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Valley Vintage

Local History Blog

  • 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 »

  • Apr 11, 2011

    100 Years of Gypsum

    This fall, Gypsum marks its 100th anniversary as an incorporated town in Eagle County .  According to the Eagle County Blade of August 11, 1911, “Yes, we are taking steps to incorporate…We will in the course of a few days have electricity available for lighting and will then be the only town in the county to have taken that progressive step…I want you to know that Gypsum today has as good mercantile institutions and is doing as much business as any town in the county.” During Gypsum...    Read More »

  • Mar 16, 2011

    Changes at Pando

    The narrow, crescent-shaped valley where Camp Hale was to be built had a train stop at the northern end, Pando, and meadows and woods at the south-eastern end called Eagle Park.  In 1898, Col. Lew Frances of Pando cut and shipped timber from his ranch through Leadville.  By 1922, Herman Stein had incorporated the Pando Sheep and Land Company, using Eagle Park as high grazing land.  The Isabell Ranch in Eagle Park was famous for its lettuce and spinach grown by Denny Isabell and after him, the...    Read More »

  • Feb 16, 2011

    February 18-25, 1945

    January 1945, sixty-six years ago now, marked the beginning of the 10th Mountain Division’s campaign to secure Riva Ridge and the Belvedere massif, controlled by the German  Panzer Corps and the Mountain Corps.  In order to get to the Apennines, the 10th moved through Italy at night.  Rain and wet snow turned hazardous roads to mud.  Regular small-arms fire from German patrols provided tension.   All three regiments, 85th, 86th, 87th, set up between the Serchio River and the base of Mt....    Read More »

  • Feb 04, 2011

    The Red Book

    In every local history collection, there is a gem unique to that collection, which epitomizes interest in the area.  For Eagle County, we have A History of Eagle County.  It was a compilation written by school children and their teachers in the early 1940s, in scrapbook form.   Each local community was given a section making eighteen sections total, covering Red Cliff to Basalt.  Photographs and maps were included...    Read More »

  • Jan 18, 2011

    Bozhe moi! [My God!]

    We've all heard stories about records being lost in town hall fires and floods,  monastery libraries ravaged by infidels (even infidel co-religionists), and folk just throwing out piles of photographs and papers when a loved one dies without sorting for importance. The documentation for historical purposes is critical in that local history becomes local myth and legend without a little backup.    Read More »


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