Rabbit Creek Country: Three Ranching Lives in the Heart of by Jon Thiem

By Jon Thiem

In 1997 Jon Thiem was once climbing in Livermore kingdom close to citadel Collins, Colorado. Following one fork of Rabbit Creek, he found an deserted apartment and actually walked into the lives of John and Ida Elliott and leave out Josephine Lamb. continuously all for past population of this land, and aware of the alterations wrought by way of sleek sprawl on its use and personality, Thiem pursued the tale of those former ranchers for almost a decade.What Thiem and examine affiliate Deborah Dimon stumbled on is that the 3 had an unconventional dwelling association that persevered for over 40 years, a dating that had as a lot to do with their love of the land as of every other.John Elliott's father moved his transforming into relations from Iowa to Kansas within the Eighties, then to northern Colorado in 1890 while John used to be twelve. He labored as a ranch hand and finally grew to become one of many largest landowners within the area.Ida Meyer ventured west from Nebraska in 1897. a major novice photographer, she labored as a waitress, and pie woman, on the neighborhood lodge until eventually she used to be in her early thirties. She and John ultimately tied the knot in 1908, and in 1910 he received one thousand acres on heart Rabbit Creek. Josephine Lamb grew up within the nation west of citadel Collins. Graduating from highschool in 1916, she turned a mountain instructor, touring to small distant colleges. leave out Lamb moved to the Elliott's ranch in 1919 to educate their in simple terms baby, dollar, until eventually he left for top university. She lived at Rabbit Creek Ranch, very likely as John Elliott's lover, for a few years after that, buying her personal land as time went by.Tracing the wrong humanity of those 3 intertwined lives opens a window on lifestyles within the mountain West in the course of the final century, together with ranching equipment and women's altering roles as better halves, moms, and homeowners.

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Extra resources for Rabbit Creek Country: Three Ranching Lives in the Heart of the Mountain West

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She, too, had been to Europe. A founding member and former president of the Livermore Woman’s Club, she was a “bluestocking”—a woman who had literary or intellectual interests. She and Elliott were nonetheless able to work together. Involved in Fort Collins life, she gave him a free hand on the ranch. Later, she earned a bachelor of arts degree from Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley and became dean of women there. In that capacity, she reappears later in this narrative. z Before young John Elliott began managing the Gilpin-Brown ranch, he had not only wandered the hinterlands of Livermore as a cowboy, but traveled the back roads and trails of northern Colorado as a freighter.

The earliest of these settlers was Fred Smith, the Elliott neighbor mentioned earlier. John worked for him from 1897 to 1899. Born in 1837, Smith first came to Livermore when it was still wilderness. He worked as a professional hunter in the early 1860s and made a living selling game meat to the Denver market. Later, he returned to the area to ranch and run a sawmill near Westlake. Smith was apparently the first settler to use the higher terrain of Deadman Park, a meadow west of Westlake, as summer pasture for his cattle.

With their expulsion, the fort had closed in 1867. The Fort Collins of 1890, when the Elliotts arrived, had a population of around 2,000—not much more than in 1880, but many more than in 1866, when the settlement boasted only 144 taxpayers. The small population, however, did not reflect the town’s importance as a market, transportation, and communication center for the northern part of the Colorado Front Range, a major stockraising and farming region that encompassed foothills, mountains, and the westernmost edge of the Great Plains.

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