Today I received the May 5-11, 2016, issue of the Ouray County Plaindealer and noted with interest the information on the Atlas Mine in Don Carlton's "Ouray Sketchbook."
I am interested in the Atlas Mine because of family involvement. On December 4, 1920, my father-in-law, Harry Wagner, invested $11,338, at one dollar per share, in the mine. My late husband did not know whether his father ever received any return on his investment. I attach a photocopy of the share certificate, with its raised seal.
Harry's connection with Ouray dated to the 1890s through his wife, Lura. She had visited Ouray as part of her father's traveling theater group, the Williams Gem Comedy Company. As a child, she starred with her parents in the popular melodramas of the period. In fact, I first learned about Ouray from a memoir written by my mother-in-law in which she describes her family's travels.
I love Ouray and the surrounding mountains, having visited the area almost every year for over 30 years. At the age of almost 96, I will do so again this summer. All of my family and many friends have also visited Ouray and we all have driven up to the lower buildings and equipment of the Atlas Mine. In 1982 I worked at the House of Yesteryear for Ray O'Brien. His parents owned the house, and his whole family were much a part of Ouray. After Ray sold the property, I worked for Benjy and Liz Kuehling at their shops. Ouray means a lot to me.
I started this letter to indicate my interest in the Atlas Mine, but, as you can see, my interest in Ouray goes far beyond that.
Francis C. Wagner