulder: A Sense of Time and Place Revisited (see Books page). I still write a history column for the Camera, sharing the position with long-time friend and colleague Carol Taylor.

Below are links to a couple of my recent history columns.

Excavation digs up mysteries: Daguerreotype of unidentified young man found in old well

Camera, May 7, 2017

Drivers on Broadway in Boulder, between Pine Street and Mapleton Avenue, can't miss the new construction in progress in the former parking lot of Trinity Lutheran Church. Eventually, a new church community center, with offices and permanently affordable senior housing, will be on the site…

Tyberg's most prized discovery of all, however, was a daguerreotype. Remarkably, the pre-1860 photographic one-of- a-kind image, on a silver-plated sheet of copper, still (after more than 150 years) clearly shows the head and shoulders of an unidentified young man.… Read more

Excavation

Sea adventure resurfaces in photos

Camera, January 15, 2017

By all accounts, Homer Crumrine lived an outwardly mundane life. From the 1950s through the 1980s, the retired electronics salesman was a tenant in the Hotel Boulderado, back in the day when the hotel was one of the cheapest places to live in Boulder.

Dressed in baggy slacks, a sport shirt, and often wearing a hat, Crumrine was a natural fixture in the hotel’s lobby or on the front porch. He rarely spoke to anyone until Michael Linehan, a University of Colorado student, moved into an apartment across the street.

“In the mid-1970s, I kind of befriended him and carried in his stuff,” stated Linehan, who recently contacted the hotel to see if anyone on the staff remembered his old friend. The two had shared a common bond …. Read more
(See more of Crumrine’s ship photos at the bottom of this page.)

Crumrine –– Sea Adventure


Mann sisters won vaudeville fame

Camera, February 12, 2017

In 1928, Ethel and Marion Mann were jailed for speeding while traveling to a dance performance. According to a Denver newspaper report, the sisters "danced for the chief" and their fines were suspended. Their successful careers, however, were just early chapters in their lives before they settled down and raised their families in Boulder County.

The sisters' journey to stardom on the vaudeville stage had begun in 1926, when Ethel, at the age of 17, won a dance contest. The prize was a year of dancing lessons in New York City. Ethel, her 18-year- old sister Marion, and their mother, Clara, all moved from Boulder to New York. After Ethel's classes, she taught Marion everything she learned… Read more

Mann Sisters

AAUW keeps its ties with the past: Boulder Branch celebrates 90 years

In 1910, when University of Colorado dean of women Antoinette Bigelow hosted a luncheon for members of the Denver branch of the Collegiate Alumnae, the Boulder campus had no public meeting facilities. Instead, Bigelow's esteemed guests were ushered into the biology laboratory in the Hale Science Building…. Read more

AAUW

Edward Baker finally has been recognized, as documented in the Buffalo Soldier story. Below, in the first row, are a few photos from October 11, 2016 when members of the Buffalo Soldier Organization assisted Jack Box in setting the stone.

The second row of images shows additional photos aboard the schooner the Edward J. Lawrence, in 1918-1919, taken by cabin boy Homer Crumbine.

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

RESEARCH SPECIALTIES:
Long-term missing persons
Unidentified remains
Cold case homicides
Boulder County, Colorado, history