Big Iron in The Zuni Mountains

Having done considerable research on the logging and railroad industries in New Mexico I have decided to write a novel based on the back-story of the Cibola Lumber and Mining Company. It is a historical fiction spanning four generations of the company’s founders and owners covering the years 1873 to 1950. This will be my first attempt at such a thing so do not expect New York Times Best Seller quality.

There will be some divergence from what I have already created for the garden railroad. Most notably George Breece will not be the company owner as he was a real person. I will not be changing the real life nature of anyone, but rather have my characters and events interact with them. Where necessary fictional characters will stand in for their real life counterparts. Historical accuracy of people, places and events is a priority and anyone with an interest and knowledge of southwestern history should recognize a lot of the what happens. For the real history freak I have included a few obscure facts and references.

Below is a summary and some notes from each chapter:

Chapter 1: Denison 1873 – The story begins several years before the main characters come to New Mexico. They meet on a train heading to Texas hoping to make their fortune. Subsequently they go into the whiskey distilling business together.

All of the men are former Union soldiers who fought in the civil war. Considerable effort was made to insure the origin and experiences of their respective military units is historically correct.

Ian Cahill is a large sturdy built man of Irish decent. He came to the US from Donegal and was immediately given citizenship upon swearing into the Union Army. He is a hard drinker slow to resort to physical violence and extremely loyal those he considers friends.

Jorge Calaveras  is a skinny kid 10 years younger than the other two with a love for poker and an easy going nature that most people mistake for innocence. He was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the only child of a Doctor. He is the third generation of a family who immigrated from Spain in the early 1800’s. He met Ian who was a patient of his fathers after the war. The two took up traveling together when the Jorge’s’ father died.

Clayton Johnson is solid built with the look of someone who is not afraid of hard work but is articulate and educated beyond what most of society would expect in the era. He is about Ian’s age.  He was born in Springfield Massachusetts as a free man before the war. His father was an escaped slave who eventually bought his mother’s freedom and brought her north. He grew up on the family farm with his two brothers before joining the army.

Chapter 2: Abilene 1875 – With their distillery burned to ash and several of their employees killed in the event the friends leave Denison in pursuit of the hired guns responsible, intent on bringing them to justice one way or another. They find that racism and religious bigotry is alive and well in post war Texas.

Following a lead that their quarry is headed for Santa Fe but owing a debt for saving their necks from the noose the group signs on to haul supplies for Texas legend Charles Goodnight as he makes his way toward the future site of his ranch on the rim of Palo Duro Canyon.

Choosing not to shoot Apache Warrior Victorio puts Ian at odds with Colonel Goodnight. Clayton on the otherhand goes for his gun when the group unites with Charles Loving who is driving cattle for the ranch up from El Paso and his ramrod is recognized as one of the men the guys are looking for.

Copyright Boomer the Story Teller. All rights reserved. 🙂


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