Estes Park Archives Program

The fourth printing of an Estes Park-influenced dictionary appeared in July 1939. Photo courtesy Estes Park Archives

Did you know Estes Park produced its own dictionary?

In 1934, three (at the time) Estes Park residents - Harriet S. Peters, Richardson Rome, and Dave Stirling (Dave remained a full-time Estes Park resident until his death in 1971) - compiled a humorous catalog of words as defined “out west,” complete with illustrations and wood-block prints. Supposedly, the idea came from Harriet Peters interactions with pampered or confused guests at the Elkhorn Lodge front desk, but numerous entries have the mark of Dave Stirling's brand of humor.

The work went through multiple printings into the 1950s, and appears with various titles, “The Infamous Dude Dictionary” and “Rocky Mountainania” among the most common.

The January series of free Estes Park Archives programs continues this Saturday, January 23, with the theme of compiling a virtual or complete Estes Park library, and identifying what should be included. The words “Estes Park” are mentioned nowhere in this publication, but it is clear from the list of authors/illustrators and the inside references that “Rocky Mountainania” could have originated nowhere else but Estes Park.

The programs cycle every half hour between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and only individuals wearing masks and sharing the same household or last name are permitted entry at any given time. If you don't want to risk waiting outside, please call 970-586-4889 to make a reservation.

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