Scrambling for last minute gift ideas for the holidays? There are several local history books that have come out in the past year that would make wonderful gifts.

If you know of any I missed, please add them in the comments.

Looking to learn more about the history of Greeley? Check out Peggy Ford Waldo’s photographic journey through the city’s founding and development in an Images of America book entitled simply, Greeley.

Nathan Meeker put out a call in 1869, inviting people of upstanding character to join him in founding a new agricultural colony in the west. In 1870, the town of Greeley was founded. It was a community known for temperance, education, hard-work, and conservative values. Waves of immigrants, including Germans from Russia, Japanese, and Mexicans, came looking for work and new opportunities. Greeley remains a diverse, conservative community today with continued ties to agriculture and education.

Waldo’s book is available online through Arcadia Publishing and Amazon. Or you can pick up a copy in the gift shop at the Greeley History Museum.

Not long after Fort Collins and Greeley were incorporated, a small farming community sprang up in what is southeast Fort Collins today. This little agricultural community, made up of a patchwork of homesteads, included a train depot, mill and elevator, store and garage, a school and a cemetery.

Today very little remains, but author Lois Williamson Peltz, who grew up in the area, has chronicled the stories and places of this agricultural community in her two book series entitled In Search of Harmony…. The anthology contains 344 pages of old photos, maps, stories and more contributed by pioneer families from the area. The second book consists of 213 family trees that represent the founding families as well as the connections between them.

Peltz’s book is available at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery gift shop (408 Mason Court), Old Firehouse Books (232 Walnut St.) and directly from the author through LAPnotes Press (Lois Peltz) via and 970-988-0563.

Crafted from five years worth of columns originally written for the Coloradoan, Barbara Fleming’s newest book draws upon colorful stories of early Fort Collins and northern Colorado. The Hidden History of Fort Collins begins with a band of Cherokee heading to California in search of gold and ends with the Cloverleaf Kennel Club in Loveland, one of only two places in the state where gambling was legal, drawing fortune seekers from far and wide.

Fleming’s book is available online through Arcadia Publishing and Amazon. You can also pick up a copy at Old Firehouse Books, Barnes & Noble, Walgreens, Jax Outdoor, Al’s Newsstand and the gift shop at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

Filled with tales of mayhem, mischief, banditry and violence, Ken Jessen’s newest book moves beyond just northern Colorado and captures tales of the truly Wild West. Frontier Colorado Gunfights includes 31 early Colorado stories that highlight moments of violence and frontier justice before Colorado reached a more civilized state.

Jessen’s book is availalbe online through Amazon. You can also pick up a copy at the museum shop at the Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum. Museum shop hours are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 1 pm – 4 pm.


Also watch for talks being given by any of these authors. Talks are an opportunity to pick up a signed copy of a book. (And if you just happen to run in to any of those authors while out grocery shopping, I’d be willing to bet they have a few books in the trunk of their car and wouldn’t mind walking out to the parking lot to get you a copy.)