Boathouse display added to Pioneer Town
By Verna Barr
Published Wednesday, August 26, 2015 10:26 am
The newest exhibit at Pioneer Town has been set up in the western silo. Marilyn Boyd and her daughter brought in a glass case and have displayed a collection of memorabilia from the boathouse that once stood at Barren Lake on Grand Mesa. Originally named Barren because there were no fish in the lake. When fish were added, the name was changed to Baron. However, Williams never changed the original sign that is now part of the display at Pioneer Town.
Art Williams, Marilyn Boyd's father, built the boathouse at the request of the U.S. Forest Service when the lake was stocked with fish. As proprietor for 50 years, Williams rented boats to Grand Mesa residents, campers and day visitors on both Barren and Eggleston Lakes.
The boathouse also served as a summer home for the Williams family, Art, his wife Monedith and four daughters.
There was also a snow-house, built like an icehouse, packed with snow surrounded by sawdust. This served as a refrigerator for the family and to keep the pop cold that was sold at the store which also sold fishing tackle, candy and cigarettes.
Boyd tells, "My sisters and I were sometimes tipped 5 or 10 cents for holding a boat for a regular customer. We were always eager for school to close for summer vacation and reluctant to leave for the valley below when school started every fall."
Being able to cast his line and catch trout was what kept Williams on Grand Mesa for 50 years. He truly loved the mesa and gave his heart and soul to his business. He was also the caretaker for the Coldstream Water Association which provided water to the cabins on Grand Mesa. This responsibility meant he was the first to arrive at the beginning of the season and the last to leave.
The display illustrates some of Grand Mesa's history and is a tribute to the memory of Art Williams. His family felt that its donation of the display to Pioneer Town is the best place to preserve this bit of local history.