David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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“Weaving Mountain Memories”


It’s been 14 years since Mabel Durning, more or less single handed, produced her loose-leaf Historical Reminiscing in the Allenspark Area. Now, with the help of the Estes Park Area Historical Museum and grants from Mabel and the Hilltop Guild, a new book by Lorna Knowlton, Weaving Mountain Memories, has just been published.

To be scrupulously fair, the present volume owes much to its predecessor, not only because some of the material has been reprinted, but because if the first volume had not been printed, this one might have been many years more in the making.

Still, WMM is a well written and much better organized work, which deserves a place on every reference bookshelf, both for those who have been around a while, and especially for newcomers, who will find more information about this little community and its environs in 248 pages than they dreamed existed. It’s also handsomely printed and bound and contains many interesting and unusual photographs, including a bear drinking cream soda.

Mabel constructed her book in loose-leaf form so it could be added to. Technology has now made it possible to both add to and correct WMM, since it exists in a computer as well as in book form, and in the preface Knowlton asks for corrections and additions.

As with any up to date history, this one already needs revision: The Allenspark Area Men's Club has changed both its name and its structure since the book was written, and several such items will have to be amended in a future edition.

There are some minor errors as well; Herb Miller is listed as Herman Miller, and in my own case I am shown as living in a cabin which was torn down many years ago. The date when Charles Eagle Plume came to the valley is incorrect but that is a quite understandable mistake. H. R. Finn was omitted as one of the owners of Copeland Lake Lodge, but the history of that place is fragmentary at best. Other readers will no doubt find small errors, but on balance it is a carefully researched work which will settle more arguments than it creates, and if you don’t have a copy, you’re going to find yourself at something of a loss when its readers talk of the fascinating past of the area, which covers roughly the area served by the Allenspark Post Office.

The book devotes sections to the St. Vrain Canyon, Roads (I was able to confirm, with one of the good maps, that I live on the last intact section of the old stage road between Raymond and Estes Park), Mining, Mail, Lifestyle, which discusses how both summer and winter residents spent their time, Schools, Skiing, which was very big here in the 20s, 30s and 40s, Churches, Fires and the fire department, Community, which is a history of service organizations and the water supply, and finally a chapter on the histories of various tourist businesses, including listings of various owners through the years.

The book will be on sale at the Hilltop Guild’s Christmas bazaar and is available all year from the WIND. The proceeds of all sales of the book will go toward the establishment of an Allenspark Collection in the Estes Park Area Historical Museum.




© 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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