WELCOME

I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, then followed my mother’s advice to go somewhere “different” for college. In 1965, I moved to Boulder, Colorado. Now, more than five decades later, my roots are still in the East, but my heart – and my passion for researching and writing about history – is in the West. Colorado has remained my home. Here you will learn more about my books, articles, current projects – and about me. Thanks for visiting my website.

Stumped on a cold case? Need historical context for a research project? Looking for people or places in Boulder County, Colorado? Contact me for more information.

Silvia Pettem © 2024

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BOOK NEWS, PRESENTATIONS & PODCASTS

COMING IN AUGUST

SEPARATE LIVES: UNCOVERING THE HIDDEN FAMILY OF VICTORIAN PROFESSOR MARY RIPPON

SEE BOOKS PAGE

Advance Praise for
SEPARATE LIVES:
 
  The riveting, stranger-than-fiction story of Mary Rippon, the first female professor at a state university, whose secret private life tore up the Victorian American script.
   Silvia Pettem immerses the reader in Rippon’s extraordinary life and career with meticulous research and narrative flair and zest.
   A fascinating must-read.
 
   Betsy Prioleau, author of the New York Times Editors’ Choice –– Diamonds and Deadlines: A Tale of Greed, Deceit, and a Female Tycoon in the Gilded Age


IN SEARCH OF THE BLONDE TIGRESS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ELEANOR JARMAN:

Colorado Sun, SunLit Interview, CEMETERY REENACTMENT HOOKED SILVIA PETTEM ON TRACKING MISSING PERSONS…..POLKA-DOTTED DRESS — Thursday August 8, 1940, started out like any other day at the Oakdale Reformatory for Women near the small town of Dwight, in rural Illinois…READ MORE…                  
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SPECIAL THANKS TO:

THE BOOKWORM OF EDWARDS for hosting COLD CASES & WANTED WOMEN (photos below). Please continue to support this bookstore in Edwards, Colorado.

The BOULDER BOOKSTORE for hosting an evening with true crime writers.

The DENVER PUBLIC LIBRARY UNIVERSITY BRANCH.

BOOK CLUB MEMBERS who invite me to their discussions of my book….great questions and lots of fun!

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RELATED INTERESTS

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IN RETROSPECT

In addition to writing books, I co-author the “In Retrospect” history column for the Boulder Daily Camera, in Boulder, Colorado. My latest column, “Caribou Cemetery neglected but not forgotten,” and many others, can be read at the “In Retrospect column” link, below. 

IN RETROSPECT COLUMNS



CARIBOU CEMETERY PROJECT

A recent newspaper column ties in with the CARIBOU CEMETERY PROJECT — a community effort to restore respect to those buried in a small Colorado mountain cemetery, once home to silver miners from Cornwall. 

Left, A small cross used to hang near the cemetery’s entrance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, see cariboucemetery.com

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

RESEARCH SPECIALTIES:
Long-term missing persons
Unidentified remains
Cold case homicides
Boulder County, Colorado, history