The main one is A Year in the Great Republic volume 2 of 2.  Emily Katherine (sic) Bates.  London: Ward and Downey 1887.  I refer to this in the text as GR2.

Twenty years after the trip, Kat published a kind of spiritualist memoir, Seen and Unseen.  Emily Katherine (sic) Bates.  London: Greening and Co.  1907.  In it she added more information on the seances she had been to during the Year, and the spiritualists she had met.  I refer to this in the text as S/U.

Kat’s own source: on GR2 p1 she warns travellers not to put too much faith in statements made in Appleton’s Guide.  I think she put too much faith in her own copy! - at least to start with, but by the time she was heading for Yellowstone National Park she was very annoyed with the lack of practical information in it.  


Kat’s most likely to have been using Appleton’s General Guide to the US and Canada, issued every year from 1879 to 1901; and its specialist guide to the North East of the USA, issued yearly from 1853.  However she might also have been able to pick up a copy of the 1876 guide to the American cities and the 1877 guide to winter resorts; and there was a specialist guide to the US south and south-west, published 1882. 

Source: wikipedia on Appleton’s Guides, which were published from as early as the 1840s by the firm D Appleton and Co of New York.  The firm began by issuing railway guides but in 1848 it issued its first tourist handbook.  The 1848 handbook only covered the USA but Appleton and Co later published guides to Canada, Europe and Latin America. 



Kat Bates was born in 1846, the youngest child of a Church of England cleric.  Both her parents had died by the time she was 10.  When she was 25 she inherited enough of an income to make her financially independent.  She was already widely travelled by 1885 but had never ventured quite so far, or for so long, before.  She was ready to rough it if necessary, and for a particular end in view, but she wasn’t really a pioneer.  She usually stayed in hotels; with friends or relations; or with people she had a letter of introduction to.  She isn’t good on dates!


For more on Kat’s life see my life-by-dates files. 



It seems astonishing to me but Kat had met the woman she calls Miss Greenlow only a short time before the two of them set out for the United States and Canada.  The trip was of the kind that can put a strain on any friendship: they were intending to be away for twelve months, and to travel in the relatively remote parts of the western states, as well as the sophisticated north east.  At least when they set out, Miss Greenlow knew very little about Kat’s past and was not acquainted with most of her friends.  However, they seem to have survived the experience with their friendship intact, due in large part, I think, to Miss Greenlow’s “very self-contained and unemotional”, phlegmatic character.  Miss Greenlow was, like Kat, a woman of independent means; I think those means were rather larger than Kat’s although their difference in income doesn’t seem to have caused problems between them.

Source: GR1 p199, p205; S/U p22, p26, p228.

Comment on Miss Greenlow’s identity from Sally Davis: I think ‘greenlow’ is one of Kat’s pseudonyms – she uses them a lot in her books.  I certainly haven’t been able to find much evidence of a likely ‘miss greenlow’ in the usual family history sources.




Kat and Miss Greenlow got the stage coach from the National Park’s Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel early in the morning and reached the railroad station at Cinnabar in time to catch the slow train to Livingston.  A very very slow train - it took four hours to travel fifty miles!   After being delayed several hours, they got a train from from Livingston further east to visit the mining districts of Helena and Butte City.  They saw how mining had cut into all the hills around Helena.  They visited several ‘placer’ mines – where gold and silver were near the surface – and heard about the wealth of the Drumlummun mine outside the town, which Kat was pleased to find was owned by an Irishman.  After a day in Helena, they went back along the Northern Pacific Railroad to Garrison.  They left most of their baggage there and took another train which “crawled slowly along” to Butte City, where another delay gave them a chance to look around the town and to visit a couple of its mines, the Alice and the mine Kat calls “Moneton Mill”.  They were hoping to be allowed to go down into the mine in a miners’ cage, but couldn’t find a mine manager willing to let them risk it; but they did get shown all round the furnaces at“Moneton Mill” in which the silver was separated from the ore.

Source for the train journey and visits to mines in Montana: GR2 pp197-206 including explanations of how the silver was extracted from the ore and what it looks like when it’s taken from the furance; and a discussion of the miners’ working conditions and wages and the gambling with which they threw all they had earned away.

Comments by Sally Davis, who is continually astonished by what Kat is interested in.

When their slow, slow train got to Livingston, Kat and Miss Greenlow were told that a bridge had come down in a thunderstorm and no one knew when their train to Helena would get through.  This kind of unpredictable delay had happened so often to them in the American West, that they couldn’t even be bothered to complain about it.  They strolled about the town, had one of their more edible meals in the hotel across the road, and then were given 10 minutes’ warning of the delayed train’s arrival and immediate departure. 

The trip to Helena was a detour, but Kat really wanted to see the mines.  As the train neared the town she could already see how the dry hills had been cut up by mine-workings.  Helena itself Kat described as a town with “not a tree to shade it” from heat that was “pitiless”.  However, she was impressed by the signs of wealth that she saw - the grand houses, and the expensive clothes the women were wearing as they took their evening stroll about the streets.  Kat was surprised to see dresses in such good taste, made of simple materials with subtle decoration and a careful choice of colour, rather than the “magnificence or mere show” she had been expecting of this newly-wealthy town.  However, in some ways Helena was all that she had supposed it would be: she heard tales of a recent wedding – a 65-year-old mine-owner marrying a 26-year-old bride; the bridegroom spent $150,000 on the reception and there was not a sober man in the town for the next three days!

Arriving at Butte, Kat noted that Helena was thought to be past its best as a mining town – Butte was the up-and-coming venue, though still only half Helena’s size.  Kat compared Butte’s dirt to the black country of the English Midlands.  She probably didn’t know quite how toxic the smoke was, the result of the use of mercury in refining the silver ore, and of arsenic and sulphur, products of copper refining – in 1886 Butte had virtually no health and safety laws.  I couldn’t find any mention of the mine Kat writes of as “Moneton Mill” (pp203-04), and I think her editor couldn’t read Kat’s handwriting (though I tried ‘moreton’ and didn’t get any joy with that either).  I did find mentions of the Alice Gold and Silver Mining Company, owned by the Walker Brothers syndicate which was based in Salt Lake City.

Sources for Helena and Butte:

The Drumlunnon Mine, at Silver Creek near Marysville Montana; named by its finder Tommy Cruse for his birthplace in Ireland.  Website says that it was a gold mine, the first ore being extracted, by Cruse, in 1880.  He sold most of his stake to the Montana Company Ltd in 1883 so that other people made fortunes from the mine, but Cruse didn’t get so rich.  The mine was at its most productive between 1884 and 1889. 

In 2010 another gold lode was found at the Drumlunnon Mine and it was still being worked in 2015: New York Times issue of 1 May 2010 repeating a report in the Marysville Journal.  And, the website of the US Department of Justice: a notice dated 23 October 2015 fining the mine’s operator for safety violations.

At an introduction to the records of the Alice Gold and Silver Mining Company 1877-1930, now held at the Montana Historical Society Research Center at Helena.  The land and the Alice mine were bought for the Walker Brothers’ syndicate in 1875 by their agent in Montana, Marcus Daly, later owner of the Anaconda Mine.

At, the website of Montana Tech Technical Communication Department, a short essay by Pat Munday PhD: Butte Mining 1864-2005: A Brief Cultural and Environmental History.   By the mid-1880s copper mining was as important as silver mining in the area.  The  main copper mine was the Anaconda. 



After their “expedition” to the mines of Montana, Kat and Miss Greenlow went on the Utah and Northern railroad from Butte City to Ogden.  The night they spent on board was a particularly trying one.  The following day the train went through part of Idaho and across an Indian reservation where Kat saw her first wigwams, and a young woman leading an old man up to the train to beg.  They had breakfast at Pocatello, Idaho.  They reached Camp Logan in time for dinner, where there were the first signs that they were in land occupied by the Mormons – the best meal of chicken they had had anywhere in the US; and rumours that the owner of the diner had seven wives. After the stop for dinner the trip went on through irrigated fields, bulrushes and sunflowers; and in the distance Kat could already see the great salt lake.  At Ogden, they changed trains for the short journey to Salt Lake City.

Source for the journey: GR2 pp206-209.

Comment by Sally Davis:

Kat and Miss Greenlow had been travelling in intense heat for several months now, but of course doing so was not getting any easier.  Trying to settle into their bunks in the sleeping car, they opted to get covered in soot rather than close the windows; and the train bucked about on its narrow-gauge rails so much that they expected it to leave the track any moment.  They were told of just such an accident a couple of weeks before in which a top berth snapped shut with the sleeper still inside it; fortunately another traveller had noticed and its occupant was freed before he suffocated.  The train must have been going over the Beaverhead Mountains that night.  The Indian reservation it then went through was the Fort Hall Reservation, a part of the ancestral lands of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes given to them in a treaty of 1868 but then encroached on, provoking retaliation in 1878.  The tribes were supposed to settle down to farming on the reservation, but that was not their way of life.


The Utah and Northern Railway had begun as a spur off the transcontinental railroad, going north from Ogden towards Franklin Idaho through the reservation.  In 1878 it was taken over by Jay Gould’s Union Pacific line and extended across Idaho and into the mining area of Montana.  It reached Butte in 1881.  If Kat had waited a year she wouldn’t have had all the extra anxieties of travel by narrow gauge – it was replaced with standard gauge in 1887.  At Utah and Northern Railway’s wikipedia page there’s a photograph of a Victorian railway engine crossing the bridge at Eagle Rock Idaho Falls; Kat’s train must have gone over it, but she doesn’t mention it.  The railroad was built across the Indian reservation without the Indians’ permission of course; and to add insult to injury, Pocatello station was named after the defeated Shoshone-Bannock chief.


The town Kat calls Camp Logan has dropped the word ‘camp’ from its name.  Kat and Miss Greenlow had no time to investigate it, but Kat at least would have been interested to discover that in the American Civil War it had been an army camp.  I was surprised myself to find the war extending so far to the west.  Kat doesn’t mention Ogden, except to say that she and Miss Greenlow changed trains there.  It was founded, as Fort Buenaventura, in 1846, when what became Utah was still in México.  It became important as a railroad junction town when the two ends of the transcontinental railroad finally met very near it, in 1869. 


Sources for the journey: wikipedia on Fort Hall Reservation; Ogden; the Utah and Northern Railway and Union Pacific;  a wiki on Camp Mather-Camp Logan; and these two websites giving the Indians’ point of view: //; and //



Kat and Miss Greenlow stayed at the Walker House Hotel.  They were impressed by the layout of Salt Lake City, especially its three boulevards with streams running their length and shaded by trees.  On the evening of their arrival the heat and humidity were dreadful, and rain fell solidly all the next morning, but by the afternoon it had cleared up enough for them to take a trip around the town.  Their carriage driver was a Mormon convert, originally from Manchester.  They drove past the Beehive House, where some of Brigham Young’s wives still lived, and past the Eagle Gate and the Amelia Palace.  They visited another English immigrant at a house called Rosebank.  After the tour around the town they went to Camp Douglas, the army base in the nearby hills which had a lovely view across the salt lake to the mountains beyond.  They inspected the ravine nearby, through which Brigham Young had led the first Mormons to arrive in Utah.  Back in town they went to see the Zion Co-operative Store ;and the house where Anne Eliza Young lived (a wife of Brigham Young who had sued for divorce) where they heard a lot of stories to her discredit. 


The following day was Sunday, so Kat and Miss Greenlow went to the Tabernacle to see the 2pm Mormon service and to hear its choir, already a source of pride for the people of the city.  When the service had finished they went over to the Temple – still unfinished after 33 years of building but already very impressive. Kat interviewed the elderly Scotsman she found in the Temple office about the Mormon creed, and found he was a fellow spiritualist, who had seen spirits several times in his life.  She also deliberately went walking past the Beehive House hoping to speak to one of Brigham Young’s widows; but though she angled for an invitation from the young people she found sitting on its lawn, they refused to invite her in. 


Kat and Miss Greenlow made an afternoon trip to Lake Point on the salt lake, a refreshing journey in an open-topped train.  They hired serge swimming costumes and straw hats and went into the lake.  It was too salty to swim about so they lay with their feet sticking up out of the blue water, gazing at the mountains beyond.  On their way back to town they “revelled in a gorgeous sunset” with its hour-long afterglow.


Source for Kat and Miss Greenlow’s stay: GR2 pp210-233.

Comments by Sally Davis: their driver took Kat and Miss Greenlow on what seems to have been the usual tour past the buildings Salt Lake City was most proud of.  The Beehive House had been built in 1854 as Brigham Young’s official residence, and was large enough to accommodate his wives and all his children.  The Eagle Gate – more like an arch – was built in 1859 to be the entrance to the Beehive House and to Brigham Young’s personal land-holding; originally it had had a wooden eagle on its top.  The place Kat called the Amelia Palace was built between 1873 and 1883 as the official residence of the President of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Brigham Young gave it its official name – Gardo House – but Kat doesn’t mention having heard it called that, so perhaps most local people were using its everyday name, a compliment to Young’s wife Amelia, who acted as his hostess at official events; she was Harriet Amelia Folsom Young, daughter of Gardo House’s chief architect William H Folsom.


Kat’s account in GR2 of her time in Salt Lake City is dominated by the Mormon practice of polygamy – Kat was concerned about it herself and supposed her readers would be too.  She arrived in Salt Lake City confused as to what attitude she should take.  As the daughter of a Church of England cleric, she was aware that books in the Old Testament allowed it; and that biblical heroes like Moses practised it.  On the other hand, what little mention of it there was in the books of the New Testament seemed to favour one man having one wife at a time, particularly if he was aiming to be a church leader.  That was the Bible; what about now?  Before she got to Utah Kat had read a woman’s account of being in a polygamous marriage – a point of view that didn’t appear in the bible.  It was Fanny Stenhouse’s Exposé of Polygamy in Utah: A Lady’s Life Amongst the Mormons which Mrs Stenhouse had written after she left the Church of Latter-Day Saints. 


As she went about the town, Kat cross-examined everyone who would answer, on the subject of polygamy; including the women – though it would seem, always in the presence of their husbands, the women she spoke to on the lawn of the Beehive House wouldn’t converse with her about it.  After the householder at Rosebank made a remark about how those who believed in polygamy ought to be more ready to defend their beliefs in public, Kat wanted to question him more closely; but she noticed him looking “with some distrust” at their driver.  She decided not to press him any further, but drew her own conclusions about the attitude of the Mormon church to those who broke ranks on its teachings.  The conclusions were confirmed by the disparagement she heard, of women who wouldn’t put up with polygamy – Fanny Stenhouse’s book was described as “all gas” by their carriage driver; and Anne Eliza Young was called “a bad woman to start with” who had run away when she realised she wasn’t going to be Brigham Young’s favourite.  Looking carefully at the people she passed, Kat also saw no evidence of an argument for polygamy that was often put forward – that it led to better health for all concerned.  She left Utah with her prejudices against polygamy confirmed, despite the Old Testament’s support of it.


The Sunday afternoon service at the Tabernacle surprised Kat.  It offended her too, I think, by not being more different than it was from a typical English church service.  She also felt that the atmosphere was a little too complacent – that the congregation needed to do some work on their “spiritual pride”. 


I’m not quite sure where it was that Kat and Miss Greenlow had their splash in the Great Salt Lake.  The place that is called Lake Point now had a different name in 1886; and I couldn’t find any references to a place called Lake Point at Kat’s time.  Kat was glad to look back with pleasure on that expedition, which took away some of the “rather unpleasant Mormon taste” of the place as a whole. 


Sources for Kat in Salt Lake City and the surrounds:

At there’s an introduction to the Walker House guest register from 1875, now held at the University of Utah.  The hotel was built at 248 South Main Street in 1872.  There’s a photograph of it at //, file number 39222001735286.tif


Beehive House, which is still a tourist attraction today: its wikipedia page which has some illustrations;, and 

Eagle Gate and Gardo House: their wikipedia pages, with photographs.

Camp Douglas: its wikipedia page which mentions that it was set up by the Union Army in 1862 to defend  and control the overland postal and telegraph routes to the west coast.

At someone has posted a photograph of the house called Rosebank Cottage, Salt Lake City, home of the Dye family.  Caroline Elizabeth Woods 1837-95 is mentioned on the page.  I also came across a photograph of its garden, with a family in Victorian dress seated in it, for sale on ebay; the photograph was originally published in the Salt Lake Tribune.   

On the vexed question of polygamy in the Bible, I found the wikipedia page on polygamy in Christianity helpful.

On Fanny Stenhouse, Mrs T H B Stenhouse: her wikipedia page based on her obituary in the Salt Lake Herald of 19 April 1904: p1.  Her book on Mormon polygamy was published in 1872 in New York by the American News Company.  By the time Kat was in Salt Lake City it was better known by its later title,  Telling it All: the Tyranny of Mormonism; or an Englishwoman in Utah.


On Anne Eliza Young: see her wikipedia page, which describes her as the 52nd out of 55 wives of Brigham Young, by the best count.  She does seem to have made a habit of getting divorced, but her divorce suit from Brigham Young brought to public attention the fact that the US justice system did not recognise the rights of any polygamous wife but the first.   Anne Eliza Young became a very vocal campaigner against polygamy. 

I found a short account of the Zion Co-operative Store by Amanda E Bates (no relation of Kat as far as I know) who visited Salt Lake City while Brigham Young was still alive and was able to talk to him about it.  History and Travels of a Wanderer by Amanda E Bates.  Published in Travels in America volume 225 1900: p35.  All the goods in it were supplied by the Church of Latter-Day Saints. 

Pacific Coast Business Directory volume 3 1876 p752 lists the ZIOCS and it’s also in the Colorado, New Mexico, Utah...Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1884 p412 with H W Manning as its ?manager.



Once again, Kat and Miss Greenlow’s onward journey was delayed by a crash and flooding on the railway line; and once again there was no clue as to how long the delay might be.  They waited in the hotel for two hours, and on their suitcases at the station for another hour, and heard that trains on the Denver Rio Grande railway were thought to be managing well – given the terrain – if they were only seven hours late.  When at last a train came, Kat and Miss Greenlow found themselves travelling with a group of Civil War veterans coming back from being feted in San Francisco.  Kat thought some of them looked too young to have fought in it.  Others, however, were certainly the right age; but they looked like “they had never known a day’s drill since ‘64”.   


Kat feared that the railroad company would make up time by racing through all the most spectacular scenery on its route.  However, the train stopped to allow all the passengers to get down out of the carriages to admire the view at Castle Gate; and after a hot and uncomfortable night in the stuffy narrow-gauge sleeping car, an observation car was added to the end of the train at Cimarron so that everyone could get the best possible look at the Black Canyon of the River Gunnison.  The observation car was open to the elements but despite the prospect of several hours in full sun, there was “a great rushing and squeezing” as all the passengers tried to get into it.  Over the next half-hour or so, Kat was torn between exhileration at the beauty and majesty of the scenery, and anxiety at the way the train swung on its narrow rails around the canyon’s twists and turns at a “making-up time pace”.  After the Black Canyon, the passengers all beat a retreat to the covered carriages for the passage over the Marshall Pass; where the wooden sheds over the track to keep snow off the rails acted like tunnels, meaning that the windows and ventilators had to be shut to keep out the smoke and smuts. 


The delay at the outset of the journey meant that the train would go through the Grand Canyon of the River Arkansas at night; so at Salida, Kat and Miss Greenlow got out and waited for the following day’s train.  It was only one hour late, so they saw their view, obscured only by the umbrellas in the observation carriage that everyone was holding up as sunshades.  Kat found this canyon not as spectacular as the Black Canyon, on the whole, though the Royal Gorge section of it was “magnificent and stupendous”. 


The train reached the “pretty village” of Colorado Springs in the early evening.  Kat and Miss Greenlow went on immediately by a branch line to Manitou Springs, which Kat thought reminded her of villages in Derbyshire.  They took rooms in the Mansion House hotel, and stayed for a week. 


Source for Kat’s trip to Colorado: GR2 pp233-240 though she calls the Royal Gorge the Royal George.

Comments by Sally Davis:

About the railway: Kat called the railroad company she travelled with from Salt Lake City to Colorado Springs the “Denver-Rio Grande Railway” - which isn’t any of the several names of that particular railroad went by!  A company called the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad was set up in 1870 but went into liquidation in 1884.  A rival company, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad was founded in 1880 and from 1883 rented the DRG’s land in Utah.


The railroad company set up in 1870 was founded by railway engineer William Jackson Palmer and his partner in so many railroad enterprises, Dr William Abraham Bell.  The company set up in 1870 was originally intended to link Colorado with Salt Lake City at one end and with Mexico City at the other; and a descendant of it did eventually run all the way, via El Paso.  It used a 3-foot narrow gauge and – unlike every other American railroad – was fuelled by coal (which was  mined in Colorado) not wood.  The highest part of the Rockies bars the way between Salt Lake City and Colorado Springs; the Tennessee Pass and the Marshall Pass were the highest railroads in the United States.  The Moffat Tunnel and the Royal Gorge were feats of engineering. 


On Palmer and Colorado: it seems impossible to mention the early days of Colorado without speaking of William Jackson Palmer.  He had a vision for the development of what became the state of Colorado that included railroads, western settlement, and tourism.  He founded both Colorado Springs, as a mining town; and Manitou, as a resort and spa town.  In 1880 he was involved in the building of the Colorado Coal and Iron Company’s steel mill at Pueblo.

Sources: wikis and wikipedia pages for Colorado Springs; Manitou Springs; the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad,  its predecessors and successors; Cimarron; Pueblo and General William Jackson Palmer (1836-1909). 

For Pueblo: its wiki and also

For the Mansion House Hotel at Manitou Springs: The United States, with an Excursion into México; Handbook for Travellers by Karl Baedeker and James Fullarton Muirhead.  1893 issue p417, its page on Manitou which by this time had seven hotels Baedeker thought were worth listing; and could be reached from Colorado Springs by electric tram as well as rail.  The Mansion House hotel was first in the list of seven (which was in order of preference, not alphabet), charging $4 a night.  Also in the list was the Manitou House hotel, which Kat and Miss Greenlow rejected as being too close to the rail depot.



Kat and Miss Greenlow used Manitou Springs as a starting point for a number of expeditions into its surroundings.  They took a buggy ride to Williams Canyon, where Kat liked the contrast between the “deep crimson” rock formations and the “scrub oak” - chokeberries, wild cherries and wild hops.  They only went three or four miles up Williams Canyon, however, preferring to put their effort into reaching the caves in the Ute Pass, which had only been excavated the year before.  A second trip by buggy took them to Iron Springs, whose water tasted like “iron champagne”, Kat thought.  Their main long trip was to Monument Park, taking in the “celebrated Garden of the Gods” en route, where the crimson rocks had been shaped into “monster mushrooms thrown carelessly on the ground”.  At the end of the Garden of the Gods they came to General Palmer’s house Glen Eyrie, which looked across the plain on which Colorado Springs was being built. 


When their onward plans were delayed by problems of an all-too-familiar kind on the railway, Kat and Miss Greenlow decided to go to Colorado Springs by buggy and make one last sightseeing trip.  They left their luggage at the Antlers Hotel and were then driven through the Garden of the Gods to South Cheyenne Canyon.  On the way they had some magnificent views across the table lands, and the buggy went through grasslands with heathers and the white Colorado poppy.  Kat had wanted to go into South Cheyenne Canyon to go up to the grave of Helen Hunt Jackson, but the route up was too difficult and they gave up before getting to the top.


Returning to Colorado Springs, Kat liked what she saw of the town, laid out in tree-lined boulevards.  However, she and Miss Greenlow were anxious to press on to Denver.  They got no information at all from the at the railway depot about when a train would come through – the man they spoke to couldn’t even be bothered to take his feet off the desk.  But rather than book a night in a hotel at The Antlers, they decided to go back to the station later, on the off-chance that a train might turn up.  To pass the afternoon they took a walk around the town; they met a local woman doctor who invited them into her house for half an hour.  Then they went back to the station, sat on their luggage, and waited.  A train came an hour later and though it took four hours to travel the 70 miles to Denver, and they had no dinner, they were rewarded for following their hunch by getting good views of Monument Park and of Palmer’s Lake.  They reached Denver at 10pm and got rooms at the Windsor Hotel.

Source for Kat and Miss Greenlow’s excursions: GR2 pp240-249.  The account gives Maniton (with an ‘n’) for Manitou several times; a typesetting error, I think.  Kat also believes General Palmer was English by birth; but it was his partner Dr Bell who had been born in England. The trip to Denver: GR2 pp247-49; and for the woman doctor, S/U p31.


Comments by Sally Davis: if the Palmers had been at home I’m sure Kat and Miss Greenlow would have called on them; but Kat was told that they lived mostly in New York.  Glen Eyrie had been built, in the English Tudor castle style, in 1877, as a summer home for the Palmers, but they hardly ever spent any time there, because Mrs Palmer, like Kat, had trouble breathing at that altitude.  It’s now a hotel.


If Kat had known how bad the road to Monument Park was going to be, I think she would have gone elsewhere.  She was glad to have seen the Park and to note the different colours of the rock there – cream and yellow, rather than crimson – but not that glad!  The road to the South Cheyenne Canyon was easy by comparison, but the buggy could go no further than the canyon’s entrance.  Leaving their lunch basket part of the way along, Kat and Miss Greenlow followed a winding path to the waterfalls and climbed the wooden steps at the side of them to look down.  Kat had been keen to see Mrs Jackson’s grave, but it defeated even her experience as a mountaineer – Mrs Jackson had chosen to be buried at the very top of one of the highest peaks in the canyon.  After climbing 150 of the steps up to it, Kat and Miss Greenlow couldn’t face any more.  Writing it up and obviously exasperated at Mrs Jackson’s perversity, Kat noted that even a group of three “active-looking” men who’d gone on ahead of them, didn’t make it to the top.  They all returned to ground level together and were soaked – and Kat’s lunch ruined - by a sudden storm.   


Kat doesn’t mention having seen any Indians during her stay at Manitou Springs and it’s most unlikely that there were any to see.  The Ute Indians had inhabited the area for a couple of thousand years, and groups of Arapaho and Cheyenne for rather less time.  To the Indians, the springs in particular, made it a special and sacred place.  But when the Europeans started moving in, they moved the Indians out to a reservation. 


In GR2, Kat doesn’t mention having met a woman doctor in Colorado Springs and in S/U she doesn’t name her; I do wish she had.  The meeting seems to have come about quite by accident, probably when Kat – as she so often did - fell into conversation with a passer-by.  During their short visit to the doctor’s house, spiritualism came up in conversation, and the doctor gave Kat the address of a woman in Denver who was an amateur spiritualist medium.  When Kat and Miss Greenlow were in Denver a few days later, they called on her, and the outcome of that call was important for Kat’s growing belief in spiritualism, the governing impetus of her life in her later years.


Sources: see the sources section immediately above; and the wikis, wikipedia pages and many other websites for the places Kat and Miss Greenlow visited.  And for the account of the Indian occupation of the area around Manitou Springs and the Ute Pass, see the wikipedia page for Iron Springs.


When I read ‘Monument Park’ in GR2, I got very excited, thinking that Kat had actually been to John Ford’s Monument Valley.  But she hadn’t; Kat’s Monument Park is somewhere else.

For the Antlers Hotel at Colorado Springs, see which has pictures of the building Kat left her luggage in.  There’s still a hotel of that name on the site, built in 1967.  The building that Kat and Miss Greenlow went to was built 1883 and burned down – like so many they stayed in! – in 1898. 



For a couple of days Kat and Miss Greenlow rested up in Denver, making full use of the Windsor Hotel’s facilities, including its Turkish baths.  Denver’s streets, its shops and its fine public buildings impressed Kat – she thought they could stand comparison to the Eastern seaboard cities she had been to.  The city had a fine cathedral, with an organ whose tone was as beautiful as Kat had ever heard.  She noted that whereas most houses in the West were made of wood, some of Denver’s had been built in the pink local stone and looked “as though they had been transferred bodily from Fitzjohn’s Avenue Hampstead”. 


The first expedition from Denver that Kat and Miss Greenlow made was a trip by train to Idaho Springs via the mining town of Gorden and Clear Creek Canyon.  Idaho Springs was a peaceful spot, but once again, Kat found breathing difficult at that height – 7500 feet above sea level.  She tried the soda and sulphur springs for which the town was known and found the water soft and pleasant.  In the afternoon, she and Miss Greenlow hired two horses and two side-saddles.  They had hoped to hire a guide as well but none was available so they set out on their own, to try to get further into the mountains.  They got lost several times but eventually found the Hot Cavern, and Virginia Canyon. 


The following day Kat and Miss Greenlow went by train to Georgetown and then hired a buck-board to go through the Argentine Pass to the Great Divide; a “rough day’s work” Kat decided, but definitely worth the pain and alarm.  They had their first sight of gold-panning, and had views as far as Pike’s Peak and the Mountain of the Holy Cross.  On the way down, they took a boat ride on the Green Lake.


Next Kat and Miss Greenlow took the famous Georgetown Loop railway to the Victoria mine at Silver Plume.  A guide took them along a 1000-foot long tunnel, down a 150-foot shaft, and then “through deep mud and water” lit only by the guide’s lamp, to see miners working on the lode itself.  On the train back to Denver, they found themselves in the company of another group returning from an outing to California: 65 news reporters and their wives.  Alice E Runnels, editor of the Falls City Journal, gave Kat her calling card – a piece of birch bark. 


During their short stay in Denver, Kat and Miss Greenlow made the acquaintance of its dean.  He and his daughter took Kat into the cathedral one evening.  The dean played some voluntaries on the organ (which had been brought all the way from Boston) while Kat watched the play of light through the windows.  Kat and Miss Greenlow went to dinner with the dean and his family on their last evening in town.


During her stay, Kat had a séance with the amateur medium mentioned to her by the woman doctor they had met in Colorado Springs.

Sources: GR2 pp249-261; and S/U pp31-32 for the amateur spiritualist medium.


Comments by Sally Davis:

On the Windsor Hotel’s amenities:

Kat clearly considered herself a connoisseur of Turkish Baths, so when she described the Windsor Hotel’s suite of them as “the very best...that it has ever been my fate to visit”, it was a big compliment.  One account of the hotel that I found said that it had Russian and Roman baths as well, all fed by artesian wells; I’m sure Kat must have tried them if they were available, though she doesn’t mention having done so.  A menu from 1881 that I saw online had some sophisticated dishes on it: oysters, quail and French sauces for three different meat dishes; and the hotel prided itself on its wine cellar.  A ladies’ hairdresser was employed; surely Kat and Miss Greenlow must have taken advantage of that.  And costs were very reasonable - $2 a night, or $2.50 for a room with a bath. 

On the ride from Idaho Springs:

Kat couldn’t get over the stables at Idaho letting two chance-met tourists go off for a ride without an escort.  Obviously, she reasoned, the horses’ owners didn’t care what happened to her and Miss Greenlow – but to allow two good horses to go off who-knew-where with people who might not even be able to ride, amazed her. 

On the day out to the Great Divide:

This four-hour buck-board ride took Kat and Miss Greenlow to 12000 feet above sea level, along a cart track used by the mining companies.  There was still snow on the ground.  Apparently right at the top, Kat saw “several little conies, a cross between a ground squirrel and a prairie dog” - the only animals she mentions seeing in any of her expeditions in the Western states.  Did she mean coyotes?   The journey down was half as long but terrifying, their driver “tearing down hills as steep as a house” to get to the Green Lake in time for them to take a trip on the water before dark.  Looking over the side of the boat at a sunken forest and huge granite boulders far below, Kat wondered what “upheaval of the earth” had put them there.   

On the Victoria Mine:

After visiting so many different mines, Kat had thought she was beginning to develop some skill at telling one ore from another.  The pieces of ore she was shown in the Victoria Mine were a chastening experience though: “the prettiest and most golden-looking bits of ore” were copper not gold; and the ore that “sparkles more brightly” was lead, not silver. 

On the séance with the amateur medium, not mentioned at all in GR2:

At the end of their last expedition out of Denver, Kat and Miss Greenlow had called on the woman who had been recommended to them.  She had not been at home, so they left a note saying they were sorry to have missed her.  Kat thought that was the end of it, but later in the evening, the woman and her husband came to the Windsor Hotel to find them.  The woman medium said she had a spirit message to deliver, for Kat specifically.   Kat agreed to have a séance with her, but wasn’t impressed, at least, not initially.  Quite the reverse, for the woman told her something that Kat had already been told by several mediums: that her mother was far more advanced, spiritually, in the after-life, than her father.  Kat had been refusing to believe this – it couldn’t be so, she argued, because her father had been a Church of England cleric, famously devout – but she was also very upset by it and had gone from medium to medium down the US east coast, seeking a second, different, opinion.  It was this amateur medium in Denver that finally gave Kat the opinion she had wanted to hear.  She told Kat that in the after-life her father had found it far harder than her mother to abandon the religious creeds of his life; though he was  making progress in doing so, with the help of her mother.  She assured Kat that her father would “in time” join her mother on her mother’s higher spiritual level, and they would then make any further spiritual progress together.   Essentially, this second opinion freed Kat to believe in spiritualism whole-heartedly; and I think it also contributed to the development of Kat’s own, very unorthodox version of Christianity, focused very firmly on the New Testament, and on Jesus as the Perfect Man.



The Windsor Hotel: there are plenty of photographs and drawings of it on the web.  One in the collection was probably taken during the 1880s.  The notes with it say that it was situated on the north-east corner of 18th and Larimer streets; and opened for business in June 1880.  It was built by an English firm.

At //soapysmiths.blogspot.comm a posting from 2012 has details from The Windsor Hotel: The Age of Opulence by Rosemary Fethers; and the menu card.

Idaho Springs: its wiki, which says it was the first place in Colorado where gold was found; in 1859.  On GR2 p251 Kat mentioned Idaho Springs as having been made famous by a “charming” novel.  Green Pastures and Piccadilly by William Black was published in New York by Harper and Brothers in 1877.

At there was a tourist booklet for sale: Colorado Travel Booklet – in the Recesses of the Rocky Mountains.  It was published in 1885 so perhaps Kat was able to buy a copy while she was in the state.  It was illustrated, cost 20 cents and covered Denver, Clear Creek and the Hot Cavern. 

There are photographs of the modern track up the Argentine Pass at several web pages because it’s considered quite a challenge to drive – off-road vehicles only, of course, and it’s only passable, in good weather, in the summer.  See, for example, and  A pass right over the top of the Great Divide was built in 1869 and was used for the next 14 years.  Then, however, longer but quicker railroad routes superceded it and within a few years of Kat and Miss Greenlow having been driven up it, it was impassable.  Even now you can only go up and back the way you came.

There were plenty of sources and some beautiful photographs on the web of The Green Lake.  I noticed an article that Kat might have read even before she went to the USA, in The Ladies’ Repository volume 36 issue of August 1876.  On p164 there was a description of it and an accurate explanation of how it was formed by a glacier (it’s a cwm or cirque).  The lake was at a height of 10000 feet above sea level; 3000 feet long, 2000 feet wide and 80 feet deep.  Water from it supplied the settlement at Georgetown, 3 miles below.

Georgetown, Silver Plume and the Georgetown Loop are now part of an historic district.  Some of the old steam rolling stock is still kept in Silver Plume and during the summer you can still ride the Loop on one of them.  I couldn’t find any information specifically on the Victoria mine Kat and Miss Greenlow visited.

At // there are articles and photographs from Kat’s time and later.  Georgetown was the bigger place; at its height, in 1877, it had a population of 5000.  For more about the railroad see and look on Pinterest for Historic Colorado. 

There’s a short wikipedia page on Silver Plume, but its history section doesn’t give its sources.  At there’s a short history of the town by John Calhoun in 1995 focusing on the mining.  Gold was first found in 1859 but Silver Plume’s short boom began in 1864 when silver was found as well.  The boom continued until the mid-1890s.  

Web page says that the railroad depot there was built in 1884; its building still exists as a museum and outside are the steam trains used for modern trips along the Loop.  It’s possible to visit the old Lebanon silver mine.

On the dean of Denver, who was born in England: see wikipedia’s page on the cathedral of St John in the Wilderness, Denver; seat of the bishop of Colorado.  The current cathedral was begun in 1909.  The one Kat visited was at 20th and Welton, and was first used in 1881; like so many buildings Kat saw in the USA, it burned down. 

At there’s more on the history of the diocese from its beginnings in 1860.  The dean Kat and Miss Greenlow met in 1886 was Rev Martyn Hart, who had passed through Denver in 1872 while on a round-the-world tour to improve his health.  His sermons and lectures at that time caused the job of rector to be offered him in 1879; though he had no official cathedral at first. 

The Living Church Annual issue of 1917 page for the Diocese of Colorado, first organised in 1887, shows him still involved with the cathedral, though in what looks like a semi-retirement in the midst of a much larger number of employees.  The Very Rev Martyn Hart DD, LlD, was on the bishopric’s clerical standing committee; he was one of its examining chaplains; and he was chaplain to St Luke’s hospital Denver.

I saw several websites mentioning Rev Hart’s important role in the formation of the US’s first Charity Organization Society, in 1887.  See, for example, Colorado’s Healthcare Heritage by Tom Sherlock 2013 volume 1 p311.  He was first in a list of four founders, as rector of Denver; second was Frances Jacobs, who did charity work with Denver’s poor and was its executive secretary.  The other two founders were representatives of the Roman Catholic and Congregationalist churches in Denver.

Although Rev Hart was English by birth I don’t suppose Kat knew him before she arrived in Denver.  I think she will have been given a letter of introduction to him during her stay on the East Coast over the winter of 1885-86.


At the end of her stay in Colorado, on GR2 p261, Kat makes her only reference to Isabella Bird’s  travels in the Rocky Mountains; saying that since Miss Bird’s visit, they had “lost the romance of the unknown”.  At least Kat seems to have read the book!  - A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains published in London by John Murray in 1879.  The book was based on Isabella’s letters to her sister Henrietta, and some of it had already been published in the magazine The Leisure Hour.  Looking at the wikipedia page of Isabella Bird Bishop (1831-1904) it seems she and Kat had some things in common: they were both daughters of strongly Evangelical Church of England clergymen.  It’s possible that Kat’s parents knew Isabella’s parents, the Rev Edward Bird and his second wife Dora; because Rev Bird was vicar of Tattenhall in Cheshire when Rev Bates was vicar of St Bride’s in Liverpool.  However, Kat didn’t have a childhood dominated by illness.  In Isabella’s childhood she was considered frail, and there was trouble with her spine which led, in the end, to an operation to remove a tumour.  Isabella’s 800 mile trip through the Rocky Mountains on horseback took place in 1873, when mining in Colorado was still in its early stages.  She headed for Colorado because of its reputation for pure air.  



The Parting of the Ways: comments by Sally Davis.  Source: GR2 p260.

At the end of Kat and Miss Greenlow’s time in Colorado came a moment Kat had been dreading: she was to lose her companion of the last ten often gruelling but always rewarding months’ travel.  They had already agreed to meet again in about a year’s time, and travel on, but for now, Kat would travel alone.


Miss Greenlow had always intended to continue westwards, to keep a promise to stay with friends in Australia.  Kat, however, was going back east, to visit friends in Canada and then cross the Atlantic to fulfil family commitments in England.  Before she could set out to meet up with Miss Greenlow as arranged, she also needed to prepare A Year in the Great Republic for publication.  There are some indications in GR that it was written at speed.


Miss Greenlow left Denver first, heading for the West Coast – probably for San Francisco, though Kat doesn’t specifically say so – there to catch a boat to Australia via the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii].  It seems to have been on the morning that Miss Greenlow’s train left, that Kat had the séance with the amateur medium that meant so much to her in her later life.  The medium’s  news about Kat’s parents in the after life, was all the more welcome now Kat was on her own.




20 April 2018



Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: