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Agnes Miner Collection

  • cou-bha BHA.0001
  • Collection
  • 1880s-1910s

Numbering about 80 mounted and unmounted albumen prints, most are by Breckenridge photographer Otto Westerman. Included among the collection are photographs related to the Finding family, such as portraits of both Agnes (Finding) Miner and her mother, Martha (Silverthorn) Finding, the Finding family posed in front of their Breckenridge home, and Charles A. Finding's hardware store on Main Street, Breckenridge. Of interest are the albumen prints dating from the late 1890s that were showcased in a small 12 panel album. Removed for preservation purposes, these prints are of local residents and snow covered landscapes taken during the “Big Snow” of 1898-1899. Several photographs are of men, women, and children either posed near or peering through the openings of snow tunnels that were used to access Main Street, Breckenridge businesses.

Miner, Agnes E. (Finding)

Mail carriers on Main Street during the Big Snow of 1899

Jess Oakley and Eli Fletcher carry the mail down Main Street, Breckenridge, Colorado during the "Big Snow" of 1898-1899. The men volunteered to ski over Boreas Pass to Como, where the Denver, South Park and Pacific (DSP&P) train had been stopped. From February 5 until April 24, heavy snowstorms prevented DSP&P from delivering mail, fresh food and other supplies to Breckenridge. Quoted from handwritten text on the reverse: "US mail via snow shoe winter of the 78 day blockade". Note: Possibly the sons of the widows who ran the boarding house on Ridge Street, called the Colorado House (as of 2015, Fatty's Restaurant). One of the boys was Justen G. "Jess" Oakley, son of Almeda Peabody Oakley. A contribution was collected for him in the amount of $12.00.

Westerman, Otto

Breckenridge railroad yards during the Big Snow of 1899

Snow cleared from the railroad tracks and spur that serviced the Kilton Sampler at the Kilton Gold Reduction Company west of Breckenridge, Colorado, during the winter of the "Big Snow" of 1898-1899. Quoted from print on reverse: "R R yds Breckenridge 1899".


Snowy Main Street, Breckenridge in February 1899

Main Street, Breckenridge, buried under snow during the "Big Snow" event of 1898-1899. Snow tunnels were used to access businesses because heavy snowfall had reached the second story of most buildings. The upper half of R.C. McKillif's false-fronted Livery business is in view across the street. Two dogs and people stand outside on the snow covered boardwalk. Quoted from text handwritten on the reverse: "Main Street February 5th 1899. Breckenridge Miner (Miner)".

Westerman, Otto

Photograph album, "Snow Scenes around Breckenridge, Colorado, Winter 1899"

Hardcover photograph album. Single photographs inserted into a paper enclosure sleeve; each sleeve has an open viewing window that frames the image. Title quoted from handwritten text on the inside cover: "Snow Scenes around Breckenridge, Colo. Winter 1899". The front and back cover have a purple floral print on a green background. "Photos" is embossed in silver print on the front cover. The spine has a wide band with a silver embossed pattern on a cream background.

Two girls at the entrance of a snow tunnel across Main Street, Breckenridge during the Big Snow of 1899

Two girls stand in the entrance of a snow tunnel during the winter of the "Big Snow" of 1898-1899. They wear berets and are dressed in wool coats with fur-trimmed capelet. Behind them is the Livery building on the east side of Main Street, Breckenridge. Handwritten on the reverse: "One of my best efforts".


A woman stands outside George Watson's house in Breckenridge during the Big Snow of 1899

A woman wearing a hat and fur-collared coat stands at the end of a deep trench cleared in the snow outside of George Watson's house in Breckenridge, Colorado. Looking east with Barney Ford Hill and Bald Mountain (Mount Baldy) in the background. Handwritten caption on the reverse: "View from y'd at G.B. Watsons April 20th '99".


Looking north on Main Street, Breckenridge during the Big Snow of 1899

View looking north on Main Street, Breckenridge, during the winter of the "Big Snow" of 1898-1899. A man (probably Ezra Stewart) wearing a dark cape overcoat and hat stands on top of a tall snow bank in front of the Arlington House and Denver Hotel. Across the snow-covered street is Breckenridge Masonic Lodge No. 47 and Fireman's Hall with belfry and hose drying tower.


A man and dog outside the remains of a snow tunnel on Main Street, Breckenridge during the Big Snow of 1899

Melting snow exposes one of the tunnels that had been used to access businesses on Main Street, Breckenridge, during the "Big Snow" winter of 1898-1899. A man reaches to hold the paw of a dog sitting with both front legs raised up off the ground. In the background are false front buildings and a side gable structure. "April 14th, '99" is handwritten on the reverse.


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