Where can I find information about my great-great-grandfather?

        There are a few ways you can find information about family members. A search may be done online from the library website via https://www.westcusterlibrary.org/resources-research-tools/ . The library has a book titled “Family Maps of Custer County” (call number 978.852 Boyd) with original homesteader names. There is a copy available for checkout and a copy available in the reference section of the Local History Center for use within the library. The library has microfilm of the Wet Mountain Tribunes from 1880s through 2011 currently. You can also search one of Custer County’s six Colorado Historic Newspapers 1859-1923.


Q         Which local newspapers are available on Colorado Historic Newspapers?

A        Click here to access Colorado Historic Newspaper Online. Below is the list of available local newspapers:

  • Daily Herald (Silver Cliff): April 3, 1882 – November 29, 1882 (165 issues)
  • Rosita Index: January 14, 1886 – November 18, 1886 (41 issues)
  • Sierra Journal (Rosita): June 9, 1881 – December 31, 1885 (146 issues)
  • Silver Cliff Rustler: December 16, 1886 – December 16, 1908 (1123 issues)
  • Silver Cliff Weekly Herald: February 16, 1882 – December 9, 1882 (30 issues)
  • Wet Mountain Tribune: January 21, 1899 – October 22, 1926 (1408 issues)

        How can I find out what the old building on my property was?

A         You can refer to “Family Maps of Custer County” or browse photo albums of buildings in Westcliffe and Silver Cliff in the library.


        Why is Custer County named after George Armstrong Custer?

A         At the time in 1876 he was a national hero and quite the rage.


        What happened to the ski area?

A         Conquistador snowfall amounts were a problem and the snow making machines didn’t work because it was often too warm. Photos and information are available online in the Past Perfect archives while additional ephemera relating to the ski area, such as brochures and newspaper articles, can be viewed at the library.


Q         How can I find a grave in one of the cemeteries?

A         All of the cemetery books include maps showing their locations, while some include maps of the cemetery plots. The cemetery books can be found in the reference area of the Local History Center under the call number 929.


        Can I use one of the historic photos?

        The copyright information is listed on many of the photos on Past Perfect Online. If it is not listed or you need help understanding what it means, please inquire directly with the library.