National Geographic : 1969 Aug
On the cloud-drifted roof of the Rockies, visitors stroll Forest Canyon Overlook near Trail Safe in the sanctuary of the park, a bighorn lamb gambols in spring grass beside the Fall River. But the saga of Horace Tabor and Baby Doe ended like a Victorian melodrama. With the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, silver prices collapsed and all Colorado staggered under the Panic of 1893. Tabor's financial and political fortunes plummeted. When he died in 1899, he was postmaster of Denver. His last counsel to Baby Doe was, "Hang on to the Matchless-it will make millions again." 176 Colorado's state flower, the columbine, and 750 other wild-flower species beautify the preserve. I visited the shack beside the now-flooded Matchless Mine where Baby Doe lived for years, waiting for silver to become king again. The single room held an old iron bedstead, a table, and a chair. Cardboard and yellowed newspapers covered cracks in the walls. Here Baby Doe Tabor, whose glittering wedding President Chester A. Arthur had attended, was found dead one day in 1935, penniless and frozen, at the age of 80.