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Valley Vintage

Local History Blog

  • Nov 14, 2011

    Lou Clark Layman

    I met Lou Layman in 2009.  Born Mary Lou Clark at Derby Mesa in 1933, Lou spent her last years living in Rifle with her dog, Norman.  Not able to get around without difficulty, Lou invited me to her place to look at her photo albums and talk about her parents, both teachers in Eagle County and ranchers at Edwards.  She shared her photos with us digitally, in addition to a history of her parents and some of her poetry.  Lou graduated from the University of Colorado, School of Journalism and was...    Read More »

  • Oct 17, 2011

    Thank you, Charley Vail

    It’s that time of year when those of us on the Western Slope of Colorado take bets about reaching Denver due to weather conditions, accidents and traffic on I-70.  While these considerations are valid, especially given the large number of travelers every day on I-70, the route to Denver was even longer in 1936.  At that time, “…the most popular road from Denver to Grand Junction is through Fairplay, Buena Vista and Leadville,” according to Colorado Highway Engineer Charles D. Vail [Eagle...    Read More »

  • Sep 26, 2011

    Unidentified but Eye-Catching

    The cache of unidentified photos from the Nogal/Ping Hotel continue to attract attention.  We have four albums available to the public and have even had a few people come in and put names to faces and give context to events.  Since these are all local photos, identifying a person in one photograph means that a person has a name should he or she turn up in another.  At this point, some of the faces are beginning to feel like relatives....    Read More »

  • Aug 26, 2011

    “Here’s the Church, here’s the steeple…”

    Red Cliff, Colorado, has two extant churches, both built over a hundred years ago. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church on Pine Street above the town continues to hold worship services on Sundays. The building itself has seen many changes since its construction in 1889.    Read More »

  • Aug 05, 2011

    Going, going, gone 1892-2011

    Deconstruction of the Nogal-Ping Hotel [built in 1892] at the corner of Capitol St. and Hwy 6 in Eagle is done.  Claude DeGraw took it down, piece by piece.  Some of the pieces will be used elsewhere and some pieces are headed to landfill.  During this process, Eagle County Historical Society member, Sandy Van Campen, took some great photographs of the building and some of the items found inside.  Thanks to Sandy for this...    Read More »

  • Jul 18, 2011

    Caption Challenge

    As previously noted, logging  in the 1930s and 1940s in eastern Eagle County was done in rough terrain at a high altitude.  Horses and skids were used to move trimmed logs to the point where tractors could take over. The logs then went to the mills for trimming.  Moving trimmed timbers to the railroad for transport  in steep areas was difficult.  At Peterson Gulch, this was accomplished by a surface tram.  Rails (about .25 the size of railroad rails) carried two cars using cables  on which...    Read More »

  • Jun 22, 2011

    It Was Here Just a Minute Ago…

    The construction of I-70 through Eagle County followed closely the plan advocated by Charles Vail, Colorado State Highway Engineer.  “It will eliminate the ‘Seven Sisters’ area where snow slides now form a continual hazard on the east side of Loveland Pass.  The route [from Empire Junction near Idaho Springs to Dotsero] would go through Dillon, Dowd and Vail Pass.” [Eagle Valley Enterprise,  April 21, 1960 p.1]  The Dowd Junction to Wolcott area was the most expensive stretch with 3.5...    Read More »

  • Jun 08, 2011

    Capitol and Hwy 6: End of an Era

    The deconstruction of the buildings at the corner of Capitol and Highway 6 in Eagle has recently continued with warmer weather.   Of these structures, the largest building has been a part of the Town of Eagle’s history since 1893, when Charley Nogal started a small hotel business.  By 1894, this imposing structure was a thriving hotel for travelers and railroad workers.     Read More »

  • May 16, 2011

    Whatever Happened to…the Bond Coach School?

    On June 16, 1934, the Dotsero Cutoff was dedicated, shortening the rail distance between Denver and Salt Lake City by 173 miles, creating a direct route from Chicago to Denver to San Francisco.  The connection/switch where the Denver & Salt Lake left to join the Denver & Rio Grande Western was at Orestod (Dotsero spelled backwards), 38 miles from Dotsero, and this is where the D&RGW established its Bond station....    Read More »

  • May 04, 2011

    Preservation and Nimon-Walker

    What better way to recognize National Preservation Week (April 24-30, 2011) than to celebrate Local History in Eagle County.  Since 2001, the Eagle Valley Library District, in cooperation with the Eagle County Historical society, has recognized individuals whose work has helped preserve the history of Eagle County by the Nimon Walker Award [Jim Nimon and Louise Walker being the first recipients]. The Beck Family of Red Cliff, the eastern end of Eagle County, is the 2011 recipient of the Nimon-...    Read More »


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