By the 1870s, Estes Park had finally come into its own as a tourist destination in Colorado territory, aided by the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 and the Kansas Pacific's arrival in Denver in 1870. From that point forward, Estes began to build not only a national reputation as a "health spa,” but with the publication of Isabella Bird's book in 1879 (preceded by mentions of Estes Park by the Fourth Earl of Dunraven in his book on Yellowstone in 1876), a mountain resort sought out by international travelers.
Because the ground covered by Isabella Bird and the Fourth Earl of Dunraven is well trod, the Estes Park Archives will continue its series on 19th century Estes this Saturday, October 17, with a look at some of the more obscure or forgotten 1870s mentions of Estes Park in national and international publications, beginning with a photographic trip to Estes Park by Joseph Collier in 1873, continuing with letters sent back home by the Fourth Earl's traveling companion, Dr. George Kingsley, published as "Notes on Sport and Travel" and concluding with a completely forgotten diary of a trip to Estes Park in 1876 by an anonymous author writing to a now-obscure fashion magazine (Demorest's Illustrated Monthly) dedicated primarily to printed sewing patterns.
The pandemic-modified format still applies, with attendance restricted to four or fewer related family members spread out around a long conference table wearing masks. Programs repeat every half-hour between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the meeting space at 240 Moraine Avenue. All are welcome, everything, including parking, is free, and neither membership nor reservations are required to attend. Call 586-4889 for more information.