Book and burro program at Eagle Library |

Book and burro program at Eagle Library

Special to the Enterprise

Hard-rock mining played a major role in the early days of Eagle County.

Local residents will be offered a glimpse of the world of those turn-of-the-century miners on Sunday, Oct. 12 at a special program starting at 1 p.m. at the Eagle Library.

Local author and historian Sherwood “Woody” Stockwell will discuss his newest book, Sherwood. The book tells the story of Rupert Sherwood, undoubtedly one of the most colorful characters of Colorado’s mountain mining communities.

Orphaned at an early age in Wisconsin, the adventurous Sherwood came west by stowing away on a wagon train. He was an excellent horseman, sometimes making his living as a jockey. By the time he reached Park County, Colo., he had dabbled in a number of occupations including cowboy, professional gambler and saloonkeeper.

Sherwood is best known around the Fairplay region for his prolific prospecting. He also had roots in Eagle County. In 1883 Sherwood homesteaded a ranch at the base of the red sandstone cliffs where he homestead a cattle ranch in 1883 at Red Point, just west of Wolcott. He also served a term as Eagle County assessor.

The pioneer miner is probably best known for his connection with a famous mining camp burro, Prunes. The tenacity and cleverness of that burrow prompted the citizens of Fairplay to erect a monument on the town’s main street after the death of the burro. The monument remains in place today.

Stockwell’s book sorts out the facts and fiction of Rupert Sherwood’s life and includes a generous dose of Colorado history.

Following the author’s presentation the program will move outside for a program about prospecting presented by Bill Lee and his burro, Blaster. Lee, the owner of Laughing Valley Ranch in Idaho Springs has been on the burro-racing circuit for 25 years. He will portray a turn-of-the century Colorado miner, sharing the history and legends of the mountain mining district and lots of information about burros.

The event is free to the public. Direct questions to the Eagle Public Library, 328-8800.

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