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Historian Gottschalk Updates Pioneer
Merchants of Las Vegas
Marcus Gottschalk is a deeply passionate historian who spent months on research and corroboration of the information he has collected for the current edition of Pioneer Merchants of Las Vegas, a book he says will continue to validate his belief that Las Vegas was the Southwest's most important commercial center for yearly 30 years in the late 19th century.
WB: Let’s begin by you telling our audience what you’ve been up to.
MG: Publishing my book, working on a Gottschalk family history, enjoying the activity around the Romero Reunion and researching Juan Jose Guadalupe Romero.
WB: Update us on the updates to your book, “pioneer Merchants of Las Vegas.”
MG: There is a new introduction and chapter one, and information about gold mining in New Mexico
WB: I understand it is one of the more popular books at Tome on the Range, especially among visitors.
MG: In addition to Tome, my book is available at UNIKAT, my wife’s jewelry store on Bridge Street.
WB: What are the elements of the book you think people will most benefit from?
MG: It’s a look at important individuals in early Las Vegas.
WB: With Heritage Week coming up in August, do you have any special events planned to promote the book?
MG: I’m considering a booth at People’s Faire, but that hasn’t been determined. I encourage folks to go to either UNIKAT or Tome to pick up a copy.
WB: In doing your research in preparation for updating the book, what where some of your more surprising discoveries?
MG: Indexing is always a challenge. I was surprised to learn how much information you can get through Google Books. It was also surprising to learn there was a Comanche presence in this area.
WB: What prompted you to write this book originally?
MG: I had created a series of essays about the early merchants and found there was a gap in American History having to do with the early years in the development of this area.
WB: If you could write on any particular subject—be it history-related or current—what would it be and why?
MG: If I had the luxury of time and a lot of money in the bank, I would write a complete history of pioneer merchants, and I would write a well-researched history on the banking system. There is a lot to be learned from a study of the system and how it has developed and evolved.
WB: What writers or historical influencers do you most admire and why?
MG: Dr. Lynn Perrigo, Twitchell, Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone.
WB: What do you want your book to be most remembered for?
MG: That Las Vegas—not Santa Fe—was the more important commercial center in the late 1800s, and that many Las Vegans were important in New Mexico as well as in American History.
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