Colorado historian to speak in Eagle Sunday |

Colorado historian to speak in Eagle Sunday

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado

Colorado historian Thomas Noel will be the keynote speaker at the Nimon-Walker Award event at the Eagle Public Library at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Noel, often referred to as “Dr. Colorado” is a history professor at the University of Colorado Denver. He will present a program featuring landmarks along the Colorado River, including Eagle County.

Noel is the author of numerous Colorado history books and is a frequent columnist for the Denver Post newspaper. He also leads tours for History Colorado and the Smithsonian Institution. He is also the director of public history, preservation and Colorado studies at CU-Denver.

The Nimon-Walker Award is a joint program by the Eagle Valley Library District and the Eagle County Historical recognizing people who have made significant contributions to preserving local history. This year’s recipient is long-time valley resident Jack Oleson, who has restored a number of historic buildings and created a private history museum. A life-long collector of antiques and artifacts, he has created a fascinating private museum near his home on the Diamond Star Ranch a few miles east of Eagle.

He has also shared photographs and his historical knowledge for various projects.

Oleson also spent hundreds of hours restoring historic buildings that are now located in the upper territory of that ranch. The restoration work often required dismantling, then reconstructing log buildings. The completed projects include a historic schoolhouse, complete with antique desks and a mannequin schoolmarm. He also restored the Cowden and Howl family homestead cabins, as well as the Oleson family cabin that his parents occupied near Gypsum when he was born. He is undoubtedly the only person in the county with a restored Conestoga covered wagon in his garage.

The Nimon-Walker Award, established in 2001, recognizes individuals whose work has helped preserve the history of Eagle County.

“Jack has been an invaluable information source for us. He is always generous in sharing his knowledge,” said Historical Society President Kathy Heicher.

The award presentation and Noel talk will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and the public is invited this free program.

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