Saturday, August 27, 2011

Glenwood Springs, CO

On our way east toward the Colorado Rockies where there is snow on the highest elevations in mid-August, we stopped at Glenwood Springs, about two hours west of Denver. My grandfather, George Gibbons Hayes, was known as the Rockhound of the Rockies. He was a self-taught expert on mines, gems and minerals, and was a consultant for many, including the CO School of Mining.

In 1897, he was a seven-year-old orphan sent on a train from New York to a family in Glenwood Springs. However, no one met him at the station, and the family story is that the town drunk took him in.

I'm writing an adventure novel based on his life (think Indiana Jones and Oliver Twist) called "The Wildcat Orphan" and so I was researching the area where he grew up.

The original train station, in existence for 12 years where he arrived, was replaced by this one above, but the setting is the same small, friendly town. You can see the reflection of the mountains in the window - known as the Glenwood Canyon. A gorgeous area!

The Frontier Historical Museum and historian, Patsy, were very helpful looking for history on my grandfather. He delivered mail in that area - with a team of mules and also a Harley motorcycle with a side car! He wrote a poem, Timberline, and published four books about mining and included anecdotes.

The museum has a fabulous collection, including one on Doc Holliday - he died in that town!
If you are ever in that area, I suggest you visit:

Frontier Historical Museum
(970) 945-4448
1001 Colorado Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO