Art and Books by Irene M. Francis,
Colorado Historian and Artist
The history of Custer County and the Wet Mountain Valley
Published by Brush Publishing Company, Irene Francis’ books about the history of Custer County, south-central Colorado, are dedicated to the many Wet Mountain Valley residents and temporary folks who made it happen. This includes the many ethnic groups who moved to the Valley from large cities with dreams of a better, healthier life and hope for a piece of land. Some with unusual vision built spur railroad lines to an isolated mountain area. Others are generations of ranchers and townspeople who have grown up in the beautiful Wet Mountain Valley in the shadows of the awesome Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range with its Fourteeners, the majestic peaks rising above 14,000 feet.
To the thousands of miners who blasted and picked through the hard rock to uncover its riches. To the ranchers who saw profit in raising hay and cattle, seeing their high-altitude efforts shipped down the rails to be used by others. Those hearty souls showing much tenacity over the years survived with or without the mining and the railroad. Lastly, to the people of today and tomorrow who will be making history.
Brush Publishing books and notecards available online
Irene’s books are available to purchase online. The historic one-room schoolhouses of Custer County, Colorado, were of special interest to Irene, and she devoted one of her books entirely to these important elements of early life the Wet Mountain Valley. In addition to Irene’s commitment to writing about the history of Custer County, life in the Wet Mountain Valley also inspired the artist within, and she created many drawings to illustrate her books. These illustrations also appear on Irene’s quality notecards featuring the historic schools, along with elegant cards illustrated with colorful original watercolors. Notecards may be purchased online here.
BLOG: I invite all History Buffs to join me at my blog as I peruse various historical topics and sayings that are of interest to me. Perhaps they will interest you too, and you will have something to add!