Honoring Eagle County’s pioneering women in Women’s History Month: Kids Corner for the week of 3/1/21
Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at email@example.com.
Learn about Eagle County history each week.
Men settled Eagle County. Women civilized it. And organizations such as the Ladies Aid Society played a big role in making the Eagle Valley a welcoming community for pioneer families. Today, we take a look at the women who changed Eagle County in honor of Women’s History Month.
The Ladies Aid Society started with the Civil War. The women left at home while their fathers, husbands and sons fought in a terrible conflict wanted to do something other than worry. Recognizing that the soldiers lived in deplorable conditions that caused sickness and disease, the women helped by making and sending clean clothes, blankets and food.
After the war, the women, who had enjoyed working together, wanted to continue to make a difference in their communities. They also enjoyed the social opportunities of weekly meetings.
In Eagle County, Ladies Aid Societies formed in Red Cliff, Eagle, Basalt and Gypsum. The group in Gypsum, organized in 1897, was affiliated with the Methodist Church. They supported the church by raising money to pay the preacher’s salary, and also for such necessities as church pews, stained glass windows, and insurance.
The women earned money by cooking and serving community dinners, raffling off beautiful hand-made quilts, and taking in sewing projects for hire. The Ladies Aid Society was at the heart of most community gatherings.
The Gypsum Society made a tradition of sewing and filling Christmas stockings for the children of the community, then handing them out at a party. They hosted dinners on election days, so that ranchers traveling a long distance into town could have a warm meal. They financed public drinking fountains in town.
The women also were a political force. In 1908, the Ladies Aid Society convinced voters to make Gypsum a “dry” (no alcohol) town, long before prohibition.
The Ladies Aid Societies were active in the county for at least 50 years, making this valley a better place to live.
Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.
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Women’s History Month / Mes de la Historia de la Mujer
Outside Scoop: It’s going to snow
Even with hints of spring in the air these days, March in the Vail Valley is historic for insane spring snowstorms that can unload more than two feet of snow on the slopes, and in your backyard, sometimes. How and why does this happen, and what do we have to look forward to?
In the town of Vail during March, snow typically falls for 13 days and typically leaves behind 10 inches of snow. Most seasons, the town will get 108 inches of snow in a year. However, the mountain slopes and peaks log much, much more snow depending on what direction they face. This plays a huge roll in upslope / downslope storms.
March gives way to daylight savings time (when we change our clocks and spring forward) which helps usher in warmer temperatures with more daylight hours. This impacts the snow. Typically, this makes for lighter, fluffier snow from warmer temperatures of the month. And, fluffier snow piles up faster than wet, dense snow. You know that if you have ever shoveled the driveway or sidewalk.
More sunshine means snow can turn to slush mighty fast. That is why March can seem even wetter than it actually is—it’s either snowing or sunny warmth melts it.
What is a bomb cyclone?
In March 2019, a bomb cyclone struck Denver, the State’s Capital. A bomb cyclone is a storm that forms very, very quickly and can be measured when the barometer drops a certain number of millibars within 24 hours. This can result in intense winds and precipitation. This storm created a widespread blizzard, with winds between 60 and 80 miles per hour and between one and three feet of snow fell across the county.