Western History & Genealogy Blog

Baby Doe Tabor and The Matchless Mine

Page of Abstract Showing H.A.W Tabor's involvement in the purchase of the Matchless Mine.
Matchless Mine Abstract showing Baby Doe Tabor's involvement in the sale of the mine

"Hold on to the Matchless"

In 1935, 'Baby Doe' Tabor (a.k.a Elizabeth McCourt Tabor) died penniless and alone, frozen in a small one room cabin near Leadville, Colorado. She along with her Husband, Silver King Horace Austin Warner Tabor, and his wife at the time, Augusta Tabor, were involved in one of the most famous love triangles in American History. Being one of the richest men in America, H.A.W Tabor and his beloved Baby Doe lived a lavish lifestyle that they afforded by the production of silver from the famous Matchless Mine to the tune of 10,000 dollars a day. Their lavish living continued until the great silver bust of 1893 when Tabor lost the entirety of his fortune and the two were forced to live their lives in squalor.

The Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy department has acquired the original Matchless Mine Abstract of Title (click on the images to enlarge them), which details the sale and acquisition of land and property, for the Matchless Mining Lode. Along with that extraordinary historical document, the department also recieved correspondence on the sale of the mine that provides insight into Baby Doe's state of mind at the time as well as her precarious financial situation. The correspondence is in depth and great for any researcher.

Both the correspondence and abstract can be found in the J.K. Mullen Foundation Collection (call number WH1201) and also contains information on John Kernan Mullen who eventually purchased the Matchless Mine.

For more information about the Baby Doe Tabor Saga go here 

And for a great read check out "Baby Doe Tabor: Mad Woman in the Cabin" by Judy Nolte Temple.

Like many Colorado kids, I

Like many Colorado kids, I was raised on the story of Baby Doe. Somehow it seemed like a distant fairy tale until the day my great-Aunt, who grew up in Leadville, said, "Well, of course we knew Baby Doe. She'd come by the house to visit Dad, but we'd always hide because we thought she was strange." It turned out that the real person was part of my family's Colorado story.

Tabor Grand Hotel in Leadville

Does anyone know the history of the small porch that is on the Seventh Street side of the Tabor Grand in Leadville?

Supposedly, it was Baby Doe's and she could look up the street toward the Matchless Mine.

However, the small room does not show up in the early pictures of the Tabor Grand/Hotel Kitchen/Vendome pictures.

Thanks for any help.

I used to live in that apartment!

The room with the sunroom on 7th street was Baby Does. I lived in that very apartment for 3 years. I myself would sit in there and look up towards the mines or over the at the beautiful mountains. I imagine that was a wonderful time in her life. My ex boyfriend said she haunted the apartment. I don't believe she did. I bet sitting at the Delaware looking at her old room was hard at times. Beautiful apartment! Obviously it has been updated, but I waited for over a year for that apartment to open up. :) I loved living in Leadville and was happy to share a piece of History with Baby Doe.

Do you by chance have any

Do you by chance have any pictures of the interior room?