Historical Society offers book about life on Brush Creek | VailDaily.com

Historical Society offers book about life on Brush Creek

Daily staff report
Eagle County CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyJoe Dice, son of author Helen Dice, with his horse.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Looking at Brush Creek today, it’s sometimes hard to picture this fertile valley as a ranch community back in the agricultural heyday of Eagle County.

The late Helen Dice, a ranch wife who raised her family on Brush Creek, captured the essence of that life from the 1930s to the 1950s in her book “A Cup of Clear Cold Water: Life on Brush Creek.”

The popular book, first published in 1980, has been out of print for several years. The Eagle County Historical Society, working with a grant from the Eagle River Foundation, just recently completed a re-printing of the book. Dice, who came to Eagle as a young wife and mother, captures the hard work involved in being a rancher’s wife. In one chapter, she describes how the washtub was used for everything from butchering hogs to bathing babies. Dice also captures the good times, offering accounts of fish fries, card games, viewing the movie “Gone with the Wind” at the Eagle movie theater, neighborhood card games and community dances.

“This book recalls not only our family history, but recalls a time, place, and way of life that is no more,” says Debera Dice Stewart, Helen Dice’s granddaughter.

Eagle County Historical Society member Jan Fedrizzi led a crew of volunteers who took on the task of re-publishing the book, which involved re-typing the manuscript, editing, creating an upgraded index and finding a publisher.

There’s some changes in the book. The new version of “Life on Brush Creek” is a paperback, rather than a hardback, which will keep the price more affordable.

There’s also new photographs of the Dice family and the Brush Creek ranching community (the old photos could not be found). However, the original pencil sketches of ranch life (draw by Stewart) were retained.

“I think people will be pleased with the end result,” said Historical Society President Kathy Heicher, “We have very few books that chronicle the history of this valley. Helen Dice’s book is a local treasure.”

Cost of the book is $16.95. “A Cup of Clear Cold Water” is available at the Nearly Everything Store in Eagle (970-328-6875); or at the Bookworm in Edwards (970-926-READ).

For more information, contact Sandy Van Campen at 970-328-6645; or at gdma09@gmail.com.

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