On Sunday, Feb. 26, the Hotchkiss-Crawford Historical Society held its 37th annual membership meeting. This year's meeting was held in the community room at Crawford Town Hall.
The business part of the meeting involved the election of 2012 officers. They are president Chuck Farmer, vice president Margaret Deutsch, secretary Kathy McKee and treasurer Karen Martin.
Inez Pottorff is corresponding secretary. Co-curators are Chuck Farmer, Dennis Turner, Nancy Phillips and Kathy McKee. Historians are Laura Turner and Marilyn Tate. Nancy Phillips is docent coordinator and Karen Lacey handles membership.
Chuck Farmer told the membership that the museum received 20 entries in the 2012 Hotchkiss Sheep Camp Stock Dog Trials Art Contest. The artwork will be on display from March 17 through May 13.
This winter the museum has had eight presentations on pioneer families and others who made a difference in the community. Two more presentations are scheduled. On March 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the museum, Danny Cotten will give a presentation on sawmills on Black Mesa and in the Crawford area and also the Diamond JO cattle outfit in the 1880s. April 21 at 1:30 p.m., Ross Allen will talk about the Allen family and their influence on the area.
David Primus, Gunnison author and historian, gave a presentation, "Beneath Blue Mesa." The dam was completed in 1965 on the Gunnison River about 30 miles west of Gunnison, 30 miles east of Montrose and within 1-1/2 miles of Sapinero.
The program shared facts about Blue Mesa Dam and Reservoir. It has an earth-filled embankment with a structural height of 390 feet, a crest length of 785 feet and a volume of 3,080,000 cubic yards of materials. At maximum water surface elevation the reservoir occupies 9,180 acres and is about 20 miles long. The Blue Mesa is the largest body of water in Colorado with a shore line of about 100 miles. The power plant has two 30,000 kilowatt generators, driven by two 41.55 horsepower turbines, each designed to operate at a maximum head of about 360 cubic feet of water per second.
That's the way it is now. But, Primus shared what it was like before the dam and reservoir were created. There were homes, hotels, fishing resorts, train service, bridges and cattle ranches in the small towns that were in the area.
To make the area ready for the new dam and reservoir, those hotels and homes were moved or burned to the ground. Bridges were left standing and are now beneath a mountainous amount of water.
The slide show featured a final cattle round up, trains connecting people and commerce, a group of boaters and fishermen and women who called themselves the Gunnison Navy and the grand opening ceremony for the Blue Mesa.
People watching the presentation shared some of their own remembrances. Others nodded as Primus spoke, acknowledging a former small town or a home their family had lived in.
At the end of his presentation, Primus was surrounded by people who wanted to talk a little bit more about what it used to be like to live in the area before the dam came and changed their lives forever.blog comments powered by Disqus