By Andrew Gulliford
Publication by means of Gulliford, Andrew
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Extra info for Boomtown blues: Colorado oil shale, 1885-1985
As an indication of the kind of country through which they flow"9 and concluded that the valley to the west of the present town of Parachute "is not Page 21 Hayden's survey crew in 1876 traversed the Colorado River Valley and found numerous mountains, canyons, and chasms but only one roada wagon road to Salt Lake City. From F. V. Hayden, Tenth Annual Report of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories Embracing Colorado and Parts of Adjacent Territories (1878). "12 The region would remain isolated and remote.
But before white men cut timbers for the first log cabins, Ute Indians, who were skilled horsemen, lived in the valley and regularly followed deer, elk, and an extinct species of mountain bison up narrow mountain trails to luxuriant summer meadows on the Flat Tops. The Ute Indians in the Colorado Rockies were made up of seven groups, but it is unknown which band assisted the first white men in crossing the riverFranciscan friars Silvestre Velez de Escalante and Francisco Dominguez. In 1776, these adventurous Spanish fathers left Santa Fe seeking a shorter route to California.
The day Congress threw open the Ute lands, June 1, 1882, A. B. Hurlburt left the Fall River Valley in northern California with 2,000 head of yearling ewes. By October 4, he had arrived at the point where Parachute Creek and the Colorado River Valley meet and for $100 bought the cabin and claim of a prospector known only as Hungry Mike. 19 Page 26 Unlike the raucous gold and silver boomtowns of the mining frontier, the quiet communities of Silt, Rifle, and Parachute in the upper Colorado River Valley were developed by homesteaders who became ranchers, farmers, and fruit growers.
Boomtown blues: Colorado oil shale, 1885-1985 by Andrew Gulliford