The Elk Creek Chronicles: From Shaffers Crossing to Pine Grove | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/content/elk-creek-chronicles-shaffers-crossing-pine-grove[12/8/2015 11:10:30 AM] Home The Elk Creek Chronicles: From Shaffers Crossing to Pine GroveThe Elk Creek Chronicles: From Shaffers Crossing to Pine GroveSubmitted by nwharton on 1-4-2012 08:48 AMAuthor: David P. Nelson Publishing: Littleton, CO: ReVista Publishing, 2011. $18.95. Copies of this book can be obtained from Darlene Gruber at 303-277-9439, or DarleneG1@juno.com Reviewer: Alan Culpin The Elk Creek Chronicles is microhistory at its best. David Nelson, a former professor at Red Rocks Community College, has investigated a small area of Colorado, just off Highway 285, and uncovered its history and the people who created it. The creek runs midway between Pine Junction and Conifer, on its way to the South Platte River. Small communities like Glenelk, Shaffers Crossing, and Pine Grove contain the majority of the people in this area. From 1880, when Charles and Nancy Dake purchased 160 acres and developed it into Pine Grove, through 1901 when Samuel Shaffer bought a similar amount of land that would lead to the name Shaffers Crossing, people began settling in this area just thirty-five miles west of Denver. In 1901, another community was founded, a private settlement that today sees twenty-two cabins on 397 acres. Glenelk, as it came to be known, was different in that the area was used primarily for holiday cabins in the summer, whereas the other towns held more permanent year-round settlers. Nelson takes us through the biography of the area and fills it with interesting characters: Wes and Betty Long; Isham Jones, a noted musician of the inter-war period; Joseph Shattuck, a noted politician and educator; and his son, Orville, who bought a timberland grant on what was to become Shattuck Gulch. His nephew, Robert, developed an area known as La Canada, which offered lots along Elk Creek. Outlaws like the Reynolds Gang used the area in the 1860s to hide out from posses that pursued them, as did Archie Briscoe, who murdered two men in the area. There are also many accounts of more modern settlers who still reside in Elk Creek. In the early days, access was simplified thanks to the old South Park line that ran to the area, and it was this ease of access that fueled the first settlements. With the construction of roads and the advent of the motor car, travel to Elk Creek was considerably simplified. General stores and the famed Buck Snort Tavern catered to both locals and tourists. It even became practical to commute to jobs in Denver, then as now. The strength of this book lies in its biographies of local residents, from the founders to those who moved in fairly recently. There are a number of photographs that lend weight to the written wordthough, not being printed on glossy paper, the quality of the reproduction could be improved. There are two rough maps that provide the basics, but lack much detail. Professor Nelson, a descendant of a pioneering Colorado family, is well known to students and faculty of 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 Elk Creek Chronicles: From Shaffers Crossing to Pine Grove | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/content/elk-creek-chronicles-shaffers-crossing-pine-grove[12/8/2015 11:10:30 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Red Rocks Community College as the benign and supportive leader of the Social Science Department, which flourished under his management until the state severely restricted funding in the mid 1980s. His enjoyable account of life on Elk Creek will fill a niche, and it will be increasingly appreciated by those who know, and will know, the area. It is a classic of the microhistory genre. Further good news is that David Nelson is pursuing a second volume that will cover Elk Creek north of Shaffers Crossing all the way to Mount Evans. Reviewer Info: Alan Culpin received his BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Colorado. He previously taught at Red Rocks Community College and has owned and operated Abracadabra Bookshop since 1976. Add new comment