Sarah Grimes

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Marble Springs 2.0 screenshot of Sarah Grimes

What we know

1882 - 1894
Enid and Dickon Grimes’ only child. The Grimes moved to Marble Springs from Cripple Creek where Dickon had failed to find silver. Enid left after three years of failure in Marble Springs. Dickon finally struck silver and left Sarah to recruit help from old friends.

Sun's Gold

She was born quiet, her father said.
and her mother left quiet one night,
leaving her to grow silently with the moon.
After the first hour of school,
Sarah skipped home, smiling at the sun.
Miss Miller shook her head when
Sarah couldn’t say her name.

Home she stayed, salting trout and
following her father’s traps—
looking when her birds surprised her.
Sometimes she played in the pilings,
Fool’s gold glinting through
her copper hair and she would scramble
to her feet after dark—hands
scraping at stars
which never joined her play.
But she felt the sun laughing
as the creek-gold eluded her fingers
and mud plastered her skirt.

When her father went to Marble Springs,
he’d lead her with a string to jerk her
away from wagons and shocked looks.
For days after, she would push pine
needles and ashes into her mouth
until her father got out the town candy—
licorice with green rivulets.
Then he struck his tracer vein,
and went off drunk to Cripple Creek
to find his old friends. Left Sarah
with a three-month supply of bear’s
meat and corn flour and some
store-bought candy on the top shelf.

After the gossip had gone around,
Mrs. Cole declared it a scandal.
So the Ladies Aid collected
for a one-way ticket and board
to place her in the Belle Hope Asylum1
where she could rock and gaze
at the roof in perfect safety.

Pastor Horner commended their efforts
when they marked her grave
a year later.





Barton, George Edward.Re-education; An Analysis of the Institutional System of the United States. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1917.

Henderson, Charles Richmond.Introduction to the Study of the Dependant, Defective, and Delinquent Classes, and Their Social Treatment. Boston: D.C. Heath & Company, 1901.

Slingerland, W.H.,Child Welfare Work in Colorado. University of Colorado Bulletin vol 20, no. 10, general series no. 161, 1919.

Portal caption and links

A drawing of a girl standing in front of the sun, or possibly a Madonna.
Katy Stoner
Hazel Wringle
Leah Cole

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