THE EARLY DAYS: 1891 ....

Early Days, November 1, 1891

Fremont, Cripple Creek Gold Mining District, November 1, 1891

One of the earliest photographs taken of a settlement in the Cripple Creek District, and one of the earliest known photographs taken by Andrew James Harlan. His studio, at this time, was located in Barry, Colorado.

Andrew James Harlan was born in Ohio in 1859, just about the start of the Pikes Peak Gold Rush.  Educated as a teacher, Harlan moved to western Kansas where he lived and worked until 1890 – 1891.  His time as a teacher offered him latitude to take up other disciplines, one of which was photography.  Photographic images from the Hayden Survey and other Western American explorations inspired his passion.  William Henry Jackson’s work in Colorado was motivating. By 1890, and with the first rumors of gold discoveries in what was then known as the Womack Gold Mining District, Harlan decided it was time to act.  He resigned from his teaching position, gathered his photographic equipment, and traveled to the new gold mining district on the southwestern face of Pikes Peak.  It would be a transition he capitalized on for nearly two decades.

Panning Gold at Cripple Creek Colorado


Gold panning was a sketchy occupation in the newly established mineral district.  Short-lived to note and generally unproductive.  Millions of years of erosion had freed some gold from its rocky tellurium compound, but only enough to get hopes high and then frustrate.  


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