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The best description of what the Steamboat Spring, as well as a steamboat sounded like was "like a blast of exhaust steam at 10 second intervals as though from the long-stroke engines that turned the paddle-wheel of a riverboat." This was passed down by an old-timer in a series of Pilot articles in the late '80s that sought to chronicle the earliest mentions of our mineral springs by those exploring this area including, possibly, French trappers.
For the record, I wasn't born in S.S. I was three years old when our family moved here in 1949.
Let's all continue to support the Great Pumpkin's administration if only for its entertainment value.
Butcherknife Creek is meant, rather than Spring Creek, which is farther upstream near Rabbit Ears Motel.
The Arnolds had a dairy barn west of the subject barn built of cinder blocks, since demolished. A corner of it is seen at the left of the photo at the top of this page and on page 2 of the print edition. Built in 1947 ("A busy farm") it would serve as a maintenance shop for the ski area during its beginning years, the early '60s. Later on Sombrero Stables used it, offering horseback rides on the mountain.
That's Fetcher, without the 'l'. Shame on you! The photo is titled "Cat with cat."
That's Fetcher, without the 'l'. Shame on you!
The photo it titled "Cat with cat."
The building on 7th Street between Pine and Aspen was built as a high school, as stated over its north entrance, in 1918. It supplemented a previous structure (1911-1967) that faced Pine Street and had served all grades and had become outgrown. While often referred to as the Old Junior High, the existing building didn't become so until the fall of 1965 when the high school moved into its new facility on Maple Street.
Now about those mystery columns at 3rd and Lincoln...
Class of '65, the last class to graduate from the old high school.
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.
Last login: Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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