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Reception And Book Signing For James Pickering’s New Book About MacGregor Family

The Trustees of the Muriel L. MacGregor Charitable Trust are pleased to announce the publication of The MacGregors of Black Canyon: An American Story by James H. Pickering, Historian Laureate of Estes Park and Professor of English at the University of Houston.

This important event in the life of the Ranch will be celebrated at a reception, book signing and talk to be held at Lake Shore Lodge on Friday, December 12, 2008 from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be an open bar with hot and cold hor d’oeuvres. Copies of the new book will be available for purchase and signing throughout the evening, during which there will be short talks by author Jim Pickering and Trustee Chair Bill Van Horn. The general public is cordially invited.

The MacGregors of Black Canyon, the first comprehensive history of MacGregor Ranch, chronicles the story of the MacGregor family from its American beginnings before the Revolutionary War through its three generations here Estes Park. Published in a large 8 ½ by 11-inch format, the 506 page book contains more than 140 historic photographs and maps as well as 16 pages of contemporary color photographs.

It will be available in two editions: a casebound edition in maroon boards, with a color photograph of MacGregor Ranch against the Twin Owls of Lumpy Ridge on its laminated cover, and in a special leather-bound “Collector’s Edition” stamped with the Ranch’s signature “XIX” brand. The “Collector’s Edition,” which is limited to 100 copies, is individually numbered and contains a book plate signed by the author, the members of the Board of Trustees of the Muriel MacGregor Charitable Trust, and by Executive Director Eric Adams who commissioned the book and guided the manuscript through production.

Jim Pickering’s talk will focus on some of the major discoveries he made along the way. “Little did I know,” he says, “what a task lay ahead when I responded to Eric Adam’s invitation to write a history of the MacGregors and their ranch in the Black Canyon.  Though I thought I already knew most of the MacGregor story, I did not.” Researching the MacGregor story, he notes, took him far beyond Estes Park. Though the family saved everything, there were significant gaps in the story which needed to be filled. That research that took him, by stages, to New York, Canada, Vermont, Wisconsin, and finally to Denver and Estes Park. “In the end,” he notes, “I came away with renewed admiration for every generation of the MacGregor family. For Alexander and Clara who created a life for themselves in a nearly empty valley and played a leading role in its development. For Donald and Maude who made their ranch the center of the valley’s ranching and farming community.  And for Muriel, their only daughter, who heroically tried to carry on what her parents and grandparents had so well begun.” And yes, he continues, there were major surprises along the way—findings which will reshape our understanding of the MacGregor story, and, by extension, our understanding of some of the history of early Estes Park. “In many ways it proved to be my most interesting and exciting book, for I was dealing with history at its most micro level.”

For those unable to attend the December 12th event, copies of the book in both editions will be available at the MacGregor Ranch office during regular business hours.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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