This section contains histories of our community as seen through the eyes of the participants, history as passed on through the family (for example Lee McConnell, grandson of the first district ranger), or through library research (e.g. the Batterson Barn and Homestead, prepared by Linda Adams) and oral history interviews by Linda Bell.
Personal Histories Table of Contents (alphabetically, by last name)
Arent, Charley || Barker, Gene || Carnival, Sugarbabe & “Sugarbabe Day” || Dunning, Ted || Frydendall, Dennis – Water || Frydendall, Dennis – The “Meadow” Tour || Gorton, Linda || Grauberger, Emma || Higley Family || Hurd, Georgie || McConnell, R.C. || Miller, Lafi & Juliana || Red Feather Greens || Reid, Margaret || Robinson, Rick & Zella || Tamlin, Evelyn Foster || Yockey, Levi
RFHS Oral History Notes by Linda Bell, Summer 2013
Transcripts of Linda Gorton’s interview and the “Sugarbabe Carnival” day at the Red Feather Lakes Library last summer are now posted on the RFHS website, and in the notebooks at the Library. The Sugarbabe transcript also includes a CD of the interview she did at Ellis Island with the US National Park Service oral history project. You can listen to Sugarbabe’s story in her own voice using the library computers and ear phones. Remember, one notebook with all the interviews, but not including the addenda, is available to check out from the library for three weeks if you wish to read them at home.
Arent, Charley – Charley is known as the “energized bunny” of Red Feather Lakes and has has built so many houses and cabins in and around the area during the past 30 years that he can’t quite remember how many. Interview and article by Linda Bell. © North Forty News, January 2001, Used by permission.
Barker, Gene – Came with his family from Iowa to Red Feather Lakes in 1935, at age 11. His father was in the wood industry, making the first milled house logs in Colorado. Gene helped him and learned the business, so he has in turn had a saw mill, a planning mill, a lumber yard, a construction business, and has built many cabins in RFL. He also built and ran a diamond sorting plant near former Sloan Ranch on 82E. He has just about done everything including owning and operating a restaurant, working for The Red Feather Lakes Storage and Irrigation Company, and served three years in the marines. Interview and transcription by Linda Bell.
Carnival, Sugarbabe & “Sugarbabe Day” - The Red Feather Historical Society continued its celebration of historical figures in the Red Feather area through this presentation and reminiscence of Sugarbabe Carnival (1921-2004), an extraordinary woman who made her mark in Red Feather, through her artwork, and her involvement in the community. Join many others in fond memories of Sugarbabe as we celebrated her life, stories, artwork, and memories for “Sugarbabe Day” on August 11, 2012, at the Red Feather Lakes Community Library. Transcription by Linda Bell.
Dunning, Ted – (1901-1989, 88), came from Nebraska to Red Feather in 1928, bought a store, and never left. Then only about 100 cabins, only 25 people in the winter time, several hundred in the summer. First post office in RFL was established in1934, and Ted was post master from 1940 – 1968. He talks about his involvement in The Red Feather Lakes Storage and Irrigation Company, CCC boys building the road, the Chief Red Feather legend, Evelyn Foster Tamil named Princess Redfeather, cattle drives, and more stories of the early days.
Frydendall, Dennis – Water, is an interview by Linda Bell, focused on western, state, and local water issues and early growth of Red Feather Lakes Community. Dennis bought a cabin in Red Feather Lakes in 1962, and has been coming every summer since. Soon after his arrival he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Red Feather Storage & Irrigation Company which governs the water in Red Feather Lakes. In this interview Dennis provides his valuable perspective on water issues in our community. Interview and transcription by Linda Bell.
Frydendall, Dennis – The “Meadow” Tour – is an interview by Linda Bell wherein Dennis recounts how he first read the Meadow by James Galvin and how his interest in the book turned into a Historical Society Tour. At the end of the interview is the map, along with photos, which should enable you to take a virtual tour. Interview by Linda Bell.
Gorton, Linda – This interview with Linda Gorton includes her family’s history in Red Feather Lakes since 1930s and her work with the Trading Post, the Red Feather Greens, in local real estate, and her experience with the Red Feather Historical Society and her memories of the area. Interview by Linda Bell.
Grauberger, Emma – And husband Arthur came to Red Feather Lakes in 1969. She is owner/manager of the RV park which you see as you turn off 74E into the RFL Village. File has several historic photos of cabins. Interview and transcription by Linda Bell.
Higley Family – Pat Clemens talks with Earl and Diane about their parents Ray and Beverley Higley who came to Red Feather Lakes and bought their first cabin in 1946. Interview by Pat Clemens, transcription by Linda Bell.
Hurd, Georgie – Reflects on Red Feather’s early history, visiting her grandparent’s summer cabin, then eventually moving to the area and becoming Postmaster in Red Feather, and husband Bill worked for the Forest Service. Interview and transcription by Linda Bell.
McConnell, R.C. – Was the first Red Feather Lakes Area Forest Ranger and built the ranger station at Manhattan in 1909. The article was written by Lee F. McConnell, his grandson, and includes two historic photos of ranger station and trail construction, along with a location map.
Miller, Lafi and Juliana – Written by Linda Bell, reprinted from the North Forty News, February 1999, about the lives of Lafi and Juliana “Jo” (Sloan) Miller. Jo is a descendent of three Livermore pioneer families: Sloans, Swans and Roberts. The title of the article is “A love story, a feud, and ties to 100 years of Livermore history.” Article by Linda Bell.
Red Feather Greens – This is a story about a small business whose owners did not make a lot of money, but whose efforts and dedication, as well as the involvement by others, enriched the lives of many people in a mountain community and other nearby communities. Jean is the daughter of Bonnie and Hugh Drake who came to RFL in 1924. In the 1940s Bonnie began making wreaths as a fund raiser for Trinity Episcopal Church in Greeley. It grew in size employing the whole town at one point. The wreaths were sold at wholesale to church groups for fundraising purposes. The article describes the origins and growth of the business, including names of major wreath makers some making up to 1,000 wreaths. Written by Jean Drake Emond.
Reid, Margaret – Her family bought a cabin in Red Feather Lakes in 1926 and she still lives here. In this interview, Margaret tells what is was like to grow up in the community and see it change. Interview and transcription by Linda Bell.
Robinson, Rick and Zella - Uncle and niece, descendents of the Dayton Robinson family who came to Northern Colorado in 1882 – almost 130 years ago. They settled in the Elkhorn Creek Area. Family interests were ranching and saw-milling, and some prospecting. It is their family cabin in Fed Feather Lakes which is now a museum with historical artifacts. Interview and transcription by Linda Bell.
Tamlin, Evelyn Foster – Born in Red Feather Lakes in 1926, and was perhaps the first legally named Princess Red Feather; in this interview she talks about life in the early days before modern conveniences. Interview and transcription by Linda Bell.
Yockey, Levi and the Family Grave Side-Service – On a perfect July day in the foothills, the greatly expanded family of Levi Yockey gathered for lunch in Red Feather Lakes and then placed a marker on his grave. But unlike most grave-side services there were no tears. In fact, not one of his relatives had ever met him. Levi Yockey died in 1895. Article and transcription by Linda Bell.