In our travels, there are often individuals that everyone says we must interview. For the west side of the park, that person is historian Dave Lively. We ended our time in the Rockies by attending his “The People of Kawuneeche Valley” presentation at the History Colorado Center in Denver, CO.
Dave took us through 11,000 years of Grand Lake and Kawuneeche Valley history. Starting with the Paleo-Indians chasing game through the region, to the legacy of Lulu City, the largest mining town of the area. From the Holzwarth family and Harbison Sisters, who ran the most successful lodges in the area, to Fred McLaren, the first west side ranger, whose ranger hat was the only item provided by the park service at the time.
Dave graciously met with us after the presentation, where he re-affirmed that the history of Grand Lake is all about the people. This is because “the wetter and better” side, as he playfully called it, offered both the scenery, and the peace and quiet to attract visitors, but also work for its residents through its mining operations and water diversion projects.
Check out this video to learn more about Dave Lively:
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