My family came to what is now Boulder, Colorado, arriving when Boulder was three months old. My Great-great-grandfather was Carson W. Arbuthnot and with him, he brought his four sons and a son-in-law. Since a little child I have loved the history of this beautiful mountain area, the legacy's of the Natives who were here when my family arrived, and the way our community has grown to what it is today. My blog is dedicated to seeking evidence of all that happened. The good, the bad and the ugly, I will share the evidence of what I find.

I also share Boulder County and Colorado History through entertaining storytelling. Dressed as one of my early Boulder County ancestors, I will make you laugh, smile and sometimes cry as I share the stories of the people who came before us and who established these communities that we enjoy today. Please visit my storytelling and events pages for information on performances.

Welcome to my blog, I hope you enjoy your time here.

Donlyn Arbuthnot

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lois Waisbrooker, One of Boulder's first feminists

In the 1870 U. S. Census on page three, household 17, in Boulder City, Colorado Territory is listed Carson Arbuthnot and his wife Frances.  Carson ten years earlier had been sheriff in the Gold Hill Mining District, his wife was in Salt Creek, Tama County, Iowa at the time.  By 1870, they had been reunited and living together in Boulder.  Here is a portion of the U.S. Census where they appear...

Page 3, 1870 US Census for Boulder City, Colorado Territory

What is very interesting about this census are the others who are living with Carson and Franny Arbuthnot.  Two men, Scott Thomas, a carpenter and farmer, William Rinker a shoe-maker.  And a woman, a lecturer, Lois Weisbroker.  None are members of the Arbuthnot family.

I have been contacted by a person who is researching a 19th century feminist who's name is Lois Waisbrooker.  He believes that the woman living with the Arbuthnot couple is the same woman as the one he is researching.  Given that the census taker misspelled Arbuthnot as Arbuttmot - I believe that this researcher is correct and the correct spelling for this woman in this household is Lois Waisbrooker.
In the 1870's she appeared before audiences in Denver for several lectures that were announced in the Rocky Mountain News.  These appearances coincide with the time period that the census was taken.

Lois Waisbrooker was not only a speaker, but an author who wrote extensively on sex, marriage, birth control, women's rights, and related issues.  She was a radical of her time, an anarchist and spiritualist.  She was one of Boulder's first feminists who worked tirelessly for the betterment of women.  She is best known for her 1893 publication A Sex Revolution.  Ms. Waisbrooker was born Adeline Eliza Nichols in upstate New York in 1826.

One wonders, what was her relationship to the Arbuthnots?  Did her presence in the Arbuthnot home have any bearing on Franny's leaving to return to Iowa later that year where she died?  Were any characters in her book, Mayweed Blossoms, that was published in 1871, have any relationship to those whom she met in Boulder?  (Could she have been having a relationship with any of the other men in this household?)  Given that her birth name was Nichols, was she related to any of Boulder's other Nichols as there were many in Boulder since it's beginnings in February of 1859, all of whom were either friends or aquaintcients of Carson Arbuthnot.  So many questions and again, one may never know the answers.

More about Lois Waisbrooker.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Boulder Canyon in 1874

Boulder Canyon
From the book titled Picturesque America by W. C. Bryant 
published by D. Appleton & Co. in 1874.

At the time this photo was taken, there were 4 toll gates that one had to pass through in order to arrive at the mining camp of Ward.  In Boulder Canyon, there were 17 places where one had to cross over the river, making this an extremely difficult route to the mining camps.  Going up Left Hand Canyon to Ward and Gold Hill, while still treacherous, was a much easier and the preferred route in 1874.  Tolls were also collected up Left hand.  When wet and muddy, Lick Skillet Road going into Gold Hill from Left Hand can be as slick as a well greased cast iron skillet.  Yet Left Hand Canyon was easier than Boulder Canyon for travel in the early days.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Haystack Mountain Ranch in Winter

Home of William and Mary [Bader] Arbuthnot, Haystack Mountain, Boulder County, Colorado.

Copyright Donlyn A. A. Whissen
Haystack Mountain Ranch
Home of William and Mary [Bader] Arbuthnot and their six children who were born here.
Photo was taken circa 1900-1907.

Today the old barn still stands out at the Haystack Mountain Golf Course.  It is the only remnants of the old ranch.  When the current owner saw this property the first time back in the 1960's when they purchased the property, they said the buildings looked just like this.  They were able to identify several of the out buildings and other points of interest in this photo.  The Left Hand Creek runs across this land, most likely where the trees are growing.

Here is a photo of the plank home that William built for Mary and where their six children were born.  This home is to the far right in the photo above.

copyright Donlyn A. A. Whissen

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arbuthnot Brothers Cattle Brands

Cattle Brand of William Arbuthnot, Haystack Mountain Ranch
Boulder County, Colorado Territory
Book I, Page 112   July 18, 1870

In Book I (the first book of cattle brands recorded in Boulder County, Colorado), William and his brother Samuel recorded their brands on the same day, the 18th of July, 1870.  They must have ridden to town together, to the court house.  Here is the transcription from the hand written document of William's record...

Territory of Colorado
County of Boulder

Know all men by these present that I William Arbuthnot of the County and Territory aftsaid do hereby give notice to that I claim as my Brand for Stock the following to wit the number (44) forty-for burned on the left hip.  To have and to Hold the Exclusive right to hold and use the Same Against all other citizens of Said County.

Witness my Hand and Seal this 18th day of July 1870.
William Arbuthnot [signature]

William's brother's, Samuel C. Arbuthnot's brand - the letters SM...

Brand of Samuel Arbuthnot, recorded 18 July 1870
Boulder County, Colorado Territory
2 inches long, on the left shoulder
Book I, page 114
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