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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ROSES BY VINCENT VAN GOGH, 1890

Public hanging

Public hanging

I found the negative in a cigar box that was tossed into a dumpster in Portland, Oregon. I have no idea of the history. View full size.

Cigar box?

You found this photo in a cigar box in a dumpster??? That's odd...that photo might be worth something. I would keep it and frame it, it's a piece of history.

Big!

Seems like an awfully big and heavy structure for a single hanging. Surely the forces sufficient to snap his neck would not have been anywhere near sufficient to need all those 2x8s, braces, and so on. Of course, lumber was cheap....

Building on the old gym news story...

The Chaffee County Courthouse and Jail Buildings are now a museum.
http://www.buenavistaheritage.org/Page.aspx?PageID=2355

at the bottom of the page:

The large room at the top of the stairs was once the heart of this venerable old building. This courtroom was the scene of many exciting cases. The fate of Nicolo Ferminello, an Italian accused of stabbing a man to death, was decided here. He was sentenced to die for his crime and his is Chaffee County's only "legal" hanging. He was hanged at the back of the jail complex. The room, which is now available for rental, has the original judge's bench and chair.

notice the use of scare quotes around legal hanging...

Some history

Here is a link to a story that mentions this event in passing: http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/main.asp?SectionID=7&SubSectionID=7&Ar...

"In 1888, the first legal hanging was held in this area behind the courthouse. This was the hanging of Nicolo Feminella, who was convicted of the murder of a fellow miner. A lot of history has evolved in this area and in the old McGinnis Gym."

Newspaper article

Chaffee County Times, Colorado

In 1888, the first legal hanging was held in this area behind the courthouse. This was the hanging of Nicolo Feminella, who was convicted of the murder of a fellow miner.

Maybe around Denver?

I googled the name, came up with very little except the name showing up twice in the undigized list of the Denver Public Library. There is a town in Colorado called Buena Vista.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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