OSHR 1809 - A Victorian Adventure: Isabella Bird in the Big Thompson Country, 1873

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

About 140 years ago in September 1873, Miss Isabella Bird tried in vain to reach Estes Park from a humble squatter’s camp near the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon on the site of today’s Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. We will follow her footsteps in this class as we read her classic Victorian travelogue, A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, written originally as letters home to her sister in England. The book provides unique insights into territorial Colorado.

The first session on September 19 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM will be at Drake Hall for lecture/discussion to give context to Miss Bird’s life and explorations.

Our second session will be a field trip on September 26 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM to Sylvan Dale Ranch, a short drive just outside of Loveland, where Miss Bird spent part of her trek. This will be a moderate hike on a foothills trail.

Our third session on October 3 from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM will involve a field trip traveling toward Estes Park (car pool options will be discussed).

Reading: Bird, I. L., 1879 [1960]. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, xxi + 256 pp. ISBN 0-8061-1328-6. There are other editions in print, but this one preserves the original pagination and has a very useful introduction by Daniel Boorstin.

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.