C31 Genesee Ski Jump

The automobile made recreational skiing possible in Colorado. No longer tethered to street car lines, the people of Denver could do more than gaze longingly at the mountain front.

Skiers looked to the nearby foothills for ski jump sites. Genesee Mountain and Homewood Park were the two locations near Denver where jumps were built in the 1920’s. Ski jumpers from the Denver-Rocky Mountain Skiing Club, based out of Denver and Jefferson County, competed against ski jumpers from Homewood Park (southwest Jefferson County), Hot Sulphur Springs and Steamboat Springs throughout the 1920’s. There was no Interstate highway to whisk skiers to Genesee Mountain in the 1920’s, nor was there a U.S. Highway 40 clinging to the side of Mount Vernon Canyon. Only a disused wagon road. Weekend skiers had to navigate the harrowing Lookout Mountain Road out of Golden, to get to the site. Spectators took the streetcar from Denver to Golden, the funicular railway up the side of Lookout Mountain, then hiked through snow for 2 miles. Nonetheless, some competitions had as many as 10,000 in attendance.

Situated on the north-facing slopes of Genesee Mountain, the Genesee Park ski jumping area was the site of national ski jumping competitions from 1921 to 1927. As many as four jumps are reported to have been built on the mountain. The longest jump was reported to be 2,000 feet long with a vertical drop of 700 feet. Often, snow was trucked in from higher elevations for the competitions, forming a thin white ribbon for the jumpers to land upon.

More details HERE.

C29 Elk Pen & Ralston Chimney Home Site

Lucian M. "Grandad" Ralston 1872-1957

Mount Vernon Canyon pioneer settler Lucian McKee Ralston was an extraordinary, hard-working, enterprising, and stabilizing influence for the community from 1879 until he died in 1957. His example of integrity, strength, and generosity continues to inspire all public school children who attend the Ralston Elementary School named after him. His father, Captain Lucian Hunter Ralston, moved his family from Kentucky in 1879 and settled in a log cabin near Cody Park on Lookout Mountain.

Eight-year-old Lucian watched his father teach children at the Rockland School and help build the Rockland Church while raising potatoes and grain. In 1887, they established a ranch and general store where Interstate 70 lies between Lookout Mountain Exit 256 and Genesee Exit 254. After the death of his father, Lucian continued to manage the family ranch and store, freighted lumber to Idaho Springs and harvested hay.

In 1900 he married Bessie Lindsay. They established a variety of enterprises to support raising their seven children. The children helped grow and harvest grain, hay, and vegetables. They milked cows and tended the chickens to sell milk and eggs at the store where they each developed business and retailing skills.

Ralston served on the Rockland School Board of Education for 35 years, often as President. His family helped repair and maintain the school building, and teachers boarded at the Ralston ranch during the seven-month school year. He was the first Chaplain for the Genesee Grange #219 in 1913. He built a large room behind the store to provide space for community celebrations and meetings. He also served as a Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff.

When Denver officials began to explore for a mountain park system, Lucian encouraged them to purchase Genesee Mountain to preserve the wildlife habitat, plant diversity, and extraordinary views. It would also provide a pasture for herds of buffalo and elk; and open land for hiking and camping. He helped dig the grave for Buffalo Bill in 1917 and guided the Colorado Mountain Club in building the historic Beaver Brook Trail in 1919. Ralston worked for Denver Mountain Parks for 14 years, helping to build and maintain roads and establish picnic areas.

After Lucian's death, the Ralstons traded their Genesee Mountain land for a site south of Cold Springs ranch to allow for the Genesee development and construction of 1-70. "Ralston was a quiet man, he lived unpretentiously, and was a true man of the mountains. He gave many a helping hand and never had an unkind word to say of his fellow man." (Georgina Brown, The Shining Mountains.)

More details HERE.

C28 The Buffalo Herd

Northwest Pasture at I-70 exit 254, in Genesee Park

Denver’s first “Mountain Park,” Genesee, acquired in 1914. The first 160 acres were enclosed for endangered species of Colorado elk and 14 of the last bison, transported from Yellowstone. Genesee Park was first split by Hwy 40 in 1937. A tunnel under I-70 allows the bison to enjoy the pasture south of I-70, adjacent to the oldest ranch house of continuous occupation in Jefferson County known as the Patrick House built in 1860, east of Chief Hosa Lodge built in 1918.

C27 Patrick Homestead

Denver’s first “Mountain Park,” Genesee, acquired in 1914. The first 160 acres were enclosed for endangered species of Colorado elk and 14 of the last bison, transported from Yellowstone. Genesee Park was first split by Hwy 40 in 1937. A tunnel under I-70 allows the bison to enjoy the pasture south of I-70, adjacent to the oldest ranch house of continuous occupation in Jefferson County known as the Patrick House built in 1860, east of Chief Hosa Lodge built in 1918.

C26 Ralston Store and Home Site

Lucian M. "Grandad" Ralston 1872-1957

Mount Vernon Canyon pioneer settler Lucian McKee Ralston was an extraordinary, hard-working, enterprising, and stabilizing influence for the community from 1879 until he died in 1957. His example of integrity, strength, and generosity continues to inspire all public school children who attend the Ralston Elementary School named after him. His father, Captain Lucian Hunter Ralston, moved his family from Kentucky in 1879 and settled in a log cabin near Cody Park on Lookout Mountain.

Eight-year-old Lucian watched his father teach children at the Rockland School and help build the Rockland Church while raising potatoes and grain. In 1887, they established a ranch and general store where Interstate 70 lies between Lookout Mountain Exit 256 and Genesee Exit 254. After the death of his father, Lucian continued to manage the family ranch and store, freighted lumber to Idaho Springs and harvested hay.

In 1900 he married Bessie Lindsay. They established a variety of enterprises to support raising their seven children. The children helped grow and harvest grain, hay, and vegetables. They milked cows and tended the chickens to sell milk and eggs at the store where they each developed business and retailing skills.

Ralston served on the Rockland School Board of Education for 35 years, often as President. His family helped repair and maintain the school building, and teachers boarded at the Ralston ranch during the seven-month school year. He was the first Chaplain for the Genesee Grange #219 in 1913. He built a large room behind the store to provide space for community celebrations and meetings. He also served as a Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff.

When Denver officials began to explore for a mountain park system, Lucian encouraged them to purchase Genesee Mountain to preserve the wildlife habitat, plant diversity, and extraordinary views. It would also provide a pasture for herds of buffalo and elk; and open land for hiking and camping. He helped dig the grave for Buffalo Bill in 1917 and guided the Colorado Mountain Club in building the historic Beaver Brook Trail in 1919. Ralston worked for Denver Mountain Parks for 14 years, helping to build and maintain roads and establish picnic areas.

After Lucian's death, the Ralstons traded their Genesee Mountain land for a site south of Cold Springs ranch to allow for the Genesee development and construction of 1-70. "Ralston was a quiet man, he lived unpretentiously, and was a true man of the mountains. He gave many a helping hand and never had an unkind word to say of his fellow man." (Georgina Brown, The Shining Mountains.)

More details HERE.

 

C25 Original Rockland School

The first "Rockland" school was built in 1874 with lumber from the mill "across the road" on the north downslope of Genesee Mountain near the Patrick House. Land, building materials, paint and labor were donated by homesteaders. Students, ranging in age from six to 20, walked to school for distances of 1/4 to 4 miles. Children had to do chores at home before walking several miles to school. During the winter, they were bundled in heavy coats, mufflers, mittens, and high boots appropriate for foot plowing through snow drifts while carrying a lunch bucket and books the entire way. Water was hand pumped from outdoor wells or collected in buckets from nearby streams and hauled to the schoolhouse. Wood burning stoves provided heat for warmth and cooking. Read more HERE.

C17 Geodetic Datum #3

Geodetic datums and the coordinate reference systems based on them were developed to describe geographic positions for surveying, mapping, and navigation. Through a long history, the "figure of the earth" was refined from flat-earth models to spherical models of sufficient accuracy to allow global exploration, navigation and mapping. True geodetic datums were employed only after the late 1700s when measurements showed that the earth was ellipsoidal in shape.