1965 – the Dobsons move from Vt. to Vail
They skied in Vail in 1964 and felt it was time to move from Vermont and join the pioneers. The next year – 1965 – they bought a piece of land on Bridge Street by the river and built a building that they called the Covered Bridge Store. In order to retain a small bit of New England, they built what Peter Seibert had always wanted – the covered bridge. They paid half the cost. Although not European, it did give a touch of character.
On the evening of Jan. 2, 1968, a fire of undetermined origin was discovered in the Covered Bridge Store. It was Vail’s first major fire and a successful test for the fledgling volunteer fire department. There was extensive damage to the building. The fire was declared “out” at 3:30 a.m.
John was in Denver, but Cissy, their oldest son and another couple were aroused from sleep and escaped safely. To emphasize the community spirit, the Dobsons wrote the following letter.
“To Our Friends:
“Our fire early Tuesday morning was no fun for anyone. But we are all most grateful that everyone got out in time. The fantastic job done by the Vail Volunteer Fire Department literally saved the building.
“We will be cleaned up and starting to refurbish very soon.
“If anyone tries to tell you the greatest people in the world live elsewhere than in Vail, send them around to us!
“We have been deeply touched and appreciate so very much all the help and offers to help. We’ll never forget them.
“Our heartfelt thanks to all,
“Cissy and John Dobson”
The Dobsons became very involved in Vail’s activities, promoting the needs of the town. They were a main thrust behind the fund-raising effort to build the Vail Interfaith Chapel. John Dobson became mayor for eight years and was a leader on the Town Council for many town-improvement projects. The Dobson Arena is named for them.
Editor’s Note: In a continued effort to help the community understand its roots, the Vail Daily for a second time is serializing Dick Hauserman’s “The Inventors of Vail.” This is the 106th installment, an excerpt from chapter 12, “The Ever-Increasing “New Locals.” The book is available at Verbatim Booksellers, The Bookworm of Edwards, Pepi’s Sports, Gorsuch Ltd. and The Rucksack, as well as other retailers throughout the valley. Hauserman can be contacted by phone at 926-2895 or by mail at P.O. Box 1410, Edwards CO, 81632