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Columbine Mine Massacre collection

Identifier: COU:450

Scope and Contents

This collection contains two copies of the same coroner’s inquest into the deaths of John Eastenes and Nick Spanudakhis. One is 225 pages and the other 226 pages. Both copies are typed and have corrections and intermittent marginalia in pen. The CU Libraries Archives has quite a few holdings related to the Columbine Mine shooting and its aftermath. See also: Collections Columbine Mine Incident -a radio broadcast for KGNU Boulder on the Columbine Mine shooting in which six witnesses were interviewed, 1978. Columbine Mine Massacre -Two copies of the Weld County coroner’s inquest into the deaths of John Eastenes and Nick Spanudakhis, November 22-23, 1927. Costigan, Edward. Scrapbooks 15-16 -Newspaper clippings relating to Colorado Coal Strike, the Columbine Mine shooting, and Sacco-Vanzetti trial and execution. Margolis, Eric (Colorado Coal Project). 9:1; 11:4; 15: 26-29, 58-60, 75; 16:131-134, 187-189 -a large audio/visual collection about the Colorado coal industry Meyer, Erwin -papers, magazines, and newspapers about the Columbine Mine shooting collected by a member of the CU Boulder History Department at the time of the shooting. Roche, Josephine -contains information on the Colorado Coal Strike as well as an article on the Columbine Mine shooting. Rocky Mountain Fuel Company -contains day to day information about the operation of the Columbine Mine and includes a map of the area. Probably does not contain any information directly related to Columbine Mine shooting

Pamphlet Files Boulder Miner’s Life Wasn’t Pretty -from Focus: The Boulder Camera’s Magazine, June 26, 1983. Interview with Lawrence Amicarella who witnessed the shooting Chicanos Mine the Columbine, an Hispanic workforce in Northern Colorado, 1921-1928 -Honors Thesis for CU Boulder History Department by Michael J. Rees, 1995. Contains an analysis of the Columbine Mine shooting Coal Strikes – Death Marked Mine Conflicts in Past -A newspaper article from The Boulder Daily Camera, March 17, 1978. Journalist interviews a witness to the mine shooting. Columbine, Original Opera Premier 1973 -The playbill for an opera based on the Columbine mine shooting Disorders in Colorado - Two copies of a Colorado Fuel and Iron Company memo dated Nov. 24, 1927. Industrial Solidarity -a magazine dedicated to the mine shooting, December 21, 1927 Industrial Workers of the World -newsletter, describing the IWW collection at Wayne State University, spring 1971 Norton, Leonard S. -A series of statements about the Columbine Mine shooting from United Mine Workers and Knights of Labor, collected between 1940 and 1941. Northern Colorado Coal Strike, 1927-28 -Newspaper clippings related to the mine shooting, predominately unidentified. Most unidentified clippings are probably from The Rocky Mountain News from November 19727 to early 1928. Six Killed, Twenty Wounded (copy of Erwin Meyer paper)


  • 1927

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Limited duplication of materials allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical / Historical

On November 21, 1927, the newly-constituted Colorado State Police fired into a crowd of some two to six hundred picketers at the Columbine mine in Serene, Colorado, a small mining town north of Denver. The shooting killed six of the striking miners and wounded twenty others. This collection is a copy of the coroner’s inquest into the deaths of two of the picketers, John Eastenes and Nick Spanudakhis. The Weld county coroner, Dr. John A. Weaver, presided over the inquest. District Attorney Ab H. Romans and Deputy District Attorney George H. Van Horn conducted the inquest, examining thirty-nine witnesses. Representing the families of the victims, Guy D. Duncan and R. W. Henderson attempted to cross-examine most witnesses, but were restricted to one or two questions; agreeing with the District Attorney’s objections, Dr. Weaver ruled that the inquest was not a trial and therefore cross-examination was not allowed. Throughout the inquest, the state police and mine officials battled the miners and their families over certain details of the shooting. Of particular import to both sides was whether or not the crowd was legally warned that it was violating state law, whether or not the crowd was armed with guns, whether or not the state police fired machine guns into the crowd, and whether or not there were women present and if they were disguised as miners or wearing traditional women’s garb. The jury consisted of W. R. Adams, F. M. Mason, R. G. Dempsey, L. A. Kight, J. C. Snider, and N. D. Bartholomew. At the conclusion of the inquest, the jury ruled that John Eastenes and Nick Spanudakhis died “as a result of gunshot wounds received in and upon the property near or at the COLUMBINE MINE while they were en masse assembled and invading mine property, after having been properly and legally warned not to enter the same and of the perils attending such invasion by the proper and lawful officers of the state of Colorado; that said gunshots were fired by person unknown and who were members of the state law enforcement department, and said deaths are not felonious.”


0.5 linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains two copies of the Weld county coroner’s inquest into the deaths of John Eastenes and Nick Spanudakhis, November 22-23, 1927. As miners picketing the Rocky Mountain Fuel Company at the Columbine mine in Serene, Colorado, both men were shot to death by members of the Colorado State Police on November 21, 1927 in an act of crowd control. The coroner’s inquest contains the testimony of the doctor who first attended the dead men, representatives of the state police, and some of the miners.


This collection is arranged in original order in which we attained it from the donor, with a box level inventory list.

In Progress
Jeffrey Wermer
February 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States