Eben Olcott was the typical mining engineer of the 1870s-educated in England, refined, and well paid. He also appeared to be the antithesis of the typical prospector of his time. Lucky for us, Eben liked to write letters home, and Duane A. Smith edited them into this great little book. Olcott describes his work at mines in San Juan and Hinsdale Counties; but instead of liquor, gambling, and women, Eben spent his free time in cultural activities, at church, and writing about the beauty that he found in the San Juan Mountains. Duane A. Smith is Professor of History and Southwest Studies at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He is the author of numerous books dealing with Colorado history, including eight titles published by Western Reflections Publishing Company.