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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Colorado: Boulder County

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Interview with Marie Herrick
Posted by: Karen Lowe (ID *****2677) Date: September 13, 2002 at 21:05:35
In Reply to: William Herrick & Daughters 1900s by W.J.Gillespie of 353

You're in luck! Someone interviewed Marie Herrick on audiotape, and Carnegie Library in Boulder can make you a copy of the tape. Here's an essay written from the interview - she also talks about her grandfather from Scotland.

The library doesn't charge for tape duplication, but you must provide the cassette. Let me know if you'd like me to pick one up at the store and mail the tape to you - it may be cheaper than paying the library to ship it.

- Karen Lowe

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From around the age of 10, Marie Herrick spent part of her childhood in Tungsten, and part at Fort Lupton. "I don't remember much about Fort Lupton, it didn't impress me like the mountains."
When they were children in the early twenties, Marie and her sister spent time with their father at Tungsten. "Daddy, I'm sure, did most of the work, and everything like that. My daddy worked in the mine and our day started about six o'clock. I'd do the work around the house until time to go to school. When Julia was up there she done all the cooking, I was nothing but a tomboy, sneaking off all the time and got out of as much of it as I could."
Marie enjoyed fishing and roaming the hills in those early years. She also was aware of the best fishing spots up on the old Van Vleet Ranch but was careful not to cross the property boundary unless invited to do so. The children enjoyed teasing the miners on occasion too. "Dad was night watchman at the Wolf-Tongue Mill. Once in a while, on the weekend, we would go over, and spend the night at this old mine. We'd have lots of fun tying up the miners' overalls, putting stuff in their boots, and mixing them up. Oh they knew it was the Herrick girls. Sometimes we'd take a friend with us. We'd sure find lots of things to do. We'd hide their clothes cometimes, they'd spend about an hour getting dressed after we'd left in the morning."
"When we were going to school (in Tungsten), Dad made arrangements with Mrs. Green and Ted Green that we were to have our school day lunch there. So, we ate whatever she prepared for the miners that were there eating at noon. Then on Sundays, that was our special treat, we'd go down every Sunday night and eat our dinner. I remember the fish that she used to fix, and the Mulligan stews. We had pork roasts and chicken. Her deviled eggs were out of this world. Oh, I'll tell you, she was a good cook. I often wondered how she could do it. She had many, many miners that boarded there. (She fed) all the single men that were in the camp. The camp was full of widowers and single men. Her husband Ted, took over the store after she died. He did some cooking."
"...Dad used to half-sole shoes, and they'd bring their shoes down from Nederland, as well as in the camp. He just had all of the business that he could handle. When he was a young fellow, he was trianed as a shoemaker. He took his training with the 'W Shoes,' in Kansas City. He could build a shoe if he had the leather. I can see the leather soaking yet, in pans. He had a regular little shop out in front of our cabin. He worked eight hours at the Mill and came home to do his shoes."
When older, after some years spent in Fort Lupton, Marie returned to Tungsten during the Depression to be with her father. They raised chickens and goats which Maried cared for. The Post Office had been in Ted Green's store for many years. With the store now closed Marie took the postal service and moved it into the little shoemaker's shop her father had run years before. "Things weren't easy in Tungsten during the Depression. We just made do with what we had. Seems like everybody pitched in more. You knew what you knew, to help you get along. We didn't go on Welfare or anything. We did our own thing."
Just as the First World War had brought about a demand for tungsten in war munitions, the Second World War brought a renewed interest in the mining industry. J. G. Clark, retired from active mining, leased his mines to other men who paid Clark and other mineowners a percentage on the ore taken out. Many men followed their father's mining profession of twenty years before. As long as the mines were paying they would remain. Their skills acquired in mining were used in other projects as well. Blasting crews were needed in road construction and dam building which filled the economic gap when mine veins petered out.
Better roads and faster transportation allowed families more mobility. A more transient society emerged.
The Boulder Canyon road was used "mostly in the case of necessity alone," with dependence on the family remaining strong in the Nederland area. Family dependence continued in importance until the highway from Boulder was completely re-worked and difficult sections through the Narrows had been widened and improved. It seems that a degree of isolation contributes to the unity of the family and community. Then, cooperation becomes essential and even, perhaps, the essene of life.


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