• Suzanne Norquist

Facebook Posts From Old Newspapers

Updated: Jun 2

In researching for my historical novels, I’ve read through old newspapers from Colorado’s early mining days. I planned fun trips to historical archives and libraries only to be told that the historic newspapers had been scanned and are available online. I could read them from the comfort of my easy chair. So much for writing off research trips as a business expense.


The easy chair is comfortable, but the print is tiny and scans can be hard to read. Still, the newspapers give a glimpse of everyday life in an old mining town. It turns out, people in the old days wanted to be connected in the same way we want to connect today.


A section in the Lake City paper reads just like Facebook and Twitter, except without pictures and modern terms.


I thought I’d translate a couple of the old bits of news into Social Media Speak.


From Silver World, Lake City Colorado, January 8, 1876

Mr. H.M. Rhoads, of the Mountaineer, has gone east to be married. The happy event is to occur about Christmas.


On Facebook, this would read:

H.M. Roads was tagged in a post.

Twenty days and counting. Soon I’ll be Mrs. Roads. Boston, here we come. #Christmaswedding #Bringonthegifts

From Silver World, Lake City Colorado, January 8, 1876

Sam Hougland has returned from Saguache.


On Facebook, this would read:

Sam Hougland added 35 photos to his album – Saugache trip.

Had a great trip to Saguache to visit my aunt and cousins. #Saugachetravel #Cousinpranks #Lovemyfamily

From Silver World, Lake City Colorado, February 19, 1876

A very pleasant party was had at the residence of J.H Surles on Last Monday evening.


On Facebook, this would read:

Loved seeing all these crazy friends again. Who says you can’t party on a Monday? And, Jules, next time, no wine for you. LOL. #Lovemyfriends #Toomuchchocolate

From Silver World, Lake City Colorado, January 15, 1876

People who have parrots ought to consider before they teach them bad language.


On Facebook, this would read:

Bwaaa Haa haa. Toby taught his parrot to say @@**@. Here is a video of unsuspecting old ladies walking past. #Parrotcusswords #Nevertrustaparrot

From Silver World, Lake City Colorado, January 29, 1876

Snow is several feet deep at timber line on Pikes Peak.


On Facebook, this would read:

Snow is several feet deep at timber line on Pikes Peak. #Mustbewinter

Some things never change.

From Silver World, Lake City Colorado, January 29, 1876

A little boy led his dog two miles recently to see if his hind feet would catch up with is front ones; and still some people think juveniles haven’t original theories.


I’ll just leave that last one, although I can think of lots of fun hashtags.

The ability to post high quality pictures and videos has undoubtedly altered our world, for better or for worse. And, the lack of censorship has changed the tone of the posts. But human nature and the need for community hasn’t changed.

#History #OldNewspapers

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