Near Lake City in Hinsdale County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
Living conditions were often deplorable in the Galena Mining District. Miners often lived in company supplied boarding houses set up in close proximity to the mines. The houses were poorly built, drafty, and had leaky roofs. Although conditions at the Ute, Ulay, and Hidden Treasure Mines were no different than any other mine, tensions rose when the Auric Mining Company required all single men and men without families to board in the company's boarding house and pay the exorbitant rates. On March 14, 1899, nearly one hundred members of the Henson Miners' Union, mainly Italians, refused to comply and began a lock-down strike in the mines.
At the same time, it was discovered that the State Armory in Lake City had been broken into. Rifles and ammunition were stolen and believed to be in the hands of the striking miners. Lake City Sheriff James Deck met with the strikers in an attempt to avert violence. When negotiations failed, he wired the Governor of Colorado, "I hereby request aid of the State Militia in quelling rioting." Governor Charles Thomas dispatched four companies of National Guard troops from Denver and Pueblo.
Part of the strike settlement with the Union illegally stated that the Italians must leave Hinsdale County - "single men within one week and men with families within six weeks. " Thus ending the only major labor dispute in the Galena Mining District.
1. Jiovanni and Assunta Guadagnoli and children in 1899. Many Italian families were railroaded out of Hinsdale County after the Ute and Ulay Mine strike.
-Photo courtesy of Lake City Museum - Hinsdale County Historical Society
2. "The troops, 206 in number, arrived here at 7:15 a.m.. being delayed several hours on ... Marshal Pass by a snowslide."
-Lake City Times, March 16,1899
3. The Ute & Ulay Mine circa 1900. Company houses are visible on the hillside above the mines. Swedes, Norwegians, and "Americans" did not go out on strike.
-Photo courtesy of Lake City Museum - Hinsdale County - Historical Society, C.E. Wright Collection
4. Employee housing at the Ute and Ulay Mines. An attempt to force miners to pay exorbitant rates for company boarding was the primary issue for the miners' strike in 1899. Weapons and ammunition stolen during the strike were never recovered.
5. "We can use about 75 men ... Italians need not apply"
- Superintendent Samuel D. Nicholson, Ute-Ulay Mine - Auric Mining Company -
Lake City Times, March 16, 1899 (Sam Nicholson later became a U.S. Senator from Colorado.)
6. Ute & Ulay Mine in 1895.
-Photo courtesy of Denver Public Library - Western History Department
Erected by U.S. Department of the Interior - Alpine Loop.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Labor Unions. A significant historical date for this entry is March 14, 1899.
Location. 38° 1.285′ N, 107° 22.724′ W. Marker is near Lake City, Colorado, in Hinsdale County. Marker is on Highway 20, 4 miles west of South Gunnison Avenue (Highway 149), on the left when traveling west. The marker is located in the old mining town of Henson along the Alpine Loop about 4 miles west of Lake City. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lake City CO 81235, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ute-Ulay (a few steps from this marker); Lee's Legacy (approx. 4.9 miles away); Rose Lime Kiln (approx. 7.1 miles away); Tellurium or Was It Whitecross (approx. 8.3 miles away); A Town with Three NamesWhite Death (approx. 8˝ miles away); Bonanza Empire Chief (approx. 8˝ miles away); Animas Forks (approx. 12.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lake City.
Also see . . . Alpine Loop.
The Alpine Loop is truly a backcountry experience. Make sure someone knows your travel plans and do your homework before you start your trip. Make sure you have plenty of water, food and fuel to make it to your destination. Electronics and wireless devises DO NOT work in most places on the Alpine Loop. It is recommended that you download or print hard copy maps prior to your trip. The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway is a rugged 4x4 road that winds through the spectacular scenery of the San Juan Mountains, connecting Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray. The Alpine Loop byway traverses passes up to 12,800 feet while showcasing old mines, ghost towns, natural wonders, beautiful wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. Alpine Loop is an avenue for exploring nature and history amidst thrilling views and stunning geography. Tackling the loop in its entirety is easily an all-day experience event. However, the main loop is only part of the experience; miles of designated side routes allow visitors to either take a short tour or extend their trip to multiple days. For more information, please contact the Gunnison Field Office.(Submitted on July 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 70 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 24, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.