February 2017 Readers’ Letters | HistoryNet MENU
Though featured in a recent Ghost Towns profile, Colorado's Tin Cup still shows signs of life and resonates in living memory.

February 2017 Readers’ Letters

By HistoryNet Staff
11/23/2016 • Wild West Magazine

Tin Cup
Thanks for another swell Wild West. Great articles in the June 2016 issue, especially features on George Custer and Isaiah Dorman and the most interesting Ghost Towns article on Tin Cup, Colo. Some years back I was doing research on that area, and I mentioned offhand to my dentist (his name was Gray) in California that I was trying to find out more on the group that was there. He knew all about it. He is directly related to brothers Ben and Charlie Gray. Jim Taylor actually worked California Gulch in 1859 and later built a cabin at Granite with the Gray brothers and Gus Lamb for the winter of 1859–60. They made that their permanent camp.

In 1860 Taylor followed a party of Utes over Red Mountain Trail and found the flat where Tin Cup was later established. He went back and discussed this with Lamb and the Grays. They went at night, so not to be seen, and on arriving picketed the horses and started looking for ore. The horses were scared off by bears, scattering. The next morning the men went after the horses, and along the way Taylor took a sample from a dry wash, bringing it back in his tin cup. He panned it in camp and found gold.

They moved on to where the present-day town of Tin Cup is located, by Willow Creek, and Taylor went to get a drink, dipped his cup and found more gold. Gray and Taylor went to another gulch and found still more. That area became known as Grays Diggings. The men kept the findings as quiet as possible and returned in April 1861. By May the snowpack was starting to melt, so they could operate their sluice boxes.

They had not gone undetected; a group known as the Siegel party followed them in, and the stampede was on. With the influx of men the placers were soon depleted. In 1878 the Gold Cup Mine was opened. There was another rush of men in 1879. Small towns sprung up all around the area, and mining men kept coming into the region. Two great books on Tin Cup: History of Tin Cup, Colorado, by Nolie Mumey, and Colorado’s Alluring Tin Cup, by Conrad Schader.

Thanks again for a great magazine—keep ’em coming.

Dorman Nelson
Los Angeles

Adelia Earp’s Memoir
Thanks for the very interesting take on Adelia Earp Edwards’ memoir from Scott Dyke and Bob Palmquist in the October 2016 issue. I have spent years trying to authenticate or refute the memoir, with little success.

What makes the memoir difficult to dismiss is that it contains material considered inaccurate at the time it was presented but since proven to be true. Perhaps the most noteworthy example is that Morgan had sent his wife, Louisa, back to the Earp family home in Colton [Calif.] during the dangerous times in Tombstone [Arizona Territory]. This was believed untrue back in the 1980s, and Glenn Boyer stated Louisa was in Tombstone in his fraudulent writings on the subject. Further research has proven that Louisa did, indeed, travel to Colton and was there at the time of Morgan’s assassination.

My own attempts to contact David Cruickshanks have failed, including having a friend visiting England knock on his door, only to find that he had moved. We can hope this Wild West discussion leads to more information that will help us better evaluate the material.

Casey Tefertiller
Author,
Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend
Santa Cruz, Calif.

In reference to the October article “Adelia Earp’s Dubious Memoir,” by Scott Dyke: I think he may have made an error in the relationship between Adelia Douglas Earp Edwards and James Cooksey Earp, who were brother and sister and are buried in Bubah Plot at Mountain View Cemetery, San Bernardino, Calif. I think what may have happened is that he was writing so much about Adelia’s daughter, Estelle Miller, he got a temporary brain lock when he stated James was Adelia’s uncle rather than her brother. It may be of interest to readers that Alvira Packingham “Allie” Sullivan Earp (Virgil’s widow) is buried with Adelia, as is noted on Adelia’s headstone.

I am curious whether the photo reproduced on P. 36 of the article was the one found in “Mattie’s” (Celia Anne Blaylock, Wyatt’s second wife) belongings, which after her death were sent to her sister Sarah and started the search for Mattie’s place in the Earp saga.

Heather de Jong
Jaffray, B.C.
Canada

Scott Dyke responds: You are quite correct. It should read that Adelia’s brother (not uncle) Jim is buried nearby. You’re also correct about the origin of Mary Virginia “Ginnie” Edwards’ picture.

 

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