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Collection P 015.33 and P017.10:
 Olga Little photographs inventory

Years this material was created: circa 1910-1970
Quantity: 102 photographic images, in 2 folders.

 © 2007  by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account

Links to contents


Introduction/ Scope and contents

Biographical note

Administrative info

Digital images

Folder list
Center of Southwest Studies collection inventories
Center of Southwest Studies

Introduction/ Scope and contents

This collection is comprised of twenty-six photoprints and one 14x11” color photoprint of Olga Schaaf Little (in collection P 015.033), 116 slide transparencies (in collection P 017.010), and a booklet that consists of pages 3-26 of the 1956 Spanish Trails Fiesta program for August 2-5.

Biographical note

Olga Little was one of Durango's notable female pioneers and its most famous mule skinner (or, as the catalogers at the Library of Congress prefer, muleteer).  Using her burros, she brought supplies in to mines in the San Juan Mountains of Southwestern Colorado, and brought ore back.  Mines that she so served  in the Junction Creek area included the Neglected Mine, the Durango Girl Mine, and the Bessie G. Mine (this was the farthest up Kennebec Pass, above Junction Creek; its last owner was Donald DeLouche; prior to him it was owned by Biill McCormick and Bert Thompson).  She and her train also served a number of mines in La Plata Canyon, including Mayday Mine, Jumbo Mine, Lucky Moon Mine, Gold King Mine, Idaho Mine (a mixture of silver with little veins of gold), Tenbrook Mine.  She freighted with a wagon and teams and a big bobsled.  Ross McCausland, Jr., was a friend of hers who ran placer claims at Needleton and packed timbers to the Neglected Mine.  One time, the burro next to the end of a train of burros kicked -- the last burro reared and broke the think line holding two timbers that were like a big sled.  The snow was 4 - 4 1/2 feet deep and the burro was stuck there until spring.  She brought hay to the burro every week until spring (the burro ate snow for hydration).  Little charged $5/ton for transporting coal on burros, in three 70-pound sacks, one on each side and one on top of the animal.  With a train of 30 burros, she averaged 10 burros per ton.  Her burros also transported 25 foot coils (2 inches or thicker, joined with lead splices) for use in trams at mines. 

Source: The foregoing information was from an interview by Andrew Gulliford (as Director of the Center of Southwest Studies) with Peryl and Ernie (age 85 at the time) Schaaf at their home in Durango on November 18, 2002.

Administrative information

Acquisition information:  Ernest and Peryl Schaaf donated this collection of materials to the Center of Southwest Studies by deed of gift on December 12, 2003 (accession 2006:070).  Ernest Schaaf is Olga Little's nephew.  Various other items pertaining to Olga Little were transferred or donated to the Center previously from other sources.  These include: This Is Your Life -- 1950s broadcast about Mrs. Little (2004:05012) -- a VHS videocassette copy of the show.  Also at the Center are Durango attorney Soignier's office's files of the records of the Olga Little estate file, circa 1985-1986 (the Center retained several pages describing jewelry from this region) (accession 1998:07004).

Processing information The photographs were arranged and described by Fort Lewis College student archival workers and interns in the fall of 2006;  Professional Archival Intern Jerrid Miller digitized the images and created metadata records for them in January of 2007, under the supervision of Todd Ellison, Certified Archivist at the Center of Southwest Studies, who produced this inventory and the image access web pages in February of 2007.

Added entry terms:
Mines--Colorado--San Juan Mountains--Pictorial works
Mules--Colorado--San Juan Mountains--Pictorial works
Muleteers--Colorado--San Juan Mountains--Pictorial works
Women--Colorado--San Juan Mountains--Pictorial works
Little, Olga Schaaf
Hesperus (Colo.)--Description--Views
La Plata (Colo.)--Description--Views
San Juan Mountains (Colo.)--Description--Views

Folder list

Collection P 015.33, in Box 2, Folder 16, 26 photoprints, circa 1926/1956.  Also, one oversize photoprint.

Collection P 017.10, in Box 1, Folder 10, 116 film transparencies (75 different images), circa 1914/1970.

Item inventory of 102 photographic images of Olga Little, with links to online digital images

 (sorted by title, with a link to the online digital image)

Title Photoprint # Digital file's address
A man and his shadow on the porch P01701064 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701064Page.htm
A man by a deserted building P01701065 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701065Page.htm
Back view of a mule train and its rider P01503323 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503323Page.htm
Bill Little and his collection P01701074 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701074Page.htm
Bill Little on Sam the mule P01701072 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701072Page.htm
Bill Little poses by the flower bush holding his hat P01701047 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701047Page.htm
Bill Little posing by the flower bush P01701046 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701046Page.htm
Blurred flowers P01701061 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701061Page.htm
Building by the mountain P01701001 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701001Page.htm
Building by the mountain photo number two P01701010 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701010Page.htm
Building with a steep roof P01701015 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701015Page.htm
Burro train heading to Gold King Mine P01503321 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503321Page.htm
Crossing Junction Creek P01503320 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503320Page.htm
Down hill for the mule train P01503322 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503322Page.htm
Flag pole surrounded by a picket fence P01701041 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701041Page.htm
Fred and Mrs. Demorest at Canyon Lake, Arizona P01701022 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701022Page.htm
Fun house mirror P01701068 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701068Page.htm
Gold King Mine P01503310 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503310Page.htm
Gold King Mine, Colorado Post Card P01503305 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503305Page.htm
Hanging out by the mules P01503316 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503316Page.htm
Having a time with company on horseback P01701071 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701071Page.htm
Little's home 1948 P01701009 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701009Page.htm
Little's home at May Day P01701007 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701007Page.htm
Looking down at a mule train P01701014 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701014Page.htm
Lou Saint James at Canyon Lake, Arizona P01701023 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701023Page.htm
Matt, the last burro P01503326 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503326Page.htm
Mayday School P01701058 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701058Page.htm
Mule train carrying bales of hay P01503324 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503324Page.htm
Mule train going over the hill P01701003 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701003Page.htm
Mules in the snow P01701013 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701013Page.htm
Mules heading off into the horizon P01701011 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701011Page.htm
Mules in a huddle P01701005 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701005Page.htm
Mules on the horizon P01701004 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701004Page.htm
Mules packing uphill P01701006 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701006Page.htm
Olga and Bill Little and a female friend pose next to a wall P01701051 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701051Page.htm
Olga and Bill Little and friend pose next to a wall P01701050 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701050Page.htm
Olga and Bill Little on the Trail to Neglected Mine (Colo.) P01503302 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503302Page.htm
Olga and Bill Little pose for a distorted photo P01701069 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701069Page.htm
Olga and Bill Little pose in front of a white truck P01701049 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701049Page.htm
Olga and Tammy Schaaf post card P01503307 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503307Page.htm
Olga Little and a population sign P01701025 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701025Page.htm
Olga Little and company by a maroon truck P01701036 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701036Page.htm
Olga Little and company having a picnic P01701028 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701028Page.htm
Olga Little and company in front of the Oldstake Depot P01701063 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701063Page.htm
Olga Little and company in the shade P01701027 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701027Page.htm
Olga Little and company look at ore P01701033 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701033Page.htm
Olga Little and company pose by a maroon vehicle P01701040 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701040Page.htm
Olga Little and company pose by Goblin Valley sign P01701038 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701038Page.htm
Olga Little and company pose by remnants of a wooden building P01701037 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701037Page.htm
Olga Little and company pose by some rocks P01701039 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701039Page.htm
Olga Little and dog post card P01503306 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503306Page.htm
Olga Little and Fred at Canyon Lake, Arizona P01701021 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701021Page.htm
Olga Little and friends P01701030 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701030Page.htm
Olga Little and her mule train come back from Jumbo Mine P01701073 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701073Page.htm
Olga Little and her mules pose by a railroad car P01701017 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701017Page.htm
Olga Little and the touristy old prospector P01701024 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701024Page.htm
Olga Little at the ruins P01701031 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701031Page.htm
Olga Little at the Urbach's in Mesa, Arizona P01701026 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701026Page.htm
Olga Little by a snowy landscape P01503303 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503303Page.htm
Olga Little by the steps P01701019 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701019Page.htm
Olga Little in a dress P01701020 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701020Page.htm
Olga Little in a wagon P01701018 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701018Page.htm
Olga Little in front of the Undertaker Furniture Store P01701062 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701062Page.htm
Olga Little leading her mule train through the snow P01701002 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701002Page.htm
Olga Little look at ore by a red truck P01701034 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701034Page.htm
Olga Little posing with her mules P01701075 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701075Page.htm
Olga Little posing with her mules P01503327 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701075Page.htm
Olga Little, Bill Little and friend pose by the flower bush P01701045 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701045Page.htm
Olga Little's flower beds P01701043 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701043Page.htm
Olga Little's home and flower beds P01701042 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701042Page.htm
Olga Little's house P01503312 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503312Page.htm
Olga Little's picnic company P01701029 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701029Page.htm
Olga Schaaf's little home and pack trips P01503318 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503318Page.htm
Oriole on a railing P01701066 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701066Page.htm
Our home P01701008 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701008Page.htm
Pack mules on the trail P01701012 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701012Page.htm
Packing for Gold King Mine P01503317 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503317Page.htm
Parade of mules with Olga Little P01701016 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701016Page.htm
Pink flower in Walton's garden P01701055 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701055Page.htm
Posing with the mules P01503314 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503314Page.htm
Retired burros P01503325 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503325Page.htm
Rock formation P01701070 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701070Page.htm
Sandy, the lead burro P01503304 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503304Page.htm 
Sitting on a fence in front of a cabin P01701032 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701032Page.htm
Statues P01701060 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701060Page.htm
Team of horses in the snow near Lewis Mountain Milling Co. at Fennbrook Mine P01503308 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503308Page.htm
The cactus P01701067 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701067Page.htm
The mules come marching in P01503313 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503313Page.htm
The purple flower bush P01701048 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701048Page.htm
The red shirt cowbow and his lasso P01701035 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701035Page.htm
Train of mules in the distance P01503311 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503311Page.htm
Train of mules in the snow P01503315 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503315Page.htm
Two houses P01701059 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701059Page.htm
Unloading the burro P01503309 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503309Page.htm
Up the road from Olga Schaaf's little home and pack trips P01503319 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503319Page.htm
Walkway in Walton's garden P01701053 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701053Page.htm
Walton's garden P01701052 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701052Page.htm
White and red-trimmed belfry P01701057 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701057Page.htm
White flower in W. F. garden P01701054 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701054Page.htm
Woman on horse, man standing beside, and wooden structure in background P01503301 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P015/P01503301Page.htm
Yellow flower bush P01701044 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701044Page.htm
Yellow flower in Walton's garden P01701056 http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu/finding_aids/images/P017/P01701056Page.htm

Doing your own research:
This description of a portion of the collections at the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies is provided to inform interested parties about the nature and depth of the repository's collections.  It cannot serve as a substitute for a visit to the repository for those with substantial research interests in the collections.

This collection is located at the Center of Southwest Studies on the campus of Fort Lewis College.  Researchers wanting more information about using this material at the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center may email the archivist at archives@fortlewis.edu or click here to use our E-mail Reference Request Form (or phone the archivist at 970/247-7126).  The Center does not have a budget for outgoing long-distance phone calls to answer reference requests, so please email if you wish to receive a response from the Center.  To request reproductions/copies, click here for instructions.


Page last modified: October 16, 2007