The Colorado Coalfield War Archaeological Project

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Project Description

The Colorado Coalfield War Archaeological Project is a study in the daily lives of miners and their families in the southern coalfields of Colorado during the early 20th century. We looked at how miners and their families lived in both the coal camps and the Ludlow strikers' colony. It is our goal by looking at the remains found at the company town of Berwind and the site of the Ludlow strikers' colony to identify people's practices before, during, and after the 1913-1914 strike. Since 1996, the project has succeeded in locating archaeological features and materials, but also in developing an understanding of the daily lives of miners and their families. Using archaeology, we have created a history that does not center on the managers or owners of the mines, such as John D. Rockefeller Jr., but the coal mining families that created the communities in the coal camps.

This research is made possible through the contributions of the following:
The Bessemer Historical Society
Binghamton University
Colorado Historical Society - State Historical Fund
The Denver Public Library- Western History/Genealogy Department
United Mine Workers of America and the Women’s Auxiliary
Design and content by Michael Jacobson of Binghamton University
Special thanks to: All the members of the UMWA local 9856,  the Ludlow Collective, and the many archaeologists and students who made the archaeology possible. 

The majority of images on this site are taken from the Denver Public Library's Western History Photodigitization Project, the Bessemer Historical Society, as well as from photographs taken in the field by Colorado Coal Field War Project staff members. Users should be aware that these digital materials may be subject to additional restrictions enforced by the host institution or may be protected by the U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U. S. C.). Reproduction of materials can be restricted by the host institution, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, or licensing and trademarks. The Colorado Coal Field War Project, the Bessemer Historical Society, and the Colorado Digitization Program websites provide links to digital images in collections held by Colorado institutions for non-commercial, personal, or research use only. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond what is allowed by fair use will require the written permission of copyright owners. Users are ultimately responsible for determining copyright restrictions, for obtaining written permission, and for paying any fees necessary for the reproduction or proposed use of the materials. The Colorado Coal Field War Project, the Colorado Digitization Program, and the Bessemer Historical Society will not be held responsible for any direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages arising out of or relating to the use of the information and materials linked to or found on this website.

Please see Denver Public Library's Copyright Notice and the Bessemer Historical Society's
Copyright Notice for further information on the use and reproduction of these images.


For Further reading:

Beshoar, Barron B.
1957 Out of the Depths: The Story of John R. Lawson, a Labor Leader. Colorado
Historical Commission and Denver Trades and Labor Assembly, Denver. 

Clyne, Richard J.
1999 Coal People: life in southern Colorado's company towns, 1890-1930. Colorado Historical Society, Denver

Long, Patricia 
1991 Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America's Bloody Coal Industry. Paragon Books, New York.

McGovern, George S., and Leonard F. Guttridge
1972 The Great Coalfield War. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.  

Papanikolas, Zeese
1982 Buried Unsung: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre. University of Utah
Press, Salt Lake City.

Click Here for links to papers and further information from the Ludlow Collective



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