The Secrets of Elk Creek, Shaffers Crossing, Staunton State Park, and Beyond | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/secrets-elk-creek-shaffers-crossing-staunton-state-park-and-beyond[12/7/2015 3:57:05 PM] Home The Secrets of Elk Creek, Shaffers Crossing, Staunton State Park, and BeyondThe Secrets of Elk Creek, Shaffers Crossing, Staunton State Park, and BeyondSubmitted by nwharton on 8-3-2013 07:56 PMAuthor: Bonnie E. Scudder Publishing: CO: Elk Creek Publishing, LLC, 2013. 280 pages. Black-and-white photographs, maps, index, bibliography, notes. 6 x 9. $21.95 paperback. Reviewer: David and Todd Nelson Take a step back in time to witness a side of Colorado that might well have been lost. The saga of the Elk Creek area unfolds in a forested valley just north of Shaffers Crossing presided over by a giant outcropping of granite, known today as Lions Head. First visited by Ute Indians on the hunt, this veritable Garden of Eden would much later become a passageway for trappers, explorers, and miners headed in the direction of South Park along the route of what is now U.S. Highway 285. As author Bonnie Scudder makes known, the landscape eventually became a haven for outlaws and a host of other folks: ranchers, loggers, gamblers, authors, musicians, artists, hikers, bikers, fishermen, hunters, rock climbers, tourists, and even nudists. With his trombone in hand, Isham Jones retired to Shaffers Crossing after his days in the Big Band Era, entertaining locals on Saturday nights with songs that had taken an entire nation by storm, songs such as It had to be You and Ill See You in My Dreams. Mary Chase, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1945 for her Broadway hit play Harvey spent valued time later in life at her cabin tucked into a landscape resplendent with aspen and pines. However, for the most part the people featured in The Secrets of Elk Creek consist of ordinary folks who forged a kinship with this tributary of the North Fork of the South Platte River, a stream scarcely thirty miles in length. In the days of the horse and buggy, John Jensen established a booming business in summertime transporting tourists for a stay at his ranch near Elk Falls. Later, students such as Wes Long crowded into the one-room schoolhouse at Shaffers Crossing. There the teacher faced the daunting task of meeting the needs of children of all ages. Although now empty, the Octagon House stands as a reminder of the importance early settlers attached to educating their young. Mailman Joe Bud Hill, everybodys best friend, delivered letters, packages, and even groceries to residents up and down the stream for over forty years. Catherine Birdie Hurlbutt, whose parents lost all their holdings in the Great Depression, whiled away her early years observing the habits of the regions diverse bird population. Rachael and Archibald Staunton, both doctors, arrived in Denver in late 1905 with their precocious sixyear-old daughter Frances to set up practice in a city then boasting a population of over 200,000 people. From the outset, patients in need of good care beat a path to their offices in the Republic Building on Sixteenth Street in downtown Denver. Within a decade, they enjoyed the comfort of their three-story home on Downing Street and began looking for mountain property that would allow them to get away from the EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanThe Ute people have lived in Colorado longer than anyone else.
The Secrets of Elk Creek, Shaffers Crossing, Staunton State Park, and Beyond | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/secrets-elk-creek-shaffers-crossing-staunton-state-park-and-beyond[12/7/2015 3:57:05 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us heat and hubbub of urban life. In 1916, their search ended when they set eyes on eighty acres located near Elk Creek within view of Lions Head. There they treated victims of tuberculosis, delivered babies, and engaged alongside their neighbors in ranching and logging activity. Over time the Stauntons accumulated more than 1,700 acresthe core of Colorados newest state park. In May 2013, in his remarks at the dedication ceremonies for Staunton State Park, Gov. John Hickenlooper urged his fellow citizens to visit this sanctuary for respite from the stress and pressure associated with life in the fast track. Located only an hour west of Denver, Staunton State Park backs up into a wilderness that extends all the way to Mount Evans. This book is the result a myriad of interviews and meticulous research conducted at museums, libraries, and archives that turned up documents, books, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, maps, newspapers, and photos unveiling a previously neglected slice of Colorados past. On occasion, the author recycles facts and anecdotes introduced in earlier chapters. However, the added emphasis given to certain individuals and developments ensures that nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Reviewer Info: Todd D. Nelson received his BA in history and MA in Southwest studies from Colorado College. He edited The Elk Creek Chronicles: From Shaffers Crossing to Pine Grove. Todd resides in Mountain Shadows in Colorado Springs and teaches history at Palmer High School. David P. Nelson received a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Denver. He is a professor emeritus of Red Rocks Community College. David wrote The Elk Creek Chronicles: From Shaffers Crossing to Pine Grove.