Crested Butte Stories

Crested Butte Stories Through My Lens
Crested Butte...Love at First Sight

In 1964, Sandra Cortner arrived in the former mining town of Crested Butte, Colorado, fresh from high school in Tucson, Arizona.  Before long, she was photographing the character-filled faces of the retired coal miners and their wives. Later she began to write their stories and has compiled them into two books.

Crested Butte Stories . . . Through My Lens (2006) and her companion book, Crested Butte . . . . Love at First Sight (2015) intertwine the author’s personal experiences as an award-winning photojournalist for the past 40 years in Crested Butte with the stories of the people and events that helped to shape the mining-turned-ski-town.

Both books are illustrated with her candid black-and-white photographs. The majority date from the 1960s and 1970s and are of those who were born and raised here. Others are of events, old buildings, and the people who arrived in Crested Butte later, drawn by the beauty of the mountains, but captured by the love of this extraordinary community.

Crested Butte Stories . . . Through My Lens and Crested Butte . . . Love at First Sight offer portraits, vignettes, and interviews, plus remembrances of unique Crested Butte celebrations such as Flauschink, Vinotok, Memorial Day, Independence Day, and the Red Lady Ball. Enjoy tales of learning to heat with wood, founding a community theater and a newspaper, hunting for wild mushrooms, touring the cemetery and other small town adventures. You’ll read about the history of the Totem Pole, the Art Festival, post office, Princess Theater and train depot.

Readers will find themselves smiling through their tears as they peruse pages of memories and photographs, rich with a celebration of life in a small Rocky Mountain ski town.

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