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A Lady in Boomtown: Miners and Manners on the Nevada Frontier - Page 2

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A Lady in Boomtown was developed from notes I kept during the years I spent in Tonopah from 1904 to 1922. To awaken my memory of historical and political events, the librarian at the San Francisco Mechanics Library directed me to the file of current histories compiled by Mark Sullivan, a New York reporter. Articles pertaining to Tonopah itself in current magazines and periodicals were fragmentary. When I discovered how difficult it was to find two statements that agreed about those very early days, I decided to trust my own memory, fortified by the many clippings I had saved from newspapers and by similar data from my husband’s files. I am immeasurably grateful to my friend David Myrick, a writer and compiler of western history, whose prolific notebooks helped me to be more accurate in some of my statements. The statistics on Goldfield are from an article by Charles F. Spillman that appeared in the Nevada News Letter of January 1, 1916, a copy of which I had preserved. His figures corresponded to my own memory sufficiently for me to accept their accuracy. During Tasker Oddie’s lifetime we talked for many happy hours about the old days, and much I have written came out of those conversations. He also furnished me with campaign literature pertaining to himself and Key Pittman, together with magazine clippings about the battleship Nevada. All of these were returned to Senator Oddie, so I have no record of the published sources from which they were clipped. Most of the gossip came to me through my brother and my brother-in-law, who joined us when Tonopah began to boom. Whenever either one of them picked up "off the street" an exciting bit of information, they shared it with me and I added it to my notes. The photographs and snapshots I collected myself. For me the cluttered little gallery of E. W. Smith, the photographer who took most of the pictures, was a regular port-of-call. When the old man died, our friend Herman Albert was the public administrator, and he asked me if I would like to have Mr. Smith’s pictures. I gladly went down to the littered room over the Oasis Saloon and thumbed through the vast number of prints. If I had thought of their future historical value, I would have preserved them all. Most of the photographs of people - leading citizens and holiday events - were acquired from Mr. Smith’s studio. To Hugh and Marshall and Jerrie This is written for you. Primarily, of course, it is the story of your father and me during our youthful years in Nevada. But it is more than that, for to write of Tonopah and Goldfield from 1903 to 1922 is to describe the sunset rays of the old romantic West. We were the pioneers of the twentieth century – your father and mother and the colorful people we knew – carved in the round by memories of those wonderful years when it was such an engrossing experience to be a LADY IN BOOMTOWN. - San Francisco, California, 1968.



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