Life in the Old West Town of Calico, California
Journey with Kathleen in the late 1800s as she travels west on orphan train in hopes of finding a better future than living on the streets of New York City. A chance encounter and a job offer bring her to the booming silver mining town of Calico, California. Her job entails cleaning in a “boarding house” where the girls befriend her, and the madam protects her. Afternoons and evenings she is free to roam around town where she meets colorful characters typical of the Old West: some pleasant, some not. From witnessing a shooting in a saloon, to fighting a fire that threatens to destroy the town, to meeting a ghost and solving a murder mystery, every day is an adventure for Kathleen in this wild western mining town of the 1880s.
Calico Kate is historical fiction. In the late 1800s, Calico, California, was considered the richest silver mining town in the West. From the time Kate steps off the orphan train, she steps into California history. The names of Calico’s businesses were taken from newspaper ads in the Calico Print. Yes, that really was the name of the newspaper, and it really did cost 10¢ a copy when it came out on Thursdays, and John Overshiner owned and edited the paper. And while it’s not known whether or not he employed female reporters, other newspapers in the West did. So if certain events are not specific to Calico, they do reflect what happened in other towns in the West. Other characters, too, were Calico residents. Dorsey, the dog pictured on the book cover, delivered the mail to the Bismarck Mine, and Bill Harpold served whiskey for breakfast in his makeshift hotel. The fictional characters, then, are woven into the rich texture of Calico and its real inhabitants.Today, Calico is one of many ghost towns that dot the West and a popular tourist attraction.