I was stringing some fence near Como, Colorado, a couple decades ago when, way back in the forest, I tripped. I started looking for what I had tripped over and, when I had cleared away the brush, found the outline of a small cabin.
Emphasis on small.
Back in it’s day, it must have only been about eight foot by eight foot in size. When I found it, all that was left was an outline, two logs high. It was located about equidistant from the (still existing) town of Como and the (long gone and mostly forgotten) town of Hamilton. Both were mining towns, and both sported some pretty impressive populations and accomplishments during their day.
So it made me wonder: who had built that cabin? Was it someone who worked in one town or the other, but liked a little bit of privacy? Could it have just been a tool shed and, if so, had there been another, larger building nearby that I never found?
Usually, when I see an old house–big or small–I wonder about who might have once lived there. I picture the owners moving in proudly, excited about the life they were building and the dreams they had. That little cabin, though, I always had it in my mind that it was just built by some miner. Someone who was just trying to make his living before heading to another strike. Maybe he only occupied it one winter, or maybe not even that long. Maybe he just threw it up long enough to last out another month or two before heading to better climes for the winter.
I’ve thought a lot about that cabin, and who might have been there, and it played no small part in inspiring my novel “Overstreet”.