David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


It seems to me that every time we make a little progress something really nice disappears. For every elevator built in the shadow of Mt. Meeker, there's an institution that goes under.

This time, it's the Estes Park Hardware, which closed its doors about the turn of the year.

Some of my earliest memories of Estes Park are associ¬ated with the Estes Park Hardware Store. Its floor, for instance, intrigued me. It looked as though lots of things had dropped on it and been spilled on it. And the store smelled like paint and turpentine and you had to slide sideways down its jammed aisles.

We almost never went in the front door. The front door was for tourists. We parked in back, and so, apparently, did everyone else. When they put in the new Confluence Park they took out the EPH parking lot, and when people couldn't find a place to park, they went to the Ben Franklin up in Stanley Village or Ace Hardware, which is where the old Morehead's summer grocery store used to be, behind the American Legion.

So, at the end of December, it was sad to see the old place, which had survived the Lawn Lake flood, when one of the few basements in town was filled with mud. That basement was the storage place for screens, which we always needed every summer, and kerosene, which used to cost 17¢ a gallon and we put it into a can with a potato jammed on the spout after we lost the cap. I bought my first .22 ammunition here, accompanied by my father, and innumerable fishing licenses. Now it looked like the tag end of a school rummage sale, with everything marked "50% OFF," but I couldn't bear to buy anything and thereby contribute to the end of an era.

Gone, too, is the Estes Park Appliance store, which was in back of the Hardware store. We had a number of appliances repaired there and they installed our TV antenna. That building was the original Park Headquarters build¬ing, and it's now been moved to the Estes Park Histori¬cal Museum site and it's being restored. The other lit¬tle building, which was the Radio Shack store for the past several years, was torn down.

I suppose we'll all enjoy Confluence Park but it certainly won't help the parking problem. I can go to any one of the hardware stores in town and probably pay a little less than I did at the Estes Park Hardware but I'm going to miss that floor and those smells and those familiar, helpful people.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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