[NAU.PH.] Ore Trains at Barstowe Mine, Ouray CO, March 1905.Ore Trains at Barstowe Mine, Ouray CO, March 1905.

The 1880s were a time of exploration and exploitation in the West. Boom towns sprang up as wealth was discovered beneath the earth. Francois Calixte Lauzon, of Compton, Quebec, Canada was swept into this tide, and he pursued gold and silver in the Colorado towns of Ouray, Leadville, and Silverton, and in Alaska. He ultimately homesteaded, in 1890, a ranch along the Uncompaghre River in Colorado and sent for his wife, Mary Claire Watts, and children, Bert, Maurice, Muriel, Madeline, and Philip. Mary died in 1901. Francois stayed with the children for a while, but the urge to mine was strongly ingrained, and after 1904 he continued on the trail of riches.

[NAU.PH.] Courtland AZ, July 1909. Courtland AZ, July 1909.

Bert, Maurice, and Philip also heard the siren's call and took off for places near and far to mine, sometimes joining Francois in his pursuits. From 1904 to 1906, Bert worked for the Ouray Barstowe mining company for $90 per month. In 1906 he reunited with his father in Goldfield, Nevada and from there worked in various mining camps in California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico until 1911.

[NAU.PH.] Delivering drill steel to the blacksmith shop, Portovelo Ecuador, November 1924.Delivering drill steel to the blacksmith shop, Portovelo Ecuador, November 1924.

Francois died in Salt Lake City, Utah (date unknown) near some of his children who resided there. His sons continued to be involved in mining. Philip worked in Portovelo, Ecuador, South America looking for gold and Maurice had the Moss Back Mine in Mohave County, Arizona in the 1930's.

After Bert moved to the Grand Canyon, he continued to maintain an interest in mining and stayed involved with the Vulture Mine near Wickenburg.

[NAU.PH.] Moss Back Mine, Mohave County, circa 1930s.Moss Back Mine, Mohave County, circa 1930s.