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Having a steam whistle sounding at the base of the ski area is nothing new, however before I continue let's get a few facts straightened out.
The excavation just east of the depot that silenced the Steamboat Spring was made in 1908, not 1909.
The sound of the Steamboat Spring has been best described as "like a blast of steam at ten-second intervals as though from the long-stroke engines used to drive the paddle-wheel of a riverboat." The blast was preceded by a geyser of water out into the river.
The "air-raid" siren, retired in 2008, had nothing to do with the threat of atomic warheads launched by the Russians or anyone else. Indeed, Steamboat and surrounding rural schools were spared those useless duck-and-cover drills. Rather Steamboat Springs, like many small towns for many years, had a volunteer fire department. When the siren sounded those on the roster were expected to drop what they were doing and report to the firehouse. The siren was tested every day at noon, hence the tradition. For many years, probably beginning the late '20s, the siren was atop the former Crosswhite Livery Stable on 9th street, which served as the firehouse. When this building was demolished in 1975 to become the parking lot for the police station, the siren, replaced by a new, different "instrument," was moved to the 8th Street parking lot location.
Now back to whistles, an entirely different instrument. Rather then spend $25,000 for a new installation, how about locating the whistle that was installed above the gondola terminal in the 1970s and sounded (via compressed air) to announce ski school? This whistle came from a steam engine that powered roller mills in a granary on what's now Round Mountain Ranch on Upper Elk River. The whistle probably disappeared when the gondola terminal was rebuilt in 1986 to accommodate the present gondola, replacing Steamboat's first gondola. With this renewed interest the whistle could very well turn up. A few hundred dollars for an air compressor is all that would be necessary for it to work.
Frank Dolman's "invention" is not only not silly but not new either. Back when more vehicles sported radio antennas it was common practice to attach a red flag, such as a bandanna or pennant to the aerial so the car might be seen as it inches past a high snowbank.
In 1968 the ski area sported three chairlifts: Christie, Thunderhead and Four Points, with Headwall served by two Pomalifts, for a total of five lifts.
As long as we're rescuing historic houses let's give some thought to salvaging Rex Gill's cabin. It's long overdue. So where is it? It's hidden in the trees near the Highway House just south of town. It would probably have to be dismantled to be removed if the trees are to be spared.
How can the Yampa River qualify as "free flowing and wild from the Flat Tops to the Green" when it's restrained by four dams (one with a hydroelectric plant) along with a number of irrigation diversions? This subject has come up before so once again an explanation is due.
There's no need to hose down an entire community to control what is an annual, localized problem. I'm referring to the Deer Mountain/Elk River Estates area bisected by CR 129. We've always had grasshoppers and always will, just let them come and go as we do the dandelions. We haven't had a major 'hopper plague of biblical proportions since 2002. Our lawns, such as they are, recovered. Then there are those of us here that have bees; I have four hives. Regardless of what effect the chosen pesticide may or may not have on bees we beekeepers would prefer not to find out the hard, expensive way. Those whose properties are bothered by grasshoppers can deal with them on an individual basis. Let's keep in mind our country's sorry record of looking to high-tech, costly means of engaging enemies, real and imagined. They haven't always worked.
To learn more about beekeeping on a local level and the problems we face here such as bears and long, hard winters, feel free to join Routt County Beekeeping Association. We usually meet the second Tuesday of each month at Colorado Mountain College, however contact CMC to confirm date and time.
I have those 16mm projectors you're asking about under the Steamboat Lake ski area heading. Call 879-7556
I have three old 16mm projectors. Give me a call, 879-7556.
There were no video cameras, or camcorders for amateur use in the '70s. Footage was taken with an 8mm home movie camera.
Last login: Wednesday, March 30, 2016
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