Guide Line Review
Glenwood Springs and Redstone
We were off a few minutes after 8 a.m. and headed west on I-70 to Glenwood Springs. At least two of the cars made a stop at Georgetown – great public restrooms at the Visitor Center and a coffee shop across the street. Georgetown (1859-1860) and Silver Plume have a more than 600’ rise in elevation over the two miles between them. Silver Plume has a very nice tea room that serves award winning pies and also sells antiques.
Then continuing on toward Glenwood, passing Empire (established 1861) when the still-operating tavern opened. We passed a road sign for Nederland – named for land in Denmark. We arrived in Glenwood at about 11 a.m. at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park (we visited here last year on the way back from Grand Junction). The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is just off I-70 (exit 116). We were met by Chris Ehlers, of Sales and Marketing at the Park (Chris was our host last year). Chris handles marketing awareness – she knows what is available in Aspen, Vail, and Grand Junction as well as the Glenwood area. Lisa Langer, Vice President of Tourism in Glenwood was also with us. Between the two of them, there isn’t much about the area that they don’t know. We could see the Amtrak rails below and Chris explained that Amtrak has several Glenwood tour packages. She commented that guests should plan on a two-night stay in Glenwood on an Amtrak package because the train may or may not arrive on time or leave on time (Amtrak time) – delays are often weather-related.
The Park entrance is next to the Hotel Glenwood Springs, where several of the group were housed. This hotel has a great indoor pool w/a slide. There is a large parking lot and plenty of room for coaches. We rode up to the Adventure Park in the gondola – gorgeous views of Mt. Sopris (12,953’), downtown Glenwood Springs and west along the I-70 corridor. The gondola moves up to 350 people/hour. Wheelies are planned for the ride as well – a funicular that uses an incline track up to alleviate long lines for the gondola. These can also be used when there is thunder or lightning. They do drive coaches up the mountain to deliver guests for concerts and special timed events. We did not have time to watch any of the 40 different films about the park and the area – each about 5 minutes long. We saw the Wild West Express – a family roller coaster and a Ferris wheel and a couple of people rode the Alpine slide down the hill. Another couple of people rode the mine wheel and one person tried out the giant swing – this is quite visible from the center of town and it really swings out over the edge of the hill – fun but scary ride.
We first had a great lunch (from the menu) sitting by the windows for some great views and then most of us took the upper cave tour – shortened to 40 minutes to meet our schedule – given by Nancy Heard – Mountain Operations Manager and guru cave tour guide. Nancy explained what we were seeing and how the Park is trying to improve their tours and preserve the caverns. Rocks in the cavern are not to be touched – oil on your skin will prevent the water dripping down from clinging and making columns or other displays. The temperature inside the caves remains a constant 52°. You cannot carry in any food or any drink and you can’t be chewing gum. Wind and people destroy the caves so the doors are never left open – you enter or exit and the door closes tightly behind you. The Park has changed the lighting to LED lights which are not as hot as incandescent bulbs. Now all the wiring and fixtures are hidden. They had a LEEDS grant for lighting six zones in the caves. Each light switch to go forward also has an off switch for the area just exited. The caves were electrified in 1897 (before NYC had electric street lights) using bare copper wire and power from the Shoshone hydroelectric plant.
We started into the caves at the same spot as the original 1895 entrance was located. Charles Darrow, who was looking for silver and gold, found the caves. Charles gave cave tours from 1895 to 1917 when they ceased because of WWI. The caves were not used again until 1960 when they were reopened. Peter Preble found a passageway – it was only 8” wide and 30’ long and it led into the second largest cave room in Colorado. It took Peter 3 hours to travel the 30’. Peter did not tell Mr. Darrow what he had found and so was able to purchase the land for $17,000. Then trails were opened to allow more people to go through the caves. Nancy told us that all the excavation always goes down because the support for the caves is above them and if that is disturbed it can collapse and ruin it all.
Ninety percent of caves are limestone and the limestone is dissolved over thousands of years in the water dripping down the walls. When the water drains, the limestone is left and water seeps in and combines to become carbonic acid that picks up calcite as it dissolves the limestone creating stalactites (on the ceiling) and stalagmites (on the ground). Calcite forms many types of stone – we saw flow stone, bacon (it looks like uncooked strips of bacon), and popcorn (the carbonic acid fizzed out of the rocks making it look like popped corn). It takes 1,000 years for one cubic inch to form here – the dry climate makes the difference since in the East, with more humidity, the rocks form more quickly.
There are two bugs that are unique to the caves as well as five types of bacteria. There are also bats in the caves. The brown bats in the cave eat 600 – 3,000 insects/hour. The Park offers crawling tours lasting 2-3 hours for people 13 yrs. of age and up at $50/person. We went back down the hill and into town for a walking history tour.
Cindy Hines, Museum Director for the Frontier Historical Society, was our guide for the walking tour of Glenwood Springs. We met her at the Visitor Center. The US Forest Service is also housed there currently and we spoke w/Christian, a member of the Forest Service.
Cindy told us about various other tours: There is also a Hidden History Tour once a week on Friday evenings at 7 pm for a 1-1/4 hour tour. A Buried History Tour visits the cemetery where Doc Holliday (died of tuberculosis) and Kid Curry (bank robber) are buried. On Halloween there is a ghost walk on three weekends in October with first-person interpreters. Over 700 people participated in 2013.
Cindy told us about a bank robbery in town – two men robbed the bank and a third was the lookout w/the horses. The robbers got more than $10,000 and escaped. The lookout was caught very quickly. The light-haired robber was seen in Denver by a Glenwood law enforcement officer and the man actually admitted to the robbery! The third man was never caught and the money was never recovered. Just one of many bank robberies in town in the early years.
Tom Mix came to Glenwood Springs to film The Great K & A Train Robbery in 1926. He and the film company entertained the citizens with a rodeo, a vaudeville night and a boxing match – early “community outreach.”
The Noonan family came to the area in 1884 and Glenwood Springs was incorporated in 1885. John Noonan was an attorney and judge and built his office in 1912. His son Bill, born in 1894, went to Stanford and also had a law degree. He returned to town to enter practice with his father. Bill partied a lot, he never married so he had a couple that worked for him as cook/housekeeper and handyman/custodian/janitor – a Mr. and Mrs. Taylor. They had a daughter, Cecil, who was Bill’s legal secretary at the age of 18. Bill was in the habit of calling the Taylors at any hour and the Taylors finally objected to mid-night working hours. So, Bill fired the Taylors. In September of 1935, Bill’s chauffeur, Mr. French, dropped Bill off at the office and Mr. Taylor appeared and shot Bill 8 times! Bill fell in the street, trying to escape the bullets. Bill died and Mr. Taylor turned himself in.
Elisha B. Cravens, a Rebel from Kentucky, arrived in 1884. He tried several different jobs not really successful at any. In 1885 he went to the saloon where he fought with George Ford. He left, returned with a gun and shot George and killed him. Cravens was arrested but there was no jail so he was tied to a chair and then shackled to pipes in a building on Grand Avenue. Deputy Edgar Wilson guarded him so the vigilantes wouldn’t hang him. Isaac Cooper bonded Cravens out of jail, then Cooper died, bond was revoked and Elisha was convicted and spent three years in Cañon City. Elisha died in 1900 of alcoholism. He sold the land he owned for court costs – he’d never built on the property – and today the land remains open space behind the school. During WWI Victory gardens were planted here.
In the 1970s Glenwood had a very famous visitor – Ted Bundy – a serial killer who claimed to have committed 30 murders. He killed four in Colorado, including one in Vail and one in Snowmass Village. He was jailed in Glenwood until January 1978, tried in Pitkin County in Aspen. He had no attorney, representing, himself and he escaped from jail, broke his ankle, and then stole a car. Ted had done research on how the building was constructed using the building plans and tried to get into the ductwork. He lost 50 pounds so that he could get thru the ductwork and he escaped on New Year’s Eve, stole another car and went to Denver. The car broke down on the way and Ted then hitchhiked to Denver. He had a girlfriend who got him onto a plane and he flew to Chicago and he was on the loose until he was apprehended in Florida after a killing spree. He was put to death for the killing of a 12-year old girl in Florida.
We also visited the Frontier Historical Museum – which has been open for 50 years. The building is a 1905 house and in 1971 the family (who had no children) gave the building to the historical society. There are exhibits on both the first and second floors. The museum has over 5,000 photos and research files. They are open year-round and also do outreach programs.
It was the Wild West in the area of Cooper and 17th streets. There were saloons and brothels here. In the Hotel Denver a Chicago gangster, who worked for Al Capone’s rival, had a gunfight. Carrie Nation, head of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) came to Glenwood to close the bars and break up the place. Unfortunately for her, she arrived on Election Day and all the bars were closed. She gave her speech anyway.
Doc Holliday came here in May 1887. Doc had suffered from tuberculosis for 11 years, and came here for a cure. He was only here six months, when he became bedridden and died in November 1887 at the Hotel Glenwood (at the time, the nicest hotel in Glenwood). Doc was a dentist and then a Faro dealer. What citizen would patronize a dentist with tuberculosis!? His girlfriend for many years was Big Nose Kate, a prostitute.
Then we were on to the Vaudeville Revue Dinner Theatre – only open on weekends – where we met the owner John Goss and his guard dog Bryce. John told us that the dinner starts at 5:30, the show at 6:30 and it’s done by 8:30 – 8:30 (similar to Heritage Square dinner theater with original musicals). May 23rd starts the first show for 2014. The dinners are catered by several restaurants in town and you can order from the menu. The menu shows which restaurant provides what. The sofa in the lobby is from Prince Vander’s (rich guy) house in Aspen. The theater seats 150-160 and the crew can serve them all in about half an hour. John went to the balcony where he demonstrated his 1918 Wurlitzer “Orchestrion” photo-player (silent movie) pneumatic instrument. Thousands of these photo-players were used in theaters before the “talkies” started. It runs with piano rolls. This is a very cool instrument.
John reminded us that three years ago Glenwood Springs was voted the “most fun town in the US”. John gave us a rundown of ticket prices: $24/adults, $16/kids and they offer a senior discount. John also has 60-90 catered holiday parties each year. The business has been open for seven years though just moved to this location this year and all the dining room furniture and the staging is brand new.
We walked back down the street to “Sweet Adventures” where we all enjoyed an ice cream cone. The shop also carries old fashioned candies as well as Jelly Bellies and other fun candies. The shop is owned by Ken Murphy who also owns the Glenwood Adventure Company across the street. The Glenwood Adventure Company can arrange for almost any type of adventure activity you can think of (i.e., rafting, off-road Jeep trails, ATV rentals, horseback riding, biking, hiking, fishing, tubing, stand-up paddleboards, Segway tours, and anything else you can come up with). They have a very extensive list in their brochure. Coach parking on this street might be a problem.
After checking in at our hotels, we drove to Glenwood Canyon Resort at No Name rest area. There is plenty of parking down below and coaches can get through the driveway. Campers/RVs less than 39’ can pull down close to the river to a camping site. They have 27 large RV sites with full hookups w/50 amp circuits, 14 deluxe cabins (3 are pet friendly), and several wooden tents (these are bring your own linens). There are 19 RV sites on the river but they do not have a sewer connection and there are 80 tent sites on the river. They are open 24/7 – you can camp there without a reservation – if you arrive after 10 pm, just choose a site and pay in the morning. Quiet time at the resort starts at 10pm. There are also resort cabins with TVs, kitchen and living room, and one bedroom with a loft for $279/night. In the off season they are only $99/night. They have a fall special for $159/night available midweek that includes biking and a pool pass.
We met at a new (less than five years old) facility with a wonderful deck and great room overlooking the river. This building has two large suites above – each with mountain and canyon views. They are about $399/night for two or $449/night for the three bedroom suite. They have their own water treatment plant and an aqueduct runs under the area. Owned by Kevin Schneider, Kevin Patterson oversees the day-to-day operations of the resort. Kevin Patterson told us that there are weddings booked here almost every weekend between now and Labor Day and eight more before November 8th. Weddings cost $2995 for the use of the grille/patio/great room (9,000 sq. ft. and seats up to 175 people) and catering costs from $32.95/person for food, tables and chairs. You must use their caterers – cannot bring any of your own food or liquor into this building. They also host several family reunions each year.
Stu Bryner, raft and zip line guide, gave us an overview of other activities available, i.e., team bonding, etc. The raft trips can be full or half day and do include lunch. They provide wetsuits and towels in the cooler weather. They also do bike tours – the bike path along I-70 through the canyon runs right next to the river and is a great ride from No Name all downhill into Glenwood Springs. However, the ride back is all uphill. The zip line tour goes over the river twice and you can see the platforms from the patio. We were served great hors d’oeuvres and wine and it was a gorgeous evening on the patio. They have moveable heaters in case the weather is cool. The water below Shoshone hydroelectric plant currently was running at 6,200 ft. per second. This would be rafting for experts only. It is too rough for the general public. Above Shoshone, the water was absolutely calm. The Shoshone hydroelectric plant has been in business since the 1880s (remember that the caverns used hydroelectric to light the caves). There are packages available from $81/person for 1-1/4 hour raft and zip line tours with lunch between the two events. You can purchase photos and a disc of photos after the event. They allow one to four people/raft.
Lisa then introduced Ralph Trapani, retired Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) project manager for the I-70 Glenwood Canyon project, who has lived in Glenwood for 39 years. Ralph was a wealth of information about how the highway through the canyon was constructed. Ralph was in charge of the project to build I-70 through the canyon. The Federal Highway Administration and CDOT were looking for a way through the canyon. Both Cottonwood Pass and the Flattops areas were considered. There was a railroad that ran through that high crossing in the 1880s. In 1968 the decision was made to build in the canyon. In the 1970s there was an environmental study of the canyon and in the late 1970s the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management also had input in the construction. It took 12 years to build the highway through the canyon. Eduardo Contini was in charge of the eastern half of the canyon and Trapani the western half. The terraced alignment was meant to make use of the old Highway 6 route. Even though it took twelve years, I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is not even in the top ten most expensive sections of highway. There were little private property costs and the road cost between $40 and $50 million/mile for a $480 million total. In the process they removed 60 informal pullouts, used ¼ million yards of gravel from this area to build it. The No Name rest area is built on tunnel muck.
Hanging Lake is the most popular hiking route in Colorado. The tunnel below Hanging Lake was the only project to come in under budget on the I-70 Glenwood Canyon projects. There are forty bridges in Glenwood Canyon and the project has received over 40 awards over the years for the excellence in engineering. Ralph told us that in 1980 it was difficult to find people to work on the highway, but in 1981 the oil bust made a lot of people available to work on building the highway. Ralph also noted the fences and mesh that keep the rocks from falling onto the road. At mile post 125 a rock fell that was the size of a trailer – it was moving about 125 mph as it came down and no fence would have kept it from falling onto the road. There have been several rock falls, mostly caused by original Highway 6 undercutting.
After our tour of the resort, we headed back into town for dinner at the Hotel Colorado. Dinner was preceded by a wonderful tour of the hotel, given by first-person interpreter Suzie Alcott. The hotel opened on June 10, 1893. It had ten miles of electrical wiring, indoor plumbing, properly trained maids from Boston and properly trained men from London. Margaret Tobin Brown entertained at the hotel often and stayed in a first-floor suite when she visited. The first floor was usually cooler in the summer and, since there was no air-conditioning, was in great demand. Margaret’s maid stayed in a room on the third floor at a cost to Margaret of $1.50/night. Generally, rooms were $3/night and had connecting baths. People often stayed for three months at a time – transportation was difficult and the hotel had everything any traveler might want. For comparison, Doc Holliday paid $.50/night for his room in an uptown hotel where he lived for several months and eventually died there. Teddy Roosevelt stayed for a month at the Hotel Colorado in 1905.
The owner, Walter Devereaux, was a great businessman – there were 2,000 rose bushes in the gardens, all imported, and he sold cuttings. There were also 4,000 fruit trees and he sold fruit. There was a fountain in the courtyard leading up to the main entrance that had lights and could shoot water as high as 180’ into the air (an early “dancing waters,” like the Bellagio in Las Vegas).
The hotel had ballrooms, and dining rooms where local game, such as elk or venison, might be served, along with special sauces. The hotel has 144 fireplaces and was considered a summer hotel. We went down the wide staircase to the lower level where the ladies and gentlemen’s parlors were located. The men played billiards and smoked cigars while the ladies watched over the children and nannies from their sitting room. There was a carousel for the children’s entertainment here. The Ladies’ rooms are now the upper parking lot.
In 1942 the hotel was acquisitioned by the Navy and turned into a convalescent hospital. The Navy sealed off the fireplaces and added steam heat. The Navy turned a storage room into a brig. The Navy added the sprinkler system. The patients were brought up by train. During WWI, the Germans knew that the train across the US was the most important connection and way to transport goods. They wanted to stop the train and actually planned to blow up the canyon. The Army came here to guard the canyon and found two spies getting bombs ready. The Army had guards everywhere around this area.
The linen room tunnel was used to convey all supplies into the building (Al Capone used it). At one time 32 tons of ice were stored in this room. The Navy made it into a morgue and the tunnel was bricked in. The Navy also had a small crematorium. Also on the lower level were stables for polo ponies – this is now a storage area. The Navy tore out all the marble sinks because they were porous and also threw out all the specially designed gold-rimmed china into the trash. In 1946 the Navy handed back the keys and walked away – having done all this destruction to the beauty and history of the hotel.
We went to the tower suite that is now dedicated to Margaret Tobin Brown. Outside on the bricks is graffiti from 1898 – unfortunately there is also graffiti from modern days that defaces the original historic names and dates. There are many framed photos and newspaper clippings about Margaret in this suite (most of which do not have a copy displayed in the Molly Brown House Museum).
We then went to dinner in a separate dining room and had a gourmet meal excellently prepared and served to us. It was a very special meal and Margaret and her contemporaries may have had similar dining experiences as this as well.
A few people made the trek down the street a block or two to take advantage of the hot springs pool. The pool closes at 10 pm. The pool has a 16-lane lap pool and several therapeutic small pools, some with special water jets to ease tired muscles. And so ended our first day in Glenwood Springs.
The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast at our hotels. We were hosted at several hotels: Best Western Antlers, Hotel Glenwood Springs, Red Mountain Inn and the Hotel Colorado. The hotels were all close to each other and a very short walk to the Hotel Colorado. I stayed at the Hotel Colorado and our room was quaint and modern – the bathroom was off around the corner through the dressing area that had full-length mirrored closet doors. The TV was a modern flat-screen. The amenities were very nice and the towels were wonderful. Possibly others can comment on the other hotels.
After we checked out of our hotels, we drove to the town of Redstone and the Redstone Castle, also known as the Cleveholm Manor, on CO-82 and then turned onto CO-133. The drive is a lovely country drive with Mount Sopris in view most of the way. We met at the bottom of the drive and then caravanned up to the Castle – this is a one-lane drive with a pull-out. You must have tickets and be expected in order to visit the castle. We were led by Steve Pavlin, President of the Redstone Community Association.
We were met at the parking area by Debbie, the former manager of the Redstone Inn and now a tour guide to the castle. She explained the building of the castle and the community. It was designed as a Utopian mining community. John Cleveland Osgood in 1902 was the 6th richest man in the US. He built Redstone Castle to promote his business ideas. He later was head of Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I), the largest fuel company in the world. They owned 28 coal fields, one of which was above Redstone and hence the coke ovens. The coal was high-grade bituminous coal and was brought to the coke ovens to be made into coke and then shipped to Pueblo to the steel mills CF&I on Osgood’s private railroad through Carbondale. The community had a medical officer who had worked with Jane Addams. They had a fire department.
Redstone is a small hamlet that was built by Cleveland Osgood for the married employees that worked at the coke ovens across the road. It was the first village to be electrified. Working men were required to take a bath before they went into town. The saloon allowed women to enter every other Thursday evening. There was a school. Education was required because there were 28 languages spoken and all needed to learn English. Many of the workers were Italians and Eastern Europeans. The entire village was built in three years, designed by a New York architectural firm and only lasted about another three years. The stone used in construction is all from this area. The rent was $2.50/month and included running water. There was also a wrought iron fence around 500 acres that protected many animals, both domestic and wild.
In the courtyard is a horse watering trough made of marble, a gift to Mr. Osgood. The marble is not high enough quality to be used inside the house but the horses didn’t know that. Over the trough hangs a wrought iron dragon. The quarters for as many as 17 servants are over the garages in a separate wing of the castle. The house was the victim of a Ponzi scheme in 2002 and was sold for $6 million. Rudy Demetrius bought it for $4 million and is the current owner, though the house is maintained by the local historical society.
Mr. Osgood was only 5’ and 1/2” tall and was a distant cousin of President Grover Cleveland. Osgood was orphaned at age 10 and at 13 was working in a cotton mill. At 19 he received a degree from Cooper Institute in Brooklyn. He was offered a coal mine for $500 and finally obtained financing to buy it and developed eight coal mines. He merged with Mr. Palmer in Colorado Springs.
Mr. Osgood married three times. All three women were in their 20s. Wife #1, in 1892, was Irene Debole, a 20-year old debutante. She moved into Hotel Colorado and after a while Walter Devereaux asked her to move out because she partied too much. Irene wrote bad “purple prose” and Osgood actually bought a publishing company to publish her one and only book. She went to Europe, Osgood then divorced her and also put her obituary in the New York Times though she was certainly not dead.
Wife #2 married Osgood in 1899 when she was 23 and he was 50. They traveled to Belgium. She loved Colorado, they had no children and is considered “Lady Bountiful” by the Redstone community. They were married 20 years. During WWI she went back to Europe and never returned. She opened her house in Europe to the Red Cross. They divorced. Osgood became known as the “Lion of Redstone”. The castle has mostly Tiffany light fixtures and chandeliers. The castle was a B&B for 35 years – Jimmy Buffett was married here. It was also a hunting lodge and opened at Christmas with a tree in the window facing the road on the far side of the Crystal River (longest free-flowing river in Colorado – 25 miles) beyond the gazebo, which was used for Sunday concerts. It was a game preserve all around the castle and they raised game here as well. Rockefeller, Gould, Teddy Roosevelt all stayed here. Gould and Rockefeller were big coal mine owners (Ludlow and Trinidad).
Upstream from the castle were a dairy, greenhouses, and hydroelectric plant. There were community gardens and stables in town. The castle is in the Elk Mountains which was Ute territory for 700 years. Utes and Spanish had a good relationship. The Utes and settlers, not so much – the settlers plowed up the horse fields (Meeker was killed over this). The Utes laid a curse on the settlers – “Let no white man prosper.”
In the library the woodwork is Honduran mahogany, walls are covered in green leather with gold leaf embossed designs. Some of the books are original and some came from the school which had 750 volumes. The fireplace is Carrera marble as are all the fireplaces in the house (local marble from Marble wasn’t good enough). In 1942 a landslide destroyed the quarry at Marble. Marble from Marble decorated the Colorado State Capitol, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Lincoln Memorial as well as DIA and Arlington Cemetery. At Arlington, they only use Italian marble so Colorado marble was shipped to Italy and then shipped back.
In the music room is another Carrera marble fireplace and a mirror that has diamond dust and mercury backing. The library table is now the dining room table. The original dining room table was round – all were equal and Osgood never seated more than eight.
On the lower level of the castle are gifts to one of the owners from the Vatican. There are also several Jack Roberts painting in the castle. This painting on the lower level depicts a mine at 9700’ on a mesa. The miners were only paid for what was in the car. Getting it out and into the cars and sorting it and all the other details were on the miners’ time and they were not paid for this additional effort. The Highline Train crossed Coal Creek 22 times in only 10 miles of track that actually went only 8 miles.
The castle has had many owners though the Ponzi scheme group is the only group to make money from the sale of the property.
Osgood owned the Victor America coalfields and then sold out to Gould and Rockefeller. Osgood was the man at CF&I who thwarted the unions. Two years later 121 were killed in a mining disaster at the Hayfield mine, less than two miles from Ludlow. Osgood ran shanty towns in southern Colorado – a sort of slum landlord.
Wife #3 – Lucille, in her early 20s, was from Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1925, the Christmas opening as a resort was cancelled because of Osgood’s ill health. In 1936 some of the property was sold. In 1942 the castle was sold and turned into a dude ranch. In 1951 it sold to Frank Kessler to make a grand resort. In 1955 Midcontinent reopened the mines above Redstone that ultimately produced 28 million tons of high-grade bituminous coal. In 1982, mine was closed again. In 1978, Ken Johnson owned the castle and ran it as a B&B for many years.
Before lunch we heard about the coke ovens that stand sentinel across CO 133 from Redstone. A member of the Redstone Historical Society told us there were originally 200 coke ovens, though the second row of ovens was dismantled and removed years ago. In 2003 the Redstone Historical Society parlayed resources to acquire the Redstone Coke Ovens site and, after applying several conservation easements, donated the site to Pitkin County. In late April, 2011 a partnership of these two groups began the long-awaited preservation; restoration of the site. The front row on the road has had much rehabilitation which is still ongoing. There are five fully restored ovens along the road, and the level of restoration diminishes as you travel from this center section toward either end. The ovens heated the coal at extremely high temperatures – the interior of the ovens is coated with a glaze of the impurities that were burned off. The exterior of the ovens is covered with burnt soil. The ovens were used to fire the coal for three days and then, free of impurities, it was shipped to Pueblo for the steel mills. The ovens were used continuously – when one was emptied, the ones on either side would help heat the refilled oven to ignite the coal. There are plans to reconstruct the rails for the train and the platform in front of the ovens for even more authenticity.
After our tour of the coke ovens we went back across the highway to a great lunch at the Redstone Inn. There is ample parking on the lower level for coaches.
The inn was originally built as bachelor quarters for the men who worked the ovens. We toured a few of the bedrooms in the original section that is now the inn, and then we were privileged to descend to the basement to see the original foundation. This was constructed of local stone and the stone masons did a great job because it is still in use and in good repair today. We also saw the maze of pipes that go to each of the rooms and the bathrooms. These pipes and the inn itself require a lot of maintenance which is generally done off-season.
Our tour of the inn was our last group event. Some headed off to Marble and then back to Golden, some to Basalt and then to Golden, and some back through Glenwood Springs to I-70 and then back to Golden.
Chris Ehlers – Sales & Marketing
Nancy Heard – Mountain Operations Manager
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road
Glenwood Springs, CO 80601
970.379.8522 – direct
Lisa Langer, IOM, VP of Tourism Marketing
Suzie Alcott – Tour Guide, the Hotel Colorado
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
PO Box 1238 / 802 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602-1238
Cindy Hines, Museum Director
Frontier Historical Society
1001 Colorado Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Glenwood Vaudeville Revue
915 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Phone: (970) 945-9699
723 Cooper Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Sweet Adventures Ice Cream
722 Cooper Ave
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Kevin Patterson, Operations Manager
Stu Bryner, raft and zipline guide
Glenwood Canyon Resort
1308 County Road 129
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Best Western Antlers
171 West 6th
Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Glenwood Hot Springs and Spa of the Rockies
401 N River Street
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
526 Pine St
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Hotel Glenwood Springs
52000 Two Rivers Plaza Road
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Red Mountain Inn
51637 Highway 6
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
The Redstone Castle
58 Redstone Blvd
Redstone, CO 81623
82 Redstone Blvd
Redstone, CO 81623
Redstone Community Association
Redstone Community Association
--- Nancy Brueggeman
Content copyright 2016. Rocky Mountain Guides Association. All rights reserved.
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DAY ONE: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
8:00 AM – Depart by car pool from Golden.
9:30 – Break along the way “on your own”
11:00 AM – Arrive Glenwood Springs – Meet at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
11:30 AM -1:00 PM – Lunch provided at the Caverns Grill.
1:00 PM – Board the tram for the trip down to the parking lot.
1:30-3:30 PM – Meet at Glenwood Visitors Center (802 Grand Avenue).
• Walking tour of historic downtown Glenwood Springs.
• Ice cream/candy stop at Sweet Adventures.
• Tour of the Frontier Historical Museum – The museum is located in one of Glenwood Springs’ older homes and contains items from the early 1900s. This house was unique in that it was electrified and had steam heat. There is also information on mining and Doc Holliday.
• Stop at the Springs Theater – New home to the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue. Hear from Director/Actor John Goss about the popular show and about the featured 1918 Orchestrion, an instrument that can be played by a single musician, but designed to sound like a full orchestra. This was used to produce music and sound effects for silent movies.
3:45 PM – Check into Hotels (short break here to freshen up).
4:30 PM – Travel to Glenwood Canyon Resort in No Name (East on I-70 Exit 119).
6:00 PM – Leave No Name for the Hotel Colorado.
6:15 PM – Tour of the Hotel Colorado led by a local Historic Interpreter.
7:00 PM – Dinner at Hotel Colorado.
8:30-9:00 PM – Return to Hotels.
DAY TWO: Wednesday, May 14, 2014.
7 AM-8 AM – Continental breakfast at your hotel. Check out of hotel.
8:30 AM – Drive to Redstone. Recorded Commentary by guides along the way.
9:30 AM – Arrive Redstone Castle (Cleveholm Manor).
11:00 AM – Arrive Redstone Inn.
1:00 PM – Walking tour of Historic Redstone Coke Ovens and Redstone.
2:00 PM – Drive to Golden via Basalt (to view the Basalt entry sign).
6:00 PM – Arrive Golden!
Glenwood Springs and Redstone FAM