I have no idea what year this photo was taken. It is from the Ten Buck Box. I believe through a family marriage Gertrude Bowen is related to the person in this shot.

Click on image to see it larger.

Gertrude (from yesterday's post) had a sister, Frances Grace Rich, who was born June 21, 1888 in Nebraska. On November 11, 1914 she married Walter Cheney. So whoever is in this photo would be directly related to Walter. Thus they would be related to Frances and through Frances the relationship to Gertrude. Now you know why geneaology is often called tracing your roots. They just go out in all directions.

As to what the "claim" might be, your guess is as good as mine. Was it for land or precious metals? Perhaps someone who knows Colorado history would have an idea. Somewhere in the hundreds of photos is, as I recall, another one of this shack, but nothing is written on the back.

I'll see where the Ten Buck Box leads me next.


  1. It looks to me to be a homesteader's shack. There are many of them dotted across the top of Montana along what is now called the Highline. Some are still standing, but the purpose was to stake a claim of 160 acres (a quarter section), improve it, and finally gain title to it. I know nothing of the Colorado situation, but I know a great deal about Montana. The Homestead Act was signed into law by Lincoln in the early 1860's, but do not ask me specifics about the law. Both my wifes parents were homesteaders. They were indeed called claims.

  2. Dave,

    Thanks for the info. I thought it might be that. Probably how this family established themselves. The cabin even reminds me of the little fishing shacks that are put out on lakes in the winter. I now have to go find the other shot of this cabin.

  3. What an amazing photograph. There is so much American history captured in it. To an outsider like me, quite fascinating.

  4. Oh I agree Alan. I was a pretty happy camper when I found it in the box.

  5. I think that this is the first time I've written to you. I love your writing...when I don't have time to read, I go back! I want to say that what you wrote in the 6/15/2011 post was so, so true. It really hit me--it's a subject that I have talked about quite a bit. I encourage people to go back and read it if you haven't already. Of course, the pictures you post are fabulous. You truly have a treasure in "the ten buck box"!! I just love your blog!

  6. Sheila,

    Thank you for your oh so kind comment. It's probably the nicest comment I've ever received. You can't imagine how much this makes me smile. I'm glad you like what I'm doing here. Again, thank you very much.

  7. It's very similar to the Provincetown beach shack I currently live in, used to be a garage at one point, although I have lots of windows and greenery.