Time Machine: A look back at past decades in the Vail Valley | VailDaily.com

Time Machine: A look back at past decades in the Vail Valley

Compiled by Pam Boyd
The Derby Mesa School Class of 1922 gathers for a photo outside of the school house.
Photo courtesy Eagle Valley Library District and Eagle County Historical Society |

1 year ago

Week of Jan. 5, 2017

Two Gypsum families learned a lesson about gratitude over the holiday week. Their stories started when a local kid lost his debit card while home from college for the Christmas break. When he checked his card balance he found three charges he didn’t make — two fuel purchases and a purchase at a local business. Police tracked down the culprit, who immediately confessed. Because of the man’s deep remorse, the college student and his family elected not to press charges. The man was so grateful he also wrote a letter to the family. “I apologize for what I did and I am very grateful for the opportunity of being free and being with my family this Christmas,” he wrote.

The town of Eagle hired Jeremy Gross as the community’s new special events coordinator and Lynnette Horan as its human resources director.

5 years ago

Week of Jan. 3, 2013

Eagle County Commissioner Peter Runyon prepared to leave office after eight years of service.

The Colorado Department of Transportation closed the rest area along Interstate 70 in west Glenwood. The rest area was built in 1969 and the state said subsequent growth in the community resulted in traveler services being offered privately in the area.

The Porchlight Players announced that “The Full Monty” would be the Valentine’s Day dinner theater production.

10 years ago

Week of Jan. 3, 2008

Eagle County Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Forinash retired after serving 16 years in the position.

Chris and Susan Spiegel of Gypsum announced the birth of triplets Cayden Scott, Billy CJ and Shelby Sky, on Christmas Eve.

A Grinch stole Christmas for a Dotsero family. While members were out shopping in Glenwood Springs, a thief broke into the home and made off with all of the family’s wrapped presents as well as their DVD player, their collection of approximately 400 DVDs, a Playstation and a Wii game system. Neighbors reported seeing a car cruising through the area during the time frame when the theft occurred.

20 years ago

Week of Jan. 1, 1998

The Eagle County Commissioners approved a temporary use permit for a Christian high school at the site of Gracious Savior Lutheran Church in Edwards.

Two teams from Eagle Valley Middle School brought home trophies from the Future Problem Solvers Competition. The contest rewarded brainstorming skills and creativity.

The December cover of Snowboarder Magazine featured Eagle Valley High School graduate Travis Young careening over a cliff on a mountain in Switzerland.

Holly Tatnall, Eagle County extension agent for six years, left her post to launch a catering business in Cortez.

30 years ago

Week of Jan. 7, 1988

Gypsum officials proceeded with construction of a water filtration plant for the community. Gypsum’s water supply, up to that time, had been chlorinated but not filtered.

George “Bud” Gates was elected chairman of the Eagle County Board of Commissioners. Gates succeeded Dick Gustafson.

Todd Hennessey, a senior at EVHS, traveled to China with the Vail High School hockey team.

The line-up was announced for the four-day Vail Rocks event. The bill included James Brown, Kenny G. and Jerry Seinfeld.

40 years ago

Week of Jan. 5, 1978

A large sum of money went missing from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and all employees underwent polygraph tests as part of the theft investigation. The money ­— between $300 and $400 ­— belonged to jail inmates.

A group of 15 to 20 motorists were stranded in Eagle when a truck accident closed Glenwood Canyon. The stranded motorists spent a night at the town gym.

Ella Bindley, Eagle County’s new assessor, announced she would seek the Republican nomination for the office in the November election. Bindley was appointed assessor after the retirement of Clair Bertroch.

50 years ago

Week of Jan. 4, 1968

A 32-year-old Minturn man, James W. Gowers, froze to death. His body was found about 400 feet from his cabin on Grouse Creek. Eagle County Sheriff Jim Seabry said that the night before his body was found, Gowers had been drinking and he declined an offer for a ride to his home.

Temperatures in Eagle plummeted to -16 degrees.

Postage rates increased to 5 cents for postcards and 6 cents per ounce for first class mail.

A manpower shortage was the only thing keeping the New Jersey Zinc Mine at Gilman from top production for the closing year. Some 460 men were employed at the mine.

A New Year’s Day fire gutted the Covered Bridge Store in Vail, owned by John and Cissy Dobson.

60 years ago

Week of Jan. 2, 1958

Two special trains carrying Ohio State football fans rolled through Bond. The fans were headed to watch the Buckeyes play the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena.

Bond station agent Odis Simpson also reported that the Denver and Rio Grande ice harvest was in full swing. A local train was scheduled to work between Bond and Hot Sulphur Springs to handle the blocks of ice harvested at Gore Ponds. Some 30 to 35 cases of ice were moved daily to Grand Junction for storage in refrigerated cars.

70 years ago

Week of Jan. 2, 1948

Former Red Cliff resident and convicted murderer James Sherbondy, 28, was captured at an abandoned farm house after escaping from the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canyon City. Sherbondy was one of 10 inmates involved in the prison break.

For the first time, Eagle County residents were subject to Colorado state income tax.

John Samuelson, editor of the Glenwood Post, called for western Colorado to secede from the state and set up a separate state government. Samuelson was frustrated about the lack of good travel options over Loveland Pass and he argued that during the winter months, most of western Colorado was isolated from the rest of the state already.

The entire Eagle community and most of Gypsum went without electric power for more than a day after the Gypsum power plant broke down Christmas night.

80 years ago

Week of Jan. 7, 1938

Eagle County Sheriff Murray Wilson finally caught up with a robbery suspect he had∑ been pursuing since 1930. The suspect was accused of participating in an armed robbery at a Minturn pool hall. An informant helped Wilson track down the suspect in Denver.

The federal government’s decision to lower the price of silver to 64 cents per ounce was raising questions about the future of the Empire Zinc mining operation on Battle Mountain. Nearly 500 local men were employed at the site.

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