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Cartographic traces of Lake, Colorado

Maybe like me you're wondering how a landmark falls off the face of the earth, in particular Google Earth, assuming as we do that web crowdsourcing is archival, not perishable. A stagecoach watering hole in Kansas Territory, formerly Arapaho, was Hedinger's Lake, between present day Limon and Hugo. Like the history of Colorado's water, Lake became Lake Station, later a railway siding, today a creek. First some back-story: 1750. When gold looked to become the carrot to drive white man's Manifest Destiny, the Indian Territories of what would become Colorado were labeled simply the Gold Region. Back in 1815, the West was still La Louisiane, and place names were native, French and Spanish. Taos was one of the oldest Spanish settlements, site of the First American Revolution, against the Spaniards, and another revolt when the US invaded. Camp de Baroney sits on the Arkansas River, eventually resettled as El Pueblo. And there's La Fourche Republicaine, a fork of la Rivoire Missouri, soon to lead a prominent migration trail west. By 1848, St. Vrain's Fort and Grante Ft., Bent's Fort, were already protecting Anglo trading interests. (Note by the way, Old Park and New Park, eventually to be become the "North" to South Park.) By 1864, the Cheyenne and Arapaho found themselves bordered on the west by the "Military Department of Utah" and ceding their lands to the Kansas Territory. (On this map we can see Montana City, the original Denver City. Denver eventually overtook Auroria and the metropolis. Mineral Springs became Manitou and Colorado Springs at the foot of Pikes Peak.) Note the curiously singular representation of a "Kansas Lake" depicted at the tip of the south fork of the Republican River, whose waters will originate in the later to be named Lincoln County, at whose heart will lie Lake, Colorado. The Rocky Mountain region lost many lakes by the mid 1800s when beaver were hunted to near extinction and with them the beaver dams. Note just West of "Kansas Lake" lies Beaver Creek. With the gold rush, settler trails crisscrossed the West, for wagon trains, stagecoach and mail carriers. Lake was a stage at the convergence of the Butterfield Overland Dispatch and Republican Fork Trails, where they crossed the Big Sandy Creek to join the Smoky Hill South and North Roads (after similarly named rivers which were starting points in Kansas) or the spartan Starvation Trail to Denver. Today's I-70 follows Smoky Hill North. Was Hedinger's Lake the water which travelers sought at the end of the South Republican Fork Trail? This 1868 Union Pacific map predicted the stops heading eastward from Denver to be Parkhurst, Beaver, which later became Deer Trail, and Coon Creek, which became Kit Carson, opposite Sand Creek. By 1870, Kansas was a state and the Kansas Union Pacific RR reached Denver. (Beyond the mountains: North Park, Middle Park and South Park.) By 1873, leaving for Denver from Fort Wallace, there were stops at Kit Carson, Aroyo, Lake, Agate (pronounced "A-Gate") and Deer Trail. (Note: still no Colorado Springs.) A map circa 1880s,

Top 10 Westerns, if you ask the French

  Are you a fan of the American Western? How do you think your taste might match a survey of French film critics? Though we mock their high regard for Jerry Lewis, let's allow that France has a film history that predates ours, and a legacy of critical journals beyond the reach of our Hollywood shills. Besides which, the golden age of the movie western lies well between the brothers Lumiére and the Nouvelle Vague. Perusing John Cawelti's The Six-Gun Mystique published in 1976, I found a list of the TOP TEN GREATEST WESTERNS. Think any of your favorites made the list? Your odds improve because ties were listed as individual ranks, so the entire top ten comprises almost 100 titles. The survey excludes works made after the early seventies obviously. TOP TEN WESTERNS 1. Johnny Guitar -- Nicholas Ray 2. Rio Bravo -- Howard Hawks 3. The Big Sky -- Howard Hawks, w. AB Guthrie 4. (tie) The Naked Spur -- Anthony Mann Rancho Notorious -- Fritz Lang Man Without a Star -- King Vidor 5. (tie) My Darling Clementine -- John Ford The Left-Handed Gun -- Arthur Penn, w. Gore Vidal The Searchers --John Ford Ride the High County -- Sam Peckenpah 6. (tie) Silver Lode -- Allan Dwan Red River -- Howard Hawks Duel in the Sun -- King Vidor The Hanging Tree -- Delmer Daves Run of the Arrow -- Sam Fuller Seven Men From Now -- Budd Boetticher 7. (tie) The Last Hunt -- Richard Brooks The Far Country -- Anthony Mann Colorado Territory -- Raoul Walsh Wagonmaster --John Ford The Unforgiven -- John Huston Man of the West -- Anthony Mann Heller in Pink Tights -- George Cukor, w. Louis L'Amour 8. (tie) Man From Laramie -- Anthony Mann The Plainsman -- Cecil B. DeMille Western Union -- Fritz Lang Winchester 73 -- Anthony Mann Warlock -- Edward Dmytryk They Died with their Boots On -- Raoul Walsh The Last Frontier -- Anthony Mann The Last Wagon -- Delmer Daves River of No Return -- Otto Preminger 9. (tie) Stagecoach -- John Ford, w. Ernest Haycock The Outlaw -- Howard Hughes, w. Ben Hecht Billy the Kid -- King Vidor Comanche Station -- Budd Boetticher The Wonderful Country -- Robert Parrish, w. Tom Lea Wichita -- Jacques Tourneur 3:10 to Yuma -- Delmer Daves, w. Elmore Leonard The Magnificent Seven -- John Sturges, w. Akira Kurosawa Gunfight at the OK Corral -- John Sturges, w. Leon Uris Tennessee's Partner -- Allan Dwan, w. Bret Harte 10. (Another 45 titles, including) Shane -- George Stevens The Misfits -- John Huston, w. Arthur Miller Major Dundee -- Sam Peckinpah One Eyed Jacks -- Marlon Brando The Treasure of the Sierra Madre -- John Huston, w. B. Traven The Gold Rush -- Charlie Chaplin Go West -- Buster Keaton Fort Bravo -- John Sturges