Toward the end of February, young George Elder was taking his meals at the Tontine, a very fashionable restaurant in Leadville. In his letter of February 26, 1879, he wrote to his parents in Philadelphia:
. . . As to the material of my meals I live very well though I doubt if any one at the Tontine where I board lives as cheaply. Liver, ham, eggs, mutton and beefsteak are my standards. I drink no coffee or tea and thus the extra 10 cents I can put in something else. Milk cannot be had for love or money. Eggs are up so high that two fried eggs come at 25 cents . . .Using the Measuring Worth site, that 10-cent cuppa equates to a $2.14 cup of java today. And, trust me, we're not talking lattes in 1879. Those two fried eggs at a quarter? You'd be paying $5.36 for them in 2007. Given that the daily wage in the mines were about $3.50 (that's $75.05 in today's money), you can see that only the wealthy were ordering fried eggs for breakfast on a regular basis.