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Valley Vintage

Local History Blog

  • Jan 03, 2012

    2011 in review

    The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog. Here's an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the complete report.    Read More »

  • Dec 28, 2011

    Another Year of Local History

    We’re now in that week preceding a new year.  It’s time to make those resolutions.  [Please do remember that one of last year’s resolutions was to label all your photos appropriately; that’s still applicable this year.]  It’s time to visit with family and friends during a time of school vacations.  It’s time to take advantage of those after-holiday sales… In the Eagle Valley Enterprise, December 29, 1911, we find life in Eagle progressing at a different pace, perhaps, but certainly...    Read More »

  • Dec 09, 2011

    Ten Mile Mercantile Co.

    We find all sorts of interesting things when walking in Eagle County.  Many people are amazed at how much mining equipment is still out there, abandoned, for example.  John Martinez, a resident of Red Cliff, found a metal sign for “The Ten Mile Mercantile Co.” while walking along the railroad tracks some years ago now.    Read More »

  • 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 »


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