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Valley Vintage

Local History Blog

  • Nov 08, 2010

    Over there

    Veterans Day, a federal holiday in the United States, honors all military veterans.  It is celebrated on November 11th, commemorating the most significant armistice of World War I, which was signed at 5AM November 11, 1918, and came into effect six hours later—“the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”  President Woodrow Wilson made November 11, 1919, the first celebration of Armistice Day.     Read More »

  • Nov 02, 2010

    Water, Water Everywhere

    Water and the infrastructure necessary for ensuring community health has been a problem for Red Cliff for at least twenty-five years.  The town lived under a  boil order for fourteen months, one of the longest issued by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment,  as a protection against Giardia.  That ended in May 2002 when a partially grant-funded micro-filtration water plant came on line.  It replaced the old system which was overwhelmed with sediment during spring runoff.  (Photo...    Read More »

  • Oct 07, 2010

    Odd Lots

     Visual literacy is the process of examining a photograph for detail and then making inferences base on those details.  Does the photograph raise any questions?  My primary question is usually “Who is holding the camera?”  That question, if answered, may provide a great deal of context.  Another question might be “Is a particular event being photographed?”  Wedding photographs are usually very obvious.  “Who is in the photograph?” may present the most frustration if the photo isn’t labeled. ...    Read More »

  • Sep 20, 2010

    Fire Season

    Forest fires in Colorado can easily get out of hand.  The recent fires near Boulder destroyed many homes and all Colorado communities watching Boulder are concerned.  More people are building out from the suburbs in forested areas, beetle kill pines are providing a lot of fuel, and the summer is prime time for lightning strikes.  A recent brush fire in Eagle was rapidly extinguished but not before the rising smoke provided some tense moments.     Read More »

  • Sep 03, 2010

    Revolutions Redux

    Electricity came late to rural Eagle County.  By 1928, the town of Eagle had an established grid.  Many less populated areas relied on generators, mostly gasoline driven.  Avon, with a population spread over many ranched miles, was without commercial electricity in 1928 but it did have the Eagle River.  Emmett and Myrtle Nottingham decided that they would use the fast-flowing river to produce electricity.    Read More »

  • Aug 11, 2010

    Burying the Past

    Cemeteries provide so much history for genealogists and researchers.  Cemetery and mortuary records are usually accurate and are a source of birth and death dates, interment dates, and information about place of death.  When these records are compromised, most recently noted at our national cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, there is indignation over the breach of trust with regard to respect for the deceased. For early settlers in any geographical region, many burials took place outside of...    Read More »

  • Jul 16, 2010

    My Little Rocky Mountain Canary (thank you, W.C.)

    In addition to being a term of endearment used by W. C. Fields, Rocky Mountain Canary refers to that glorious beast of burden, the burro, used by early prospectors in the American West.  In the West the word “burro,” coming from the Spanish, is interchangeable with “donkey.”  There is now recognized a connotation of size, a burro being a smaller donkey, but whatever the size, the braying characteristic of the animal can be heard for over three kilometers.  This vocalization  (“eeyore”) named...    Read More »

  • Jun 26, 2010

    What's Black and White and Read All Over?

    Historic newspapers are such a rich source of information, especially for our small towns of Western Slope Colorado.  When newspapers and letters were the only choices for the dissemination of information, the content was rich and the local goings-on were well documented.  If Chester Mayer went to the County Seat in Red Cliff to conduct business, there would be a paragraph mentioning his trip in the Eagle Valley Enterprise...    Read More »

  • Jun 10, 2010

    Mt. of the Holy Cross Scrapbook

    Scrapbooks fall into the class “visual biography,” so aptly categorized by Jessica Helfand in Scrapbooks, an American History p. ix.  Generally speaking, scrapbooks are collections of ephemera, things not meant to last forever:  movie ticket stubs, letters, pressed flowers, clippings, etc.  The one thing they have in common is that they mean something to the collector and thus give us information about the collector. It...    Read More »

  • May 20, 2010

    More Volcanoes

    Similar in age to the volcanic rock covering the Flat Tops, Castle Peak is a distinctive volcanic visual marker north of the town of Eagle.  At 11,275 feet, it is covered with snow during a large part of the year, making summer hiking preferable.  It is also summer range for elk and deer and home to a variety of wildlife.  Meadows and stands of fir, spruce and aspen provide habitat and great views over the dramatic landscape.    Read More »


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