Red Cliff, Colorado

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On May 12, 1939, the Eagle Valley Enterprise published an article thanking local firms that helped build Eagle County.  After ten years of Depression economics, businesses were hard-pressed to stay open. 

WWBD? [What would Ben do? BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Postmaster General, July 26, 1775, to November 1776]

Well, let’s see.  It now costs 49 cents to mail a letter and 34 cents to mail a postcard and I’m not convinced that most of what I have to say is worth 49 cents to mail. “In addition to first-class mail, the higher rates will apply to magazines, newspapers, advertising mail and bills, which together account for most of the 158 billion pieces of mail delivered every year.”  --Lisa Rein, Washington Post, Jan. 27, 2014 This, of course, leads me to thoughts of Eagle County mailings in the past. Postcard from the Wells-Ryden collection Postcard from the Wells-Ryden collection

Show and Tell

Another fun Saturday at the Red Cliff Museum produced several objects shared by the inimitable Angela Beck.  All of these items were used in Red Cliff at some point in the last 100 years but some of those usages are no longer current so some research became necessary.  What am I looking at and what was its use? IMG_1762

It's Later than You Think

Please don't ask me where your summer went.  I have no idea and I vaguely remember May but not June and July.  However, August brings the 16th Annual Red Cliff Studio Tour August 17-18.  What a good excuse to do some pre-holiday shopping and visit the always exciting town of Red Cliff. img790B

Early Days on the Eagle

It is fortunate for me that Early Days on the Eagle, prepared and published by MacDonald Knight and Leonard Hammock, 1965, was written.  Based on extensive research done by MacDonald Knight as foundation for his master’s thesis, Early Days documents the history of Eagle County from before 1879 to the mid-20th century.  I have answered many reference questions using this resource and have been fortunate to learn a little about the man who did the research. Knight1

We Were Soldiers Once...and Young (thanks to Moore and Galloway)

May 18, 2013, was our most recent Armed Forces Day.  President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank all our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. [Memorial Day (Decoration Day) had been designated a remembrance for those killed in defense of their country.] On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. 2013ArmedForcesDayHiRes

Waiting for the Bridge

The couple seated at the top of this land form is not identified, but the pose is certainly entertaining.  We might let our examination of this photo stop there but, if we did, a lot of local history would be lost.  To begin with, where is it?  [Don't forget to click on the photos to get larger images.] 2013.001.006

H2Know Colorado

Each year, the Eagle Valley Library District and the Walking Mountain Science Center present the High Country Speaker Series.  H2Know Colorado, this year’s winter series, focuses on water, something we’re all interested in, especially given the current drought conditions. As part of the EVLD focus, there is an exhibit of six topographic maps of the Eagle River printed in 1954 by the U.S. Geological Survey.  With accompanying historical photographs from our collection, the exhibit begins at the western end of the Eagle River and goes upstream to the headwaters in six beautifully drawn contour sheets. The seventh sheet is a profile sheet showing the various elevations of the river as it drains Eagle County. Eagle River, looking east, with the town of Eagle in the background, circa 1930. Eagle River, looking east, with the town of Eagle in the background, circa 1930.

Something old, nothing new...

It's always exciting to visit the Red Cliff Museum.  Artifacts turn up routinely, providing the opportunity for research and enlightenment. On just such a visit, Angela Beck presented me with a relatively heavy, metal item found by Diana Cisneros.  I said that I would be happy to do some digging. Unwrapping the item, I was immediately presented with lettering on the item:  Kantsuk pat..d Aug 16, 1910.  That made life in the research trenches much easier.

Please Mr. Postman

For those of us living in rural areas, the U.S. Postal Service has been a tie to the outside world.  In Eagle County, those ties were first supported by stage coach and rider deliveries, later railroad deliveries, and more recently by truck. Whatever the means employed, small rural post offices kept miners, ranchers and families in touch with relatives and business partners.  Not a small feat.  It continues today. Enter the  “21st Century Postal Service Act of 2012,” announced in 2011.    In an effort to offset operational losses of the last few years, the Postal Service considered closing many small, rural post offices.  For Eagle County, that meant Red Cliff, Bond and Burns were on the possible closure list. Diana Cisneros, Postmaster, Red Cliff, July 2011