24 it went on to give at least some impression of the

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Unformatted text preview: from $324,270 in 1870, to $1,051,295 in 1880 – an increase of 224 percent.16 By the latter year, Boulder itself had twelve fully operational saw mills.17 However, after 1880, the state's lumber yield showed only modest increases of $312,454 (30%) to 1890 and $263,856 (19%) to 1900.18 Furthermore, the later, more moderate growth of timber production occurred even as Colorado's population experienced the most aggregate growth; from 194,327 inhabitants in 1880 to 412,198 in 1890, and by an additional 127,500 in 1900 to a total of 539,700.19 Taken together, these two sets of 6 data indicate that as the population grew, the timber crop experienced diminishing returns and increased strain due to deforestation, as exemplified by Figure 3.20 Figure 3. Deforested Mountainside in Cripple Creek. Although startling, the deforestation of Colorado's mountain ranges was done in the service of other industries; mostly in the generation of charcoal for furnaces, boilers, and smelters – themselves in the service of the mining interests – and in the construction of the state's physical infrastructure. That infrastructure took the form not only of houses and shops, but also of the timbered mine shafts, ore mills, stamp houses, leaching works, etc. that underlay the whole of the mining industry.21,22 The railroads too can hardly be ignored. Rail technology was abundant and the potential for resource extraction promised by rail was equally abundant and 7 indeed celebrated by people at the time. As the Boulder News and Courier remarked in 1881, rail would allow for an unprecedented expansion of trade, noting, "… the beauty of it is, that there are still thousands upon thousands of acres yet untouched, now crossed by railroads in every direction."23 In Boulder as elsewhere, railroad developments were very often in direct service of the mining industry. In describing the importance of laying a line from Left Hand Canyon to the city of Boulder, the Boulder News and Courier continued, "The road is of vast importance to Boulder, as it is designed to reach a large mining field, the camps of Balarat, Jamestown, Springdale, Providence, Ward, Talcott and Gold Hill being contiguous thereto."24 It went on to give at least some impression of the scale of the work, observing that, "About 1,000 men are now employed in the canon, and the roar of shots in the hard granite reverberates like the sound of thunder, and can be heard distinctly in this town."25 Furthermore, as one Mr. Irvine described in a November 1894 edition of the Boulder Daily Camera, the whole of the state seemed to be...
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