Historical Research & Writing


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.

Garbarino family left lasting legacy

Camera, March 12, 2017

In Colorado'’s pioneer days, everyone came from somewhere else. Among the first to arrive during the Colorado gold rush were the Garbarino brothers, from Italy. Louis Garbarino and his children made significant contributions to Boulder’s economy and even left their name etched in stone.

“One bright morning in 1859, a caravan of ox-trains left St. Louis, Missouri, for Denver, and my uncles (Joseph, Antonio, Charles, and Louis) joined as drivers,” stated a niece, Rosa Garbarino, when interviewed in 1922 for a family history. Louis settled first in Golden. In the early 1870s, he moved to Boulder, where he opened the Garbarino Saloon. His wooden frame building, next to the People’s Meat Market on the southeast corner of Pearl and 11th streets was one of the more notorious saloons in Boulder’s frontier days… Read more

Garbarino family

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

Photo gallery

Buffalo Soldier

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)

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