The Lost Souls of Cinnamon Pass
Portrays the life and times of a 'working stiff', a hardrock gold miner in the old West.
A Denver attorney interviews a 97 year-old 'hold-out' in a land deal. The resulting friendship between the lawyer and the last survivor of the turn of the century gold mining camps provides a backdrop for a compelling message of greed and redemption.
Inspired by true events. More
Your paperback Westerns were wrong.
Put away the silver spurs and sixguns
- and read about how the Old West was really won….
Inspired by historical events, the Lost Souls of Cinnamon Pass provides a cautionary tale about greed and corruption. A winner in the O Georgia! literary contest, this long-awaited first work from author Robert Erdman uses a wealth of historical detail to draw a portrait of an America long-gone, and a moral tale for the divided, class-conscious America we live in today.
The opening of the American West was largely driven by America’s unstoppable lust for wealth -cattle, or gold and silver. The story is set in the mines, brothels, and parlors of gilded age robber barons, and portrays the silver and gold mining boom of the 1880’s – 1910. Meet the working ‘stiffs’, the wealthy mine owners, and the women who loved them.
The gold and silver mines of the American West were among the richest ever discovered – yielding incredible wealth. But this wealth came at a price – nearly one third of the miners, many recent immigrants, were injured, disabled or killed underground. $3.00 a day was a good working wage for the time.
The story of these events has been largely forgotten. But one man – Ed Gaines - remains to tell the tale. Sitting in the back room of his dusty giftshop in Golden, Colorado, he is the last survivor of his era. This is his story of sin, pride, tragedy, and ultimate redemption.
After a disastrous crash in silver prices in 1893, the mining boom in the West was over - except for one town…Cripple Creek. It was to be the last and richest of the mining bonanzas – burning brightly for a few years before it flickered out as the Old West came to a close.
Cripple Creek’s demise was manmade: In 1903, the town erupted in a wave of vicious union/ management warfare. Neither side hesitated to use violence to enforce its will. Dozens of people were killed, while thousands displaced from their homes and deported, and Ed Gaines was an eyewitness.
Ed is ‘management’, an engineer and assistant manager of one of the richest mines in the district – the Spartan property. Orphaned at an early age, Ed had been raised by his older brother, Joshua Gaines. Now, Josh returns to town as a labor agitator, and Ed must choose between allegiance to his brother or his employer. To make matters worse, his first love, the notorious Lucy Beaufort, comes to ‘visit’ while Ed is engaged to marry a respectable schoolteacher.
The violence and mayhem of the labor strike is the backdrop for Gaines’own inner conflicts of love and loyalty. Finally, he destroys the thing he values most, achieving moral and spiritual freedom. In the closing pages, he meets the mysterious hired assassin who links the story together and finally answers the question – who was that man in the black raincoat?