Poudre Canyon Name History

Poudre Canyon Name History


by Ben Costello, January 2018

While doing some cleaning, I came across an old document and thought the information might be interesting to post. The information in the document was compiled by Stanley R. Case in June of 1992 for the Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest folks. It outlines the name history of many sites in the Cache La Poudre River canyon. It reads as follows, enjoy!

Named by C. Marion Brofford for a point across the Cache La Poudre River to the south which was once referred to as Arrowhead Point by early settlers.

A cooperative agreement in 1918 between the city of Fort Collins and Roosevelt National Forest led to the creation of a mountain park in Poudre Canyon named for Ansel Watrous, the author of “Larimer County History- 1911”.

This tunnel was holed through in the fall of 1916 and prior to this the road ended at Thompson’s Resort (Mishawaka). Travel to the upper reaches of the Poudre River was over Pingree Hill to Rustic.

Abraham LeFever, cattleman and homesteader of Indian Meadow Ranch, named this fro a relative, David Barnes. The reservoir was built in 1929 by the Mountain Plains Irrigation Company for July and August irrigation water for the Fort Collins-Greeley area.

In the 1880’s Jocelyn Bellairs homesteaded on South Lone Pine Creek, and in 1890 Malcolm Bellairs operated a ranch in the Weast Lake Area. The transfer of “e” for “s” was a typing error.

I.W. and E.J. Bennett were early sheepmen, ranchers, and community leaders in the Livermore area beginning in the late 1870’s.

This Lake is located in the south end of the Rawahs, and was presumably named because of its color. The trailhead originally started on the west side of Chambers Lake, but is now located opposite the entrance of the Long Draw Reservoir Road.

During the mid 1920’s three boys, members of the Brown family, spent several winters camped while trapping in the beautiful little park on Jinks Creek. They did not build a cabin, and no further information is available as to their next destination.

Several events attempt to qualify as the historical basis for this river’s name. One concerns Major Stephen H. Long’s encampment on July 3, 1820 along the South Platte River near the entering points of three streams. Another in 1835 on July 18, was recorded during Colonel Henry Dodge’s march with a battalion of dragoons over Long’s same trail. As they rounded the great bend of the South Platte, they passed the mouth of the first stream and recorded it as the Cache de la Poudre. The guide was Captain John Gantt, a former army officer turned leader of free trappers who knew the country and called it by the mane. It’s meaning is “hide the powder”. Ansel Watrous recorded the date of the naming as 1836, but his date is disputed by Colonel Dodge’s record.

Several accounts related a trapper party carrying supplies to a rendezvous on the Green River in Wyoming getting caught in a snowstorm which forced them to bury (cache) supplies until they could return and retrieve them. There is also a story that William H. Ashley made a cache while trading in the area with the intention of retrieving the items when they resumed their journey to a rendezvous. The cache may have been left and dug up by the father of Antoine Janis mentioned by Watrous.

The date of the naming is not known, but trappers hid valuables by digging a small hole in the ground and then scooping out a chamber for storage. The hole was carefully filled in and concealed by replacing sod, disposing of excess dirt and tramping it down or even building a fire over it to hide it. The mane Cache la Poudre is probably a contracted form of “cachez la poudre” meaning “hide the powder”.

Major General Robert A. Cameron, in the service of the Union from 1861 – 1865, and organizer of the Fort Collins, Colorado Agriculture Colony in 1872, was an important factor in the settlement of the Cache La Poudre Valley. On a trip to Chambers Lake, he and Dr. Lows discovered the pass through the Medicine Bow Mountains in North Park. Later the pass was named by the Union Pacific Engineering Department in memory of General Cameron.

In the early days of settlement, a ditch was built to take water from these two lakes found in the Rawahs to the Skyline Ditch and to the Cache La Poudre River. Near the lakes a camp was erected for the ditch workers. Nothing today remains of the old cabins of this camp for which the lakes were named.

This mine was originally called the Elkhorn Mine, which was located by John Zimmerman and his brother Mike in 1881. Mr. Zimmerman sold the mine to a brother-in-law in St. Louis who was with the Cash Mining Company. The old mine is located on the mountain across the road and to the east of the Poudre Canyon Chapel. It was later worked by a “hard-rock” miner named Roy O Conner and called the Cash Mine or O Conner Mine. After Mr. O Conner’s death, Ed Cox and Andie Longston filed on the claim and named it the Cash and Carry Mine. The claim was never patented, however, new claims have been registered in 1989 and 1990.

In 1858 Robert Chambers and his son, Robert Jr., set up a rapping camp near the lake. During an absence by his son, Indians attacked and killed the elder Chambers. Later in 1867 while the Union Pacific railroad was working on its route west of Cheyenne, Robert Jr. told a tie contractor about the plentiful timber on the upper Poudre River. A tie as established by the lake and the workers named the lake in honor of the slain trapper. A small dam was built at the lake to raise the water level under the first water decree in 1887. The first dam washed out on June 9, 1891, and has been rebuilt twice since. The lake is now partially owned and operated by Water Supply and Storage Company.

The highest mountain in the Chambers Lake region takes its name from William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It’s Native American name was Elk Horn. Originally the peak was called Cameron for nearby Cameron Pass.

The prevalence of these flowers gave this settlement its name.

This lake is one of twin lakes feeding a small tributary of the West Branch of the Laramie River. It was named by Red Vernon, a guide in the Rawahs, because to him it looked like a crater had formed in the high peaks.

Crown Point was a mining claim, but the origin of the name is unknown.

Named for an elderly Afro-American known as “Dad” who had a cabin in the gulch. The second “d” in the name is unaccounted for.

The area at the junction of Elkhorn Creek with the Poudre River was once inhabited by an old trapper/hunter named George Neare, known as “Dutch”. He protected his hunting preserve, Elkhorn Creek Canyon, with a passion. Legend says his own loaded riffle fell down and shot him as he skinned a bear. Another legend says he was killed by a bear on this site in the late 1800’s. A still-growing apple tree marks the site of his cabin.

The summer post office, resort, and bridge was named for the Fred Eggers family, the original settlers of the site.

Originally located on the hill behind Eggers Post OFfice for which it was named, this school was a WPA project with construction in the early spring and summer of 1934. Logs were cut and hauled from the Chambers Lake area and layed up by WPA workers along with local residents. The school opened that fall and closed after the completion of the Poudre Canyon School in 1959. The old log school has been moved to a location just east of the Poudre Canyon School and may be converted into a museum.

A USFS campground taking its name from the city of Fort Collins.

The land was purchased from Norman Fry by a Mr. Cooke, who built the first camp in 1920. It consisted of a small store, and across the road at the present Glen Echo site, several tent frames with wooden floors. The name comes from a spot just west of the site where one can hear voice echoes from across the canyon.

Old Glendevey (accent on the last syllable) was originally named after Thomas H. Dovey who owned a ranch in the glen. It once served as a Post Office.

The lakes were named after the E. and E. Honholz family because of their extensive holdings in the Slugh (?) and Grace Creek area in the Laramie River Valley. Their US land patents went back to 1904 and 1916-17.

The Home Post Office was first located in a small cabin at the Kinikinik Ranch with John R. Brown as postmaster. Brown had been a blacksmith for Old Camp Collins. About 1880 Brown applied for a post office under the name of “Mountain Home” but was told that there were too many Mountain Homes in the United States, so the name was shortened to Home. In 1896 after John Zimmerman built the Keystone Hotel, he was appointed postmaster of Home and the post office.

This terminal moraine was the result of an episode of glaciation. The name was taken from the Home Post Office.

Located in the general area of the Zimmerman Hotel and livery stables, it takes its name from the Home Moraine.

Originally called the Big Beaver, this reservoir located up the Little South River is now named for its shape.

Horace Huleatt settled in the gulch which bears his name, but not its spelling, in the late 1870’s. it is reported that an old Ute Trial followed the gulch, located nor of Columbine (Poudre) Park. Huleatt eventually moved on to California, and left a stone cabin in the gulch.

Early Euro-Americans coming into this area located on the Poudre River found Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Indians camping, hinting, and fishing in the area.

Probably named for the meadow, but may have been a requirement when Guy Slenecker purchased the business rights from the Indian Meadows Corporation in 1925. he built and operated the camp until 1934 when the operation was taken over by Archie and Neva Langston. Neva is the daughter of Guy. It is not known when the name was changed to Indian Meadows Resort.

Found in the Rawahs, this lake was named by the Sholine family due to the jagged rock island that stands in the middle of the lake.

The creek that feeds Chambers Lake from the south was named for a beaver trapper that spent a winter collecting pelts along the stream in the 1800’s.

The reservoir takes its name from the Creek. It was built in 1904 by foreman John McNabb and engineer William Rist working for a Mr. F.C. Crable. This was a part of the Michigan River Ditch system, and later purchased from them by the North Poudre Irrigation Company, now owned by the City of Fort Collins. Fort Collins has recently built a new dam to increase the reservoir capacity.

A tie cutter named Jim Kelly, and a man named Jack Dunn, built a cabin on these flats.

A USFS campground that took the name of the flats upon which it was constructed.

Named by Charles B. Andrews because of the abundance of the evergreen plant growing in the area. There is no explanation for the incorrect spelling on maps. The plant name is spelled kinnikinnick. Andrews was a prominent cattleman who invested in land on the Poudre River in the 1880’s to raise Shetland ponies and cattle for the eastern market. The cabin that housed the first Home Post Office was located on his land.

Over the years the ranch was called Shady Lane Ranch. The Shetland Ranch, the Cup Williams Ranch, and since the purchase by Clarance Bliss in 1941, the name Kinikinik has prevailed.

This lake was named for Louise Sholine (Mrs. F.W. McWilliams), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Sholine, earliest ranch owners on the West Branch of the upper Laramie River. Today it is shown as Bench Lake on USFS maps.

Jacques LaRamee (LaRamie), a French Canadian in the employment of the Northwest Fur Company came into the upper headwaters of the Missouri about 1819. In 1820, h with several other trappers trapped on the headwaters of the North Platte. Later that same year, LaRamee against the advice of the fellow trappers, decided to trap the Laramie River and its tributaries. The area was a battleground among several tribes of Native Americans, but LaRamee believed he would be safe because he was on friendly terms with most of the tribes. At the next rendezvous, LaRamee was missing. His friends organized a party to hunt for the trapper and in a few days found his cabin. Unfortunately, there are no confirmed reports that they located his body, but they did call the river Laramie’s River later shortened to Laramie River. his name with the different spelling has been given to several locations in the region.

The tunnel connects the two rivers and transfers water from the Laramie River to the Poudre River. The plans were drawn up in 1907 and the tunnel completed in the fall.

This chain of lakes, located in the Rawah area on the eastern side of the Medicine Bow Mountains, was discovered by Willis A. Link in 1901.

Livermore is derived from a combination of the names of Adolphus Livernash and Stephen Moore, two of the area’s earliest permanent settlers. The name has been used for stage stops, a hotel, store, post office, school, and livery stable in the area over the years.

A name given to the hotel and post office built and operated by Mrs. Elizabeth St. Clair. Mrs. St. Clair originally homesteaded 320 acres on the site. It became an official U.S. Post Office in 1903. The original building caught fire and burned in November of 1931 but the post office was continued until 1941 when it was closed. Nothing remains on the site now except a historical marker that was dedicated August 6, 1983. The location is at the intersection of the Livermore and Red Feather Lakes Road and the Elkhorn Road to the Poudre River.

The reservoir is located in Long Draw, above the northwest corner of Rocky Mountain National Park. The draw was named by early tie cutters that set up camp in the draw and maned it for its length, which ran from the top of Poudre Pass to the Big South of the Cache la Poudre River. The reservoir was built by Water Supply and Storage Company in 1931 to regulate water diverted from the Grand River Ditch.

The dam as recently expanded for additional storage, and at that time the company was required to include campground and picnic facilities to USPS specification, and a holding pond for fish. The agreement included turning the facilities over to the Roosevelt National Forest.

Founded and platted by Benjamin Burnett in 1879 along the upper reaches of the Colorado River, then called the Grand River, this once bustling, but short-lived gold boom town lasted, but four years. Burnett named the site after one of his daughters, and his log building was the first constructed in the town, becoming the area store. For Several years the site grew and housed many miners and prospectors, but the gold ore was of such low quality the town was soon abandoned.

The decaying buildings were later removed after the establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park in 1915 and included the area within its boundaries. A historical marker has been placed at the site along the hiking trail int to the area.

The old haul-road to Lulu City included the Log Cabin to Manhattan road west through the Bald Mountains and then followed what is now known as the Green Ridge Trail to Chambers Lake. The route then went on to Cameron Pass and the Michigan River, up past American Lake to Lulu Pass (now called Thunder Pass) at Thunder Mountain (named by local Indians) and then dropped into the Grand River Valley. The first freighting teams consisted of sex large mules to pull the heavy wagons.

This small chain of lakes is located at the head of one of the branches of McIntyre Creek in the north end of the Rawah Mountains. The lakes were named for Norman c. Mcintyre. McIntyre acquired land in the Laramie River Valley in the Early 1900’s for the promotion of lakes and reservoirs.

Established as a gold mining town on Elkhorn Creek in 1886, the site is located north of the town of Rustic. Two theories exist as to the origin of the name. The first story has a man called Cap Hattan establishing the camp. The miners spoke of him as “that man Hattan” and the newcomers began calling the camp Manhattan. The second theory involves homesick miner naming it for Manhattan Borough, New York. Whatever the origin, it was surveyed for a town and named by John Deaver and the Du Bois brothers.

By 1901, the buildings were being moved away and little was left in 1905 when the school was moved one quarter mile east of Goodell Corner.

This was homesteaded, but not known by whom; perhaps it was Walter Thompson. The meaning of Mishawaka is unknown.

Prior to 1923, the Redfeather Lakes were called the Mitchell Lakes for Jack Mitchell. Mitchell developed irrigation ditches in the area in October, 1888.

The trail starts west of Joe Wright Reservoir, across Highway 14, and was named for an early day miner. The remains of several mine shafts and cabins, some of which were Montgomery’s, can be found at tree limit along this trail.

Part of the Mummy Range in Rocky Mountain National Park, the mountains resemble an Egyptian mummy lying on its back as viewed from the Pingree Park Road and the Estes Park area. The head of the “mummy” points southeast.

The chain of mountains that includes Chapin, Chiquita, Ypsilon, Fairchild, Mummy, Hague, Rowe, Dunraven, and Dickerson were called the White Owls by the Native Americans, who may have found the snowy owl or the great horned owl, which can look very pale, in the vicinity of the mountains.

Neota was the mane of an Arapaho Indian girl who was captured by a Ute Chief. A young warrior of her own tribe later rescued her.

In 1894-1895, Jacob Flowers built a trail from Hourglass Reservoir to Walden. A second trail was built from Buckhorn Creek to Cameron Pass and Michigan Creek, and then to Lulu City. It was a poorly built trail and took considerable effort to negotiate. Jacob Flowers was offered on thousand dollars by the state and the county if he could manage to haul a load of oats in a two-wheeled cart over the trail. He accomplished the mission and was paid. In 1938 the Flowers Gulch flood washed his cabin out.

This rock feature was named by “old-timers” because it formed a perfect profile of a man’s face looking from either direction. Found just east of the Arrowhead Lodge, early postcards list this as the “Old Man’s Face” by the Forest Service in later years changed its designation to “Profile Rock”.

Located west of Rustic on the south side of the Poudre River, the site was named for the mining settlement where John and Mike Zimmerman built and started a stamp mill in 1890. On June 9, 1891, a flood caused by a break in the Chambers Lake Dam destroyed everything on the site except on cabin and the old chimney of the stamp mill. It was reported in later years by Stella Christianson, the then three-year-old daughter of John McNabb, that John Zimmerman rode his horse to death galloping a warning to the residents of Poudre City. Because of that warning, local residents made it safely to higher ground. Supposedly, thirteen families lived in Poudre City at the time.

The stamp mill chimney has been painted and repaired, and a historical marker approved by the State Historical Society has been placed on the chimney. A trail leads to the site fro the Poudre Canyon Chapel parking lot. Besides the chapel, the Poudre Canyon School and the old Eggers Log School are also on the site. The school was moved up form its Eggers site to be used as a museum.

This area was settled in 1875 by Miss Sarah Ayres and family. Located south of Livermore and east of Highway 287, the canyon was named by the Ayres for the numerous owls that lived in the area.

The reservoir was named for a Colorado Game & Fish Commissioner, R.E. (Rolly) Parvin. Ther Reservoir is located next to the Red Feather Lakes.

Charles E. Pennock planned a road over the mountains to Walden, but ran out of money before the project could be completed. The stream and Pennock Pass along the Buckhorn road were named for him.

peterson Creek comes down a mountain and into the Cache la Poudre River on the north side of the road between the State Fish Hatchery and Kinikinik. It was named for Henry C. Peterson who homesteaded the area in 1882.

George W. Pingree spent winters in the late 1860’s in the upper reaches of the Poudre trapping beavers and hunting wild game. He built a camp at what is now Rustic and built the first trail up the gulch north of Rustic over which he packed his supplies, game, and furs. He went to work for Issac Coe and Levi Carter of Nebraska, the contractors for the UPRR.In 1970 he built a narrow gauge 3 foot road down the Pingree trail and up the Canyon to Cameron Pass. The cutters and haulers helped in the widening of his trail and gave it his name.

George Pingree located trees for ties at the headwaters of the Little South Fork of the Poudre River and this park area was named for him.

The name given to the area where the Zimmerman Brothers erected a five stamp mill following 1887 gold finds along the Poudre above Rustic. When Bob and Margaret Lewis started their resort and subdivision at the old U bar U Ranch. They chose this name over the objections of many old timers who felt that this would add confusion about the old historical site which now has been called “Old Poudre City”. The name of Poudre City Resort has now been changed by new owners to Mountain Greenery, but the subdivision which is located 1 1/4 miles east of Old Poudre City still retains the name of Poudre City.

Named for the river.

Separated the Colorado River and Poudre River watersheds and is located on the Continental Divide south of Long Draw Reservoir. This was originally known as Mountain Meadow Pass.

(See Old Mans Face)

The name given to a peak, a wild area, and several lakes. It was the name given the area east of the Medicine Bow Mountains of northern Colorado by the Ute Indians long before the coming of the white man. It means “wilderness”.

The lakes making up /red Feather were developed by Jake Mitchell and know as Mitchell Lakes until later changed. Prior to that they were referred to as West Lake.

In 1923 Princes Chinena, a professional singer from the Cherokee Indian Nation, came to the area for a promotional celebration. Her costume included a red feather which she wore in her hair denoting the meaning of her name. The community took the name ager her visit. Red Feather Lakes Days celebrated on the 4th of July week-end usually includes the choosing and crowing of Princess Red Feather.

A second story states that Red Feather Lakes was named for Chief Red Feather, hero of an American Indian legend, by a Mr. Princell who funded the resort in the summer of 1923.

In a dream, the young Red Feather saw the Great Spirit who revealed the location of a fishing and hinting paradise toward the north start. Red Feather found the place, claimed it for the Cherokees and was made a chief.

Augustine Mason bought the Rist Canyon road from Joe Rist in 1866 for $75. Joseph Mason owned the bridge over the Poudre River in Pleasant Valley at the time. The two men found the bridge and road too expensive to maintain and turned them over to the county.

A small lake in the Rawahs that is located in solid rock was named by Red Vernon, an early guide in the Rawah area.

Established in 1915 through the efforts of local conservationist Enos Mills, it was named for the Rocky Mountains.

In 1891, the Forest Reserve Act was passed, enabling the President to establish reserves on national lands. A petition filed by the Colorado State Forestry Association resulted in the formation of the Medicine Bow National Forest Preserve in 1902, and included lands in Wyoming and Colorado. The Colorado portion became the Colorado National Forest in 1910 and was named for President Theodore Roosevelt in 1932. The headquarters were first located in Wyoming, then moved to Estes Park Colorado, and finally to Fort Collins in 1908 when given space in the post office building in 1911.

Samuel B. Stewart, foreman of the “tie boys” homesteaded the area and in 1891, built the Rustic Hotel. The origin of the mane is unknown, but was possibly named for the type of accommodations. The hotel had its ups and downs and was demolished.

Early postcards list this area as Sawtooth. Ansel Watrous’ Larimer Country History – 1911 shows a picture labeled as Sawtooth. Some maps show it as Mount Richthofen. Other maps show Nokhu Crags, supposedly named by the Indians. The meaning is unknown. Some believe Nokhu to mean “seven Utes”, but Seven Utes is the name also given to the peaks surrounding the next basin to the west, and closer to the 7 Utes Lodge. The basin is also the site of the proposed 7 Utes Ski Area.

The stream that is seven miles long empties into the Poudre River at Rustic.

Old man Shipman fished, trapped and comped for many years in the park that bears his name. At the beginning of World War I he disappeared. He never claimed a homestead, but the remains of the Shipman Babin are still visible. The area was later added to the Rawah Wilderness. The old state road over the Pass going to North Park passed through Shipman Park and was Sometimes used by Jeeps, but of course was discontinued after inclusion in the Wilderness area.

The Signals and the ridge that runs between them was called Wolf Ridge by the Arapahos. Early settlers thought they saw smoke signals coming from the peaks, but the Arapahos could not remember using the peaks for signaling.

A rock formation taht resembles a sleeping elephant.

Named by USFS for the nearby rock formation.

Named for a man named Spencer who homesteaded the first ranch at that location. Lyle (son of Guy Slonecker, of Indian Meadows) and Helen L. Slonecker purchased rights from Dr. Harmer and Lew Stimpson in the Greeley Colony and built the Resort in 1928, operating it until 1936 when they traded it to Harry Garlick. Garlick later sold the resort to Mr. and Mrs. Guy Kirk.

The lodge was originally named Gladstones by its builder Bryce Gladstone in 1931. When Bill and Clara Schorman purchased the property in 1946 the changed the name to Sportsmans – probably for the many game and fish trophies used to decorate the place. Later owners, the McIsaacs, added the word lodge.

Supposedly a campers old stave was found near the present school. The school district was organized in 1893 and a school house was built in 1894.

A very short creek that may have been called Stub by early visitors, but there is no verification.

A USFS facility in the Laramie River Valley named for the creek. It formally was called the Stub Creek Ranger Station.

E.I. (Ted) Herring and his brother came and built a store and station at the intersection of US 287 and Colorado 14 in the early 1920’s which they called the Poudre Canyon Dilling Station. Their grand opening was held on May 25, 192. It wasn’t long before everyone was calling the store Ted’s Place and the name stuck. Ted served many terms as a Larimer County Representative and Senator in the Colorado Legislature. He died in 1963 and his wife Nellie in 1976. Conoco demolished Ted’s Place in 1989.

Established in 1879, the mining town was named for Henry M. Teller who for 10 years served in the U.S. Senate representing the State of Colorado. Several early accounts listed the area rich in silver and the population soon reached 400 and peaked in 1882 at 1300.Teller started to collapse in 1883 and was nearly deserted by 1885, with only three or four individuals that would not acknowledge defeat. The post office was abandoned in 1886. “North Park History” by Haxel Greshman lists all of the businesses, people, and professions that were at Teller City.

See Lulu Pass

Built by “Tex” Extrom in 1938 and 1939, he named it Tex’s Place. When Melvin and Jaclyn Peterson purchased the property they changed the name to the Trading Post. All owners since have stuck with the name for the resort located about 9 1/2 miles west of Arrowhead.

In the 1920’s Tom Bennett built a resort and campground on his ranch near the Little South Fork of the Poudre River. He is not connected with the earlier settler for whom Bennett Creek is named. Ther campground is now the property of USFS.

The west portal of the Laramie – Poudre Tunnel is located near this USFS campground.

This gulch comes in from the north two miles above Arrowhead.

reached by Jeep Road going east from the top of Pingree Hill, and named for L.L. Wintersteen, a local rancher. He was postmaster at Manhattan in 1894.

Operated by Alvi Yauger.

John Zimmerman first settled in the Poudre area near the fenced enclosure just south of the trailhead parking lot. It is a one mile hike to the lake.

Cache la Poudre – the river as seen from 1898, Norman W. Fry
Fort Collins yesterdays, Evadene Burris Swanson
History of Larimer County – 1911, Ansel Watrous
History of Larimer County – 1985
Larimer County place names, Etholine Aycock and Mary Hagen, 1984
Larimer County Stock Growers Association – 1884-1956