Friday, May 24, 2019


In the last two years, I have read so many wonderful historical western romances set in Creede, Colorado. When I was asked to write for the Proxy Bride series, I decided that Creede would be a wonderful spot to set my book. This began my search for interesting tidbits about the town.

Early into my online search, I happened on an entry in the Colorado Encyclopedia about the Creede Museum ( After reading that article, my mind was set on the time and place. I wanted to set my book in 1893.

Why that year, you might ask? The fire!

According to Creede’s website, (, before 1890, the area around Creede drew tourists. It was a popular fishing area as well as being a spa. People came to bathe in the hot springs as well as to drink that water. Ugh! By 1883, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad transported these tourists. It must have been popular to have the railroad extended to it.

At first called Jimtown, the town changed quickly after silver was found in 1890. Its population boomed and, by the time the name was changed to Creede, the town had an estimated population of 10,000. That’s the Creede I wanted to imagine in my book.

But back to the fire…

One cold night a fire started in rooms above a barbershop. This spread quickly through the wooden buildings and destroyed much of the town. Because of the speed of the fire business owners weren’t able to even rescue their tills. Cash burned and the coins melted together. A great description of the fire was written twelve years later in an article for the Creede Candle (

This photo of Creede was taken in 1893, one year after a fire destroyed much of the mining town. The Denver & Rio Grande Railroad depot, which currently serves as a museum, is the wood frame building under construction in the center of the photo. Boxcars are lined up to its right, and Main Street is in the foreground. (taken from the Colorado Encyclopedia)

After researching the fire, I imagined my hero as a business owner struggling to reestablish himself after the fire. Once I started writing the book, the size of the town of Creede was beyond what I wanted to depict in A Bride for Darrell. The great thing about being an author is the freedom to invite towns. So, I created Silver Town. I used the railroad history of Creede and even set Silver Town on the same branch line.

About Marisa Masterson

Marisa Masterson and her husband of thirty years reside in Saginaw, Michigan. They have two grown children, one son-in-law, and two old and lazy dogs. 

She is a retired high school English teacher and oversaw a high school writing center in partnership with the local university. In addition, she is a National Writing Project fellow.

Focusing on her home state of Wisconsin, she writes sweet historical romance. Growing up, she loved hearing stories about her family pioneering in that state. Those stories, in part, are what inspired her to begin writing.

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion, fire was the greatest threat to frontier towns. I would imagine few had insurance.


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