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“The grandest and healthiest life known is this rough pioneer life. And I don’t see why more women are not in the hills.”
—Lillian Malcolm, 1905
As owners of claims and as workers on the land, female miners made fortunes panning and mining, working right alongside men in the copper, silver, and gold fields of the American West. These determined and adventurous women were forces to be reckoned with as they faced countless hardships and harsh conditions in the mountains of Colorado, California, and all the way up to Alaska.
A Beautiful Mine recounts the amazing stories of eleven of these women, including:
Baby Doe Tabor, the stunning beauty with a definite mind of her own, who stood by a promise she made to her mining mogul husband on his deathbed—a promise that took her on a path from riches to rags.
Nellie Cashman, who not only searched for gold but had a heart of gold, offering a clean, safe boardinghouse to those in need, whether they could pay or not.
Gertrude Peckwith, whose successful mines led to conspiracy theories about the deaths of both her husbands and even her own death.
Lillian Malcolm, the former stage actress whose finest performance took place out in the mines.