When a killer wore a deputy’s badge in Telluride

When a killer wore a deputy’s badge in Telluride

When a killer wore a deputy’s badge and a golden smile
Located at the top of Imogene Pass, Fort Peabody was a sentry box and machine gun nest built by the Colorado National Guard. They were called out by Gov. James H. Peabody to assist the Telluride Mine Owners Association. Deputies and brutal mine guards like Robert D. Meldrum, in the middle wearing a sheriff’s badge, forced miners out of town. Deputies feared the miners would come back over the pass to Telluride, so this sentry box was built with a machine gun nest slightly lower on the steep slope with a commanding 180-degree view of the pass. The structure has been stabilized and restored by San Miguel County as one of Colorado’s most important labor history sites. This is the only known photo of guards at the location.
Deputy Robert Meldrum represents a “bad” good man in the history of the American West. He straddled both sides of the law. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in this photo with the Wild Bunch near bordellos in Fort Worth, Texas, represent “good” bad men. They robbed trains and mining payrolls and liberally shared their ill-begotten wealth with prostitutes and homesteaders. Unlike Meldrum, Butch never killed anyone until his last shootout in Bolivia.
This one-of-a-kind Colt Quickdraw Model Single Action .45-caliber revolver was a gift to Tomboy Mine guard Robert Meldrum, who frequently beat, abused and even killed union miners trying to strengthen their ties to the Western Federation of Miners. The pistol recently sold at auction for $250,000 to Colorado billionaire Bill Koch. Meldrum may have killed up to 14 men, but his own death and the location of his grave remain a mystery.
This colorful postcard of Fort Peabody, probably photographed in the 1960s, belies the brute force and martial law that the structure represented. Fort Peabody is now on the National Register of Historic Places representing labor history in Colorado
In addition to mine guard Robert Meldrum’s name on the butt of the gun, Colt also engraved on the handle the words “From the Tomboy Gold Mine Co. Lt’d Telluride, CO” making the pistol rare and valuable.

When a killer wore a deputy’s badge in Telluride

Located at the top of Imogene Pass, Fort Peabody was a sentry box and machine gun nest built by the Colorado National Guard. They were called out by Gov. James H. Peabody to assist the Telluride Mine Owners Association. Deputies and brutal mine guards like Robert D. Meldrum, in the middle wearing a sheriff’s badge, forced miners out of town. Deputies feared the miners would come back over the pass to Telluride, so this sentry box was built with a machine gun nest slightly lower on the steep slope with a commanding 180-degree view of the pass. The structure has been stabilized and restored by San Miguel County as one of Colorado’s most important labor history sites. This is the only known photo of guards at the location.
Deputy Robert Meldrum represents a “bad” good man in the history of the American West. He straddled both sides of the law. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in this photo with the Wild Bunch near bordellos in Fort Worth, Texas, represent “good” bad men. They robbed trains and mining payrolls and liberally shared their ill-begotten wealth with prostitutes and homesteaders. Unlike Meldrum, Butch never killed anyone until his last shootout in Bolivia.
This one-of-a-kind Colt Quickdraw Model Single Action .45-caliber revolver was a gift to Tomboy Mine guard Robert Meldrum, who frequently beat, abused and even killed union miners trying to strengthen their ties to the Western Federation of Miners. The pistol recently sold at auction for $250,000 to Colorado billionaire Bill Koch. Meldrum may have killed up to 14 men, but his own death and the location of his grave remain a mystery.
This colorful postcard of Fort Peabody, probably photographed in the 1960s, belies the brute force and martial law that the structure represented. Fort Peabody is now on the National Register of Historic Places representing labor history in Colorado
In addition to mine guard Robert Meldrum’s name on the butt of the gun, Colt also engraved on the handle the words “From the Tomboy Gold Mine Co. Lt’d Telluride, CO” making the pistol rare and valuable.
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