The haunted history of Eagle County | VailDaily.com

The haunted history of Eagle County

Happy Valley has a bit of a dark side

Murders, monsters and mining misadventures…those topics will all be discussed in haunting detail this Wednesday at the Avon Public Library. Learn about how our Happy Valley has a dark side with Eagle County historian, Kathy Heicher.

To learn more about Eagle County’s haunted past, I met Heicher at, of all places, the Sunset View Cemetery in Eagle (it was daylight, thank goodness) and we walked through tombstones dating back to the early to mid-1900s. We’d stop every once in a while and Heicher would give me a brief story about whose tombstone was whose and what they did in Eagle County. It was really quite fascinating to think about the pioneering days and just what it was like to live here back then.  

In the spirit of Halloween, Heicher will speak about Eagle County’s haunted history and how it involves more than adventurous miners and hard-toiling farmers. There are also stories to be told about murder, tragedy, and perhaps the ghosts of a pioneer or two who just don’t seem to be at rest.

“Local history is always intriguing. And even back in the late 1800s, people could not resist a scary story with gory details. We find a surprising amount of that stuff in our archives. Some of the more captivating stories are just as fascinating today as they were back then,” Heicher said.

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And what about that shadowy monster that was blamed in early decades for the mysterious disappearances of miners and soldiers?

“In the 1880s, Eagle County was often a wild place, characterized by rowdy mining camps and risk-taking pioneers. While there are many stories of courage and fortitude, there are also tales of murder and monsters. Some of it is absolutely true, and some of it is more of what we now call ‘urban legend.’ It all factors in to what we are today.”

Peppered throughout Heicher’s talk will be all sorts of pictures from the Eagle County Historical Society and Eagle Valley Library District’s photo archive.

Heicher didn’t tell me all the tales and stories from Eagle County’s past in the cemetery that day because she wanted to save those details for the event at the Avon Public Library on Wednesday at 6 p.m. For more information, go to http://www.evld.org.


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