In 1906 at the age of twenty, Harriet Fish hopped on a train from Oakland, California, to the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in search of a new life as the bride of assayer George Backus. Together, the couple ventured forth to discover mining town life at the turn of the twentieth century, adjusting to dizzying elevation heights of 11,500 feet and all the hardships that come with it: limited water, rationed food supplies, lack of medical care, difficulty in travel, avalanches, and many more. As she and George move from Telluride’s Tomboy Mine to the rugged coast of British Columbia, to the town of Elk City, Idaho, and then back to Colorado’s Leadville, Harriet paints a poignant picture of a world centered around silver mining, sharing amusing and often challenging experiences as a woman of the era.
With a new foreword by award-winning author Pam Houston, this 50th anniversary edition also includes previously unpublished black and white photographs documenting Harriet’s journey. Tomboy Bride endures as a classic of the region to this day as it captures in heart-felt emotion and vivid detail the personal account of Harriet Backus, a true pioneer of the West.