A window at Walsenburg's abandoned power plant. According to Colorado Preservation, Inc.: "Built to provide power to the Walsen Mine, Walsen Camp, and the town of Walsenburg, the power plant is the last remaining structure of the once bustling Walsen Camp, a coal mining settlement dating from the late 1870's."
The coal mines were part of a network of local mines operated by a group led by Colorado Fuel and Iron. When the new UMW organized the miners into the big strike of 1914, Rockefeller-owned CF&I brought in the Colorado National Guard to disperse the strike which was centered in Ludlow. After the deadly confrontation of April 20 (the Ludlow Massacre) the miners struck back, organizing into punishing raids against the mines in the forty miles between Trinidad and Walsenburg. Fighting only abated after scores of lives were lost and President Wilson sent in Federal troops to disarm both sides.
The Ludlow Massacre led directly to the US implementing child labor laws and a national 8-hour workday, among other reforms. Recently, Newt Gingrich, a historian, advocated radically abolishing child labor restrictions.