Archive Closed for Now; Several Projects Underway


It has been another interesting year at the Archives, although a bit shorter year due to the closing of the Archive mid-March due to Covid-19.

From May 2019 through March 2020 Ray has been scanning and cataloging hundreds of slides of underground mining activities and mine interiors from a member’s private collection which started in the 1970s. Underground images are quite rare, so these are a big deal. These images will not be offered to the public until a later date.

Darlene Bolfing, our friend and great volunteer, resides in Silverton whenever she and her husband Sid can get away from their jobs in Texas to enjoy their home here. Darlene, a teacher at Baylor University, has scanned a couple thousand of cataloged, but not yet scanned images, that reside in their forever home in the Archive vault.

Maps, maps and more maps! We have been scanning maps for several agencies for over two years now and have scanned approximately 1,000 maps to date. And we have many, many more to scan (will we ever be done?) Do you need a map of your mining claim? Give us a call. 970-387-5609 and leave us a message. We offer digital maps for $25 or a professionally printed map in any size you would want. Printed maps prices vary, based on size.

Newspapers converted to searchable pdfs: We were granted $4,000 from the Ballantine Family Foundation and received $2,000 in donations towards this project and are in the process of converting our newspaper microfilm archive. So far we have converted 34 reels of approximately 100 reels to searchable pdfs. They will be available at a later date through our website, but for now you may peruse them here: If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, please send your greatly appreciated donation to: SJCHS, PO Box 154, Silverton, CO 81433.

Judy Zimmerman is doing a fantastic job by heading up our Facebook page. She has over 2,000 followers. At this rate she will be wanting her own desk and office! Check out: Thank you, Judy! Job well done!

Historic Treasures of the San Juans coffee table book: Thomas Livingstone spent seven years photographing and documenting many historic mining structures in the San Juans. This is an amazing book that you would be delighted to have on your coffee table. The book consists of over 160 pages of high quality black and white photographs with commentary by Society staff members; Beverly Rich, Scott Fetchenhier and Stephen Rich. The Museum will be offering this book in their gift store, as well as Fetch’s when we are able to reopen, but for now it may be purchased at and Visit Thomas’ Website: and get a glimpse of this wonderful must have book!

Speaking of books! If you would like to order George Chapman’s great book, First Car to Silverton, we can mail a copy of that to you. Simply send a check for $13 (includes shipping) to SJCHS, PO Box 154, Silverton, CO 81433 and we will get that out to you ASAP!

Heather Nossaman-Mulqueen, Allen Nossaman’s daughter made arrangements to bring Allen’s collections of pictures, newspapers, letters and artifacts to the Archive this past winter. Heather had been going through all of Allen’s belongings since he passed in 2006. We would guess that there are close to 50 boxes that Casey and Darlene are still digging through. We would like to thank Heather for bringing Allen’s many treasures home to Silverton. We know that Allen would be quite pleased.

The movie, Great Alaskan Race, is available at and features many of our locals, Silverton buildings (interiors and exteriors) and Museum artifacts. A must see for all Silverton lovers!

If you haven’t ever been to the Archives, drop by some Thursday (after we re-open) and we will be delighted to give you a tour. Remember, we have a public computer where you may sit down in a warm and friendly environment and peruse our photo collection. Choose images to be printed (for a fee) for your home, office, gifts or? Again, if you have any pictures of Silverton or Silverton’s past residents and would like to share them to tell more of Silverton’s story, you can donate them to the Society where they will be preserved and cared for, or we can make copies of images for the Archive and return the originals to you. We are beginning to have requests for pictures of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Really? Wasn’t that just a couple of years ago!

Visit our website at and while you are there, be sure to sign up for our e-newsletters, usually sent once or twice a year.

We do not think that it will be possible to have our summer lecture series this year. When things get back to normal, we will send out a newsletter telling of lecturers and dates, but probably not until 2021.

Visit us when we re-open . . . and, please, stay safe!

By Casey Carroll and Ray Dileo