One of the West’s most famous outlaws, Jesses James, was living in St. Joseph, Missouri under an alias. In order to get the reward money, Bob Ford shot and killed James. Instead of becoming a hero, Ford was branded a coward and wandered around the West ending up owning a dance hall in Creede. Edward O. Kelly took it upon himself to hunt down Ford and kill him using a shot gun at close range.

This action packed presentation by Kenneth Jessen is based on his new book, Frontier Colorado Gunfights.

A century ago, conflicts between killers and outlaws were often settled in a gunfight. A few of these exciting stories are related in this Power Point presentation.

Fort Collins businessman Abner Loomis had a farm in Pleasant Valley and knew outlaw L.H. Musgrove and his gang operated nearby. He warned the outlaw that if he ever stole from any settler in his area, Loomis would personally hunt him down. But in the fall of 1868, Loomis learned that Musgrove had a price on his head and decided to capture him. Musgrove was lured into having dinner with Loomis and was arrested by a Denver marshal.

History Lost - History Saved
A 45 minute Power Point Presentation by
Kenneth Jessen

Running gun battle with General David Cook and his deputy in hot pursuit.

Army scout Thomas Tobin put an end to the Espinosas and decapitated on of them..

American Eagles mine near Victor, Colorado.

Colorado Mines – 45 minute Power Point presentation

Vindicator ore house, Vindicator Valley near Victor, Colorado.

An arsonist burned the Virginia Dale Church to the ground. It was rebuilt as a replica of the original building on the same site.

Frontier Colorado Gunfights

A 45 minute Power Point presentation by author Kenneth Jessen

Musgrove's arrest led to several gunfights, and during one of them, Saloon owner Dan Hill was accidentally shot to death. During their attempt to capture Franklin, Cook and Deputy Smith shot the outlaw to death in his hotel room. Next, Musgrove’s was lynched by an angry Denver mob at a bridge over Cherry Creek. Duggan was arrested in Cheyenne and brought back to Denver where he too was lynched ending the Musgrove Gang.

One of several examples of mining techniques.

Champion mill near Leadville

Bob Ford, the man that killed Jesse James.


Milling Technology - 45 minute Power Point presentation

This is a complex subject that involves chemistry and specific gravity with some use of the periodic table. The talk simplifies milling technology through photographs and diagrams to make this easy to understand. It starts with the earliest form of milling, an arrastra, and worked its way to flotation and end with smelting.

Colorado Mining Techniques - 40 minute Power Point presentation

This is a photographic look at some of Colorado’s best mines and many that are included can be visited including the Lebanon and Phoenix in the Clear Creek area near I-70. Major tourist attractions, including the Country Boy near Breckenridge and the Mollie Kathleen near Cripple Creek, are featured. Some of the more remote mines are also covered.

This is an introduction to Colorado mining from the time of discovery of valuable ore, to mining surface deposits and ending with hard rock mining. The various mining techniques and terminology are covered including sluicing, dredges, open pit mining and underground ore removal. The basic mine structures are covered along with examples of mining equipment.

Mills - 35 minute Power Point presentation

This pictorial presentation focuses on Colorado mills that remain standing. Directions are integrated into the talk. Old mills are among the most photogenic structures in the state. Some are open to the public and others are in remote locations.

The 1874 Meining cabin was disassembled and move to Berthoud’s Little Thompson Pioneer Museum.

The Espinosas were the worst serial killers in Colorado history with 22 victims. This was back in 1864. One of their victims was Henry Harkens. The Espinosas shot Harken in the forehead and took an axe to split his head open. Harkens is buried along Highway 115 southwest of Colorado Springs. The Espinosas made the mistake of traveling south to the Fort Garland area. The commander got hold of Thomas Tobin, an Army scout, to capture Espinosa and his nephew. Tobin was a skilled tracker and cornered the two. After they were shot to death, Tobin used his knife to decapitate one of them putting an end to their reign of terror.

The 1874 Meining cabin was disassembled and move to Berthoud’s Little Thompson Pioneer Museum. In contrast, the 1873 Pinewood school on Pole Hill Road was put on a concrete foundation and preserved by the land owners. The 1862 ruts from wagons and stagecoaches on the Roberts Ranch near Livermore are part of a conservation easement, but on private property. An arsonist burned the Virginia Dale church to the ground and the community banded together to build a replica on the same site. Many more interesting examples are included in this talk.

This talk provides over 40 examples of how Larimer County has saved its history, but also examples of history lost to neglect, fires and vandalism. The talk is to inspire the public to get involved in historic preservation. Examples of what we have saved include privately financed preservation as well as projects financed by cities and the State of Colorado. Some sites and structures are open to the public while others are on private property.