Growing up in Denver, I knew Leadville as a destination for our family to take out-of-town relatives who came to visit Colorado. I still have fond memories of eating ice cream cones on summer days while walking with my cousin through the streets of the Old West. The rocky mountains of Colorado instilled a deep sense of wildness, strength and independence in my 12-year-old mind in the early 1970s. My cousin Mark, from Illinois, was exactly the same age as me, and if I’d looked him in the eye while we ate our ice cream in the middle of Leadville, I’d have considered us equal in every way. How little did I know how hard-fought my attitude came from a history of so many women before me. And in the West were a number of women whose stories tell us the truth about privilege, hardship and endurance.