Bookworm of Edwards hosts first-ever Colorado History Night | VailDaily.com

Bookworm of Edwards hosts first-ever Colorado History Night

Sarah Taylor
Special to the Daily

EDWARDS — In addition to each season's splendors in the Vail Valley, Colorado has an amazingly rich history. On Thursday at 6 p.m., The Bookworm of Edwards will host its first Colorado History Night to explore the stories that make Colorado unique.

Tiny locale, broad perspective

Thomas Andrews, author of "Coyote Valley: Deep History in the High Rockies," drills deep into the many pressures that have reshaped a small stretch of North America, from the Ice Age to the advent of the Anthropocene and controversies over climate change.

Large-scale historical approaches continue to make monumental contributions to our understanding of the past. But they are incapable of revealing everything we need to know about the interconnected workings of nature and human history. Alongside native peoples, miners, homesteaders, tourists and conservationists, Andrews considers elk, willows, gold, mountain pine beetles and the Colorado River to be vital historical subjects.

Integrating evidence from several historical fields with insights from ecology, archaeology, geology and wildlife biology, this work simultaneously invites scientists to take history seriously and encourages historians to give attention to other ways of knowing the past.

From the emergence and dispossession of the Nuche — "the people" — who for centuries adapted to a stubborn environment, to settlers intent on exploiting the land, to forest-destroying insect invasions and a warming climate that is pushing entire ecosystems to the brink of extinction, "Coyote Valley" underscores the value of deep drilling into local history for core relationships — to the land, climate and other species — that complement broader truths. This book brings to the surface the critical lessons that only small and seemingly unimportant places on Earth can teach.

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Personal narrative

Kellen Custforth, author of "Buffalo Bill, Boozers, Brothels and Bare-Knuckled Brawlers" unveils a more personal account of Colorado and the West through the travel journal of the wealthy young Englishman Evelyn Booth, weaving a factual, enthralling and entertaining narrative that follows his escapades throughout the United States of the late 19th century.

Transcribed and edited (with relevant commentary for contemporary audiences) by Cutsforth, Booth's journal reveals his career as a young, care-free frat boy with unlimited funds who gives firsthand accounts that involve drunken nights, fistfights, illicit sex with prostitutes, sporting events and full-blown adventures with the most well-known celebrities of the day. The book includes encounters with famous scout and showman William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody and Wild West cowboys; bare-knuckled world champions John L. Sullivan and Jack "Nonpareil" Dempsey; Fred Archer, the most famous horse jockey of the day, and prostitutes, gamblers and infamous houses.

Colorado History Night will provide a scientific and deeply researched account of how history and nature have shaped the state, as well as a more personal account of the characters that created Colorado's culture.

Sarah Taylor is the events manager for The Bookworm of Edwards.

If you go …

What: Colorado History Night, with Thomas Andrews and Kellen Custforth.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4.

Where: The Bookworm of Edwards, 295 Main St., Edwards.

Cost: $10, includes appetizers.

More information: Call 970-926-7323, or visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.