One woman left to tell story of town

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History stays around as long as there is someone to tell it. Today, there is only one woman left to tell a piece of Routt County history, and she lives in Craig.

Maxine Turner, whose maiden name is Maxine Trull, holds the history of the town of Trull in a pile of family photographs, a few stories she heard from her parents and a couple newspaper clippings full of conflicting information.

The site of a small town that once was a bustling stagecoach stop now is nothing more than pasture. Long ago, grass and the elements took what was left of Trull's saloon, post office, boarding house and livery stable.

Turner has a photo from the turn of the century of the old boarding house. A few men and women sit stiffly on the porch -- the men in dark suits and the women in ankle-length dresses.

Turner remembers hearing stories about dances that were held on the top floor of the boarding house.

"It's been so long since that house was there, and people don't believe me that it ever was," Turner said.

According to an undated newspaper clipping from the Steamboat Pilot written about Turner's grandfather, George Trull, the town once was in the running for the county seat and was also the location of the first telephone in Routt County -- the line ran from Meeker to Trull to Hahn's Peak.

For 25 years, George Trull was the postmaster of the Trull Post Office.

Many of the former residents of Trull are buried in the nearby cemetery on Routt County Road 44. Now called the Elk Mountain Cemetery, it was once called the Trull Cemetery.

Turner is the last of the original Trulls living in Colorado. She has two relatives -- a cousin in British Colombia and one in California.

From the late 1800s until the Great Depression, the town of Trull was a hub of activity in Routt County. Now, it's difficult to find someone who has even heard of it.

"There's nothing there now," Turner said. "My husband and I used to go fishing out there, with permission from (landowner) Don Sherrod."

John Trull, Turner's father's grandfather's uncle, founded the town. When she took a genealogy course, Turner tried to track that side of the family. John Trull moved from Maine to Colorado. There was no record of why he made the move and no record of where the family lived before Maine, Turner said.

"All I know about it are these photos and what I've heard," she said. "I didn't ask enough questions when they were around. Back then, I wasn't as curious as I am now."

Trull is no longer on any modern map of Routt County, but Turner said that it was on the map for many decades after the town officially died. She remembers showing it to her children when they were young.

The town of Trull met its demise in two ways. The road was changed, and people no longer stopped in Trull on their way to Hayden. But more famously, there was the flu epidemic of 1918 that took the lives of many of the remaining residents of the town of Trull. According to an undated newspaper clipping, the flu was thought to have come to Trull through a letter to Martha Trull from her sister, a nurse at a hospital in Scotland, where there was an epidemic.

George Trull and his wife Martha lived in the town for 35 years before moving to a cabin in Steamboat Springs that still stands at 513 Pine St. When they left, that was the last of the town of Trull.

-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com

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