In 1878, 22-year-old Baby Doe came west to Central City, “the richest square mile on earth,” so her husband could work their gold mine. A year later she was abandoned, pregnant and left to work the mine alone.
But her luck seemed to change when she met Silver King Horace Tabor, married and twice her age, who’d struck it rich with a silver mine in Leadville. What happened next is the subject of a new novel, “Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.”
Novelist Rebecca Rosenberg will present “The History behind ‘Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor,’” in Leadville on Aug. 25, at 1 p.m., at the Tabor Opera House. She will distill her ten years of research and writing into an hour-long visual show about the renowned Colorado icon. Her presentation is free to the public.
Baby Doe Tabor became known as the “gold digger” who stole Horace Tabor from his wife, Augusta. Baby Doe became the richest, most scandalized woman in the country, ostracized by Denver society women for the rest of her life.
“Leadville folks don’t necessarily see Baby Doe as a gold digger, so this novel could stir up some uproar,” warned Stephanie Spong, Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation board member.
The story of Baby Doe Tabor has inspired an opera, a Hollywood movie, a screenplay, several biographies, brochures and now a new historical novel by gold-medal winner Rosenberg.
“Baby Doe Tabor has been painted the harlot, adulterer and gold digger, but history proves her a gutsy, take-charge woman, who did the best she could in the desperate, turbulent Wild West,” Rosenberg said.
Rosenberg is an alumnus of the University of Colorado and a graduate of the Stanford Writing Certificate Program. Her books also include “Lavender Fields of America,” “The Secret Life of Mrs. London,” and “Champagne Widows,” due out in 2021. “The Secret Life of Mrs. London” won a Gold Medal IPPY award.
“Gold Digger” is available at some local bookstores, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.