Colorado College Tutt Library

Robert M. Ormes Papers
Mf 0061, Ms 0314, Ms 0216, and Ms 0026

Table of Contents

Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1923-1927, Mf 0061 inventory
Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1940-1980, Ms 0314 description and inventory
Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1960-1978, Ms 0216 description and inventory
Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1967-1976, Ms 0026 description and inventory


Personal Information

Birth: September 27, 1904, Colorado Springs, son of Eleanor and Manly Dayton Ormes, who was the librarian of Colorado College, 1904-1929
Marriage: December 25, 1937 to Suzanne Viertel Ormes
Children: Jonathan, born 1939; Stephanie Jean, born 1942


B. A. Colorado College, 1926 (English)
M.A. Colorado College, 1927 (English)


Teacher and Principal, Colorado and New Mexico public schools, 1927-1934; Teacher, Fountain Valley School, Fountain, Colorado, 1935-51

Rock climbing and ski instructor, Camp Carson’s Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command, World War II

Alpinist ranger, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

English Professor, Colorado College, 1952-73; Emeritus, 1973-

Writer, lecturer, mountaineer, 1940’s to present

Public Service

Member/teacher/leader of AdAmAn Club, American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club, Saturday Knights

Member Colorado Education Association, National Education Association

Member Recreational Trails Committee, Colorado Division of Wildlife

Lecturer/leader of hikes (selected examples):
Lecture, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, “Poetry and the Land”, October, 1964
Colorado College Freshmen seminars on railroads, 1969-73
Three part lecture, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, on Colorado Railroads, 1975
Lectures and series of hikes, “Past as Prologue” series of Pikes Peak Regional Libraries, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities


Naming mountains: with consultation of Colorado Mountain Club Committees, Ormes worked over a long period of time to document names of many Colorado summits and to get them accepted by National Board of Geographers.

Atlas maps of various Colorado mountain regions: Ormes worked alone many years on this series; in 1985 he was preparing a Sangre de Cristo atlas.

Publications of Robert M. Ormes

Colorado Skylines. Colorado Springs, CO, 1967-74. 4 vol., illus. Book 1. Front range from the East; Book 2. The Parks; Book 3. Colorado River Basin. Book 4. Southern section.

The Elk Range Atlas. Colorado Springs, CO, 1978. 22 col. maps on 1 sheet.

Farewell to Ormes: a Colorado Mountain Life in Retrospect. Colorado Springs, CO, Hardlea Press, 1984.

Gore-Tenmile Atlas. Colorado Springs, CO, 1978. 2 maps on 1 sheet.

Guide to the Colorado Mountains. 8th Edition. Colorado Springs, CO, 1983. 1st Edition. Denver, Sage Books, 1952. Robert M. Ormes, editor, with the Colorado Mountain Club.

Holy Cross Area Atlas. Colorado Springs, CO, 1978.

Pikes Peak Atlas. 2nd Edition, rev. Colorado Springs, CO, 1966. First edition, 1959.

Railroads and the Rockies. Denver, Sage Books, 1963.

San Juan Trio. Colorado Springs, CO, 1978. 3 maps: Silverton south atlas; Ouray to Lake City atlas; Ouray west and south atlas.

Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado: a five part guide to abandoned and scenic lines. Colorado Springs, CO: Century One Press, 1976, c1975.

White River Plateau Atlas. Colorado Springs, CO, 1978.

In addition, Professor Ormes has written articles for numerous magazines, including the Saturday Evening Post, Audobon Magazine, Science, Ski Magazine, Trail and Timberline, Field and Stream, Natural History, Sports Afield, Restaurant Management, American Alpine Journal, The Colorado College Magazine. One of his first articles was a thirty page spread titled "Colorado's Friendly Topland" in the August 1951 issue of National Geographic. See box 1 of this collection for a listing of articles and publications.

Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1923-1927, Mf 0061


One envelope containing letters on college experiences, family affairs, and early teaching experiences.

Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1940-1980, Ms 0314

Description: this collection contains handwritten notes and manuscripts as well as original and photocopied articles from numerous publications by Robert M. Ormes. It also contains correspondence, press clippings and book reviews spanning a 40-year period from the late 1930’s to the early 1980’s. A few black and white photos, negatives and work prints are included, as well as two audio cassette tapes. Ormes’ daily planners from the years 1955 to 1988 inclusive make up most of one box.


Box 1

Photocopies and originals of magazine articles by and about Ormes, 1937-1969

Box 2

Folder 1  Curriculum Vitae; biographical notes

Folder 2  Ormes’ handwritten writings

Folder 3  Ormes’ handwritten writings II

Folder 4  Ormes’ typed originals

Folder 5  “A useable railroad talk”

Folder 6  Rhetorical for a talk on Palmer

Folder 7  Article for Grolier Publishing

Folder 8  “Ladies First”

Folder 9  Photocopies of published articles

Folder 10  Articles, pictures, and stories for Ormes

Box 3

Folder 1  Mount Everest clippings

Folder 2  Sangre Trails correspondence and notes

Folder 3  Notes and manuscripts for Pikes Peak Atlas

Folder 4  Articles sent to Ormes

Folder 5  Manuscript for “Hard Rock Blues”

Folder 6  Manuscript for “William Comes of Age”

Folder 7  Manuscript for “Abelard and Eloise”

Folder 8  Miscellaneous black and white photos and negatives

Box 4

Folder 1  “Home on the Ranger Station” and “Letters to Aunt Eva” manuscripts

Folder 2  Cripple Creek Commencement speech

Folder 3  Saturday Knights Club, Colorado Mountain Club materials

Folder 4  Book reviews and newspaper stories

Folder 5  Miscellaneous correspondence and notes

Folder 6  Colorado College information/faculty lists

Folder 7  Correspondence; letter to Fergus Ormes

Folder 8  Press clippings from the McCormick accident in Albuquerque

Folder 9  Press clippings on Richard Lamm and the AdAmAn Club

Folder 10 Naming of Ormes Peak/Red Mountain

Folder 11 Ute Pass and Hucacode Cave

Box 5

41 daily planners, 1955-1988

1 packet of index cards: Saturday Knights Club trip-journal entries 1980-85

2 audiocassette tapes: “The Peter Boyles Show”, March/April 1985; one unidentified

1 Colorado Resident Lifetime Parks Pass

Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1960-1978, Ms 0216

Finding Aid created November, 1983; revised August, 1986

Description: Correspondence, research notes, and maps, used in preparation for books on Colorado railroads. Included are maps and lists of Colorado coal mines, and a list of toll roads incorporated in Colorado.


Box 1

Folder l  Toll Roads Incorporated in Colorado  (Research notes)

Folder 2  Uintah Railway Condensed Profile  (Drawing)

Folder 3  Colorado & Southern Railway general history  (Typescript & charts)

Folder 4  Railroads and the Rockies, corrections

Folder 5  Coal maps: Colorado Coal Maps (4); Colorado, Wyoming & New Mexico Resource map; List of Colorado Coal Mines

Folder 6  Local history clippings ( Also some correspondence)

Folder 7  Names - History Documents  (Correspondence & Clippings concerning Colorado graphic names)

Folder 8  Royal Gorge Forts  (Notes and maps)

Folder 9  Maps from Haley's Denver South Park and Pacific Railroads  (Photocopies)

Folder 10  Colorado Railroad Maps: Map indicating territory served by Fort Worth & Denver Railway Co., and Colorado & Southern Railway Co., (n.d.); Map of portion of State of New Mexico from U.S. Dept. of Interior, General Land Office Map, 1927 (photocopy); Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, 1959 (1914 attached); The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway System, (photocopy); Diagram map of C.B. & Q.R.R. Co. System, 1955; Denver & Rio Grande System  (4 sheets); Railroad map, no title, 1885  (original & reduced photo)

Folder 11  Research Coronet Magazine on Denver and Rio Grande Railway from 1870 to 1883 with notes on General Palmer from Marshall Sprague.  (Typescript with maps)

Folder 12  Railroad maps: Railroads of the Pikes Peak Region, 1871-1971 Colorado Midland Chapter of N.R.H.S., 1971; Dept. of Interior. U.S. Reclamation Service Grand Valley Project Map, Oct. 1912; Dept. of Agriculture. National Resources Mission & U.S.G.S. Rio Grande Joint Investigation, Plate No. 12 Espanola Valley, New Mexico

Folder 13  Correspondence, 1977-1978: "Year by Year Outline, Corporate & Physical History of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railway & Its Predecessor Company, 1870-1954." Compiled by Hugh T. Geln, 1954.

[Items Removed -- see Separation Record in Collection File]


Folder 14

Correspondence, maps and notes for Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado

Calumet Branch, Denver and Rio Grande Western

Canon City and Royal Gorge ( clipping)

Colorado and Southwestern Railroad

Crystal River and Crested Butte Slate Railroad

Manitou Park Logging Railroad

Silica Branch, Denver South Park and Pacific

Skagway Power Plant Incline

Tierra Amarilla Branch, Denver and Rio Grande

Tunnel under Tincup Pass

Folder 15  Preliminary drafts for Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado  (fragments)

Boxes 2-3

Card index
Colorado Railroad index

Box 4

Folders 1-8  Correspondence, notes, clippings, and miscellaneous items pertaining to Revision of "Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado."

Folder 9  Trails

Folder 10-12  Revision of "Skylines"

Box 5

"Farewell to Ormes"  (manuscript)

Robert M. Ormes Papers, 1967-1976, Ms 0026

Description: manuscripts, galley proofs. and original maps for Colorado Skylines, Pikes Peak Atlas, Elk Range Atlas, and Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado.


Box 1  Colorado Skylines, Books I and II
Camera ready manuscript

Box 2  Colorado Skylines, Books III and IV.
Camera ready manuscript

Box 3  Colorado Skylines, Books III and IV.
Typescript with corrections

Box 4  Pikes Peak Atlas.
Galley and pre-galley copy.

Box 5  Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado, 1975, 1976.
Camera ready manuscript for 1976 revised printing.

Box 6  Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado.

Box 7 OVERSIZE Elk Range Atlas. Original maps. Tracking Ghost Railroads in Colorado. Original maps.

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