Happy 100th birthday, Yampa
March 10, 2006
Steamboat Springs — After almost a year of planning, the town of Yampa is ready to celebrate its centennial.
“We are planning the party of the century. It’s going to be an entire year of celebration,” said Arlene Porteus, chairwoman of the committee planning the events.
Porteus said she is eager to share the town’s rich history and energy with the county at the town’s birthday party April 16.
Although the town was incorporated April 17, 1906, Karen Tussey said the party will take place a day early to make it more convenient for Yampa residents and county residents to attend the events.
Tussey said the April 16 events will begin later in the afternoon to accommodate people who want to attend Easter services.
Beginning at 2 p.m., people will be treated to a concert by the Yampa Valley Boys, a “souper” reception that will feature homemade soups and birthday cake and an “Images of Yampa” art show that chronicles the town’s past 100 years in photos.
“We want people who attend our birthday to bring their spirit of the Yampa Valley and their visions of the last century. We want people to think about where we have been and where we are going,” Tussey said.
Porteus explained that one of the most unique aspects of Yampa is its rich history and legends.
“The legend of Finger Rock is that the first pioneers came to Yampa thinking they found a paradise. They apparently put their fingers to their lips and said, ‘Shhhh, it’s our secret.’ Yampa really is the best kept secret,” she said.
Wendy Moreau, the town’s volunteer curator at Yampa-Egeria Mus–eum, said few people realize Yampa used to be a bustling pioneer town that supported three thriving hotels, a hospital, two grocery stores, a salon, a drugstore and restaurants.
The town, much like the rest of the county, changed after the railroads were built, bringing more people and businesses.
Tussey said she hopes that the events the town has planned for its centennial will commemorate its history and honor its unique place in the county.
“It’s mind-boggling to think about the continuity of Yampa from what it was in the past to where we are now. Some things have changed, but not the most important things, like the people,” she said.
Tussey said that when she moved to Yampa several years ago, she was overwhelmed with the kind welcome she received.
“I can’t believe I live here, not only because it’s beautiful, but because of the camaraderie of the people. They smile at you, they have conversations, they share with you,” she said.
Porteus and Tussey agree that they if they could, they would send invitations to every Routt County resident to join in the festivities.
“We want this to be open to everyone. We’d like to share our birthday with the entire community,” Tussey said.
“Everyone from the county is welcome,” Porteus added.
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