Southeast Colorado History Comes to 2023 Baca County Fair Aug 1st & Aug 5th.

Lonesome Prairie Publications is once again working with Val Millican at the Baca County Museum to bring you entertaining and informative historical sessions during the Baca County Fair, the week of July 31 – August 5.  We will kick things off Tuesday August 1st at 1:00 pm  with a special presentation from Mike and Chuck Bowen on their book “We Found the Lost Sand Creek Site”.  That session will be followed by Kent Brooks presenting “The Letters of Henry Savoie” at 2:00pm. 

We are going to try something new this year to allow more folks to join in as possible.  We will repeat these sessions later that evening August 1st at 6:00 pm and 7:00pm Hopefully, if you are working during the daytime session, having an evening session will allow you to join one of the evening sessions. Hope to see you there. 

On Saturday August 5, 2023, Val is pulling together additional sessions which will include Kent Brooks presenting at 3:00pm on Lonesome Prairie Publication’s Dust Bowl Project.   We hope to have more information on the other sessions soon.  

Cover of We found the Lost Sand Creek Site

1:00pm  “We Found the Lost Sand Creek SiteMike Bowen, co-author, We Found the Lost Sand Creek Site invites you to come learn about Chuck and Sheri Bowen’s Sand Creek discovery. They found over 4,000 artifacts which reveal the real location of the 1864 event. It is free to attend. Books will be available to purchase after the presentation, and don’t forget to get your book signed!  We Found the Lost Sand Creek Site is the only Sand Creek book based on eyewitness accounts, discovery of artifacts and how they affect the traditional Sand Creek story. There are a lot of misunderstandings concerning Sand Creek, and this book provides clarity on information that hasn’t been made available before. The location of the artifacts, including cannonball fragments, sheds new light on where things happened. Artifacts were found over several miles, starting about 2 ½ miles up the creek from where the monument sat, showing how spread out the village and running battle locations were.

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Artifacts from the Sand Creek Battlefield which will be available for viewing Aug 1 st

Chuck (L) and Mike (R) Bowen

2:00pm – “The Letters of Henry Savoie” In the year 1886, the captivating allure of the untamed and unsettled prairies in Southeast Colorado reached far and wide, beckoning those with dreams of fortune and a chance to start anew. Among the hopeful seekers was a man known as Henry Savoie, a Kansan who was later shot and killed on the streets of Old Boston, Colorado. Savoie’s killer was none other than Prairie Cattle Company Regulator, Big Bill Thompson. Savoie was accused of stealing a Prairie Cattle Company heifer and steer.  Savoie, buried Southeast of Vilas, has always been a bit of mystery in the story of Old Boston and many felt Savoie was wrongly accused.  Since publishing “Old Boston: As Wild As They Come,” we have had the good fortune of becoming acquainted with some of Savoie’s Kansas relatives who had original letters written by Savioe between 1886 and 1888, including ones written while Savoie was in jail in Trinidad on charges of stealing Prairie Cattle Company cattle. During this session, Kent Brooks, author of “Old Boston: Wild As They Come,” will present and discuss the letters of the Wild Horseman Henry Savoie, and help fill in another piece of the Baca County History puzzle

Envelope of Letter Written by Henry Savoie while in Jail in Trinidad in October of 1887


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Sessions will repeat the evening of August 1st.

6:00pm – “We Found the Lost Sand Creek Site” A repeat of the Bowen presentation We Found the Lost Sand Creek Site will be held to give more Baca Countians the opportunity to learn more southeast Colorado history from our Lamar neighbors Mike and Chuck Bowen.

7:00pm – “The Letters of Henry Savoie” A repeat of “The Letters of Henry Savoie” from earlier in the day. 

3:00pm – “The Dust Bowl: The View from Ground Zero.”  The Great Depression, and the Dust Bowl that accompanied it, was the most impactful and profound time period, indeed the watershed moment, for southeastern Colorado. Our Baca County friend Steve Doner tells it like this: “It was like year zero on our calendars, BDB – Before the Dust Bowl, and ADB – After the Dust Bowl.  Even though those events happened 20 years before I was born, they have colored and continue to color my world, from blow humps along fence lines that I drive by everyday, eighty years after they were formed, to the frugality that dictates how I spend money. April 14, 1935, known as Black Sunday, is logged in my memory even though the only knowledge I have of that day is all second hand. In the Spring of 2018, after the Badger Hole fire burned over 20 houses within 7 miles of mine and the critical plant residue that held the topsoil, we were subjected to several weeks of near zero visibility around our farm every time the wind blew, reminding us once again of the delicate dance agriculture has with nature on the High Plains.”  Come join this session and help us weave our story of the Dust Bowl, told through Baca County Eyes. 

As we are always seeking additional archives to round out our Baca County story, folks who possess artifacts from the Dust Bowl are invited to bring them, when it is safe for the artifact to do so. Anyone who chooses to allow the Lonesome Prairie team to add their knowledge to any book or publication will receive credit. Artifacts will be scanned and returned to the owners. 

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