Lesser kwn than the gold and silver mines of Western lore, Southern Colorado s extensive coal mines fueled the engines for Western industrialization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Of the numerous companies operating the mines, the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I) was king. With a total of 62 mines, the majority of them in Colorado s Las Animas, Huerfa, and Fremont Counties, CF&I ruled the lives of countless miners in company towns scattered throughout Southern Colorado. Working long hours, often in cramped underground caverns, the workers emerged to families living in lonely mountain landscapes completely provisioned with company homes, stores, schools, and churches. Images of America: Mining Towns of Southern Colorado gives an intimate glimpse into the lives of these pioneer mining families.