History book by Kathy Heicher features Eagle County pioneers

EAGLE — Eagle County wouldn’t be what it is today without the adventurous group of pioneers who ventured west to the Eagle Valley in the 1880s, liked what they found and decided to stay.

Local historian Kathy Heicher captures the stories of 10 of those early- day settlers in her new book, “Eagle County Characters: Historic Tales of a Colorado Mountain Valley.” The book release date is June 10.

The pioneers that are profiled in the book range from John Root, the mountain man who settled on the Colorado River, to Ellis “Bearcat” Bearden, the Squaw Creek cattle rancher who expanded the family ranch with his 1930s boxing ring wins. Descendants of some of the county’s early settlers continue to live in the valley today.

“Describing the early pioneers as ‘colorful’ is a vast understatement. The men and women who ventured into this rough, raw mountain country and made it into a community were brave, smart and incredibly resourceful,” Heicher said.

The cost of the book, published by the History Press, is $19.99. The Bookworm of Edwards will host a book signing and program at 6 p.m. June 20.

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The Eagle County Historical Society will host a book signing at the History Museum in Eagle on June 21.

To order books in advance from the Eagle County Historical Society, call Sandy Van Campen at 970-328-6645 or email

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