Colorado's North Park: History, Wildlife and Ranching            

 Excerpt from the book:

Paul Willard Richard

Early one morning in August of 1887, Sandy Mellen, a neighbor and former army scout for Col. Dodge, raced through the Monroe yard on his sweat-lathered horse yelling an alarm at the top of his lungs to Lindy. ”Utes are off the reservation west of here! Killed a couple of men and are probably headed our way.”

Lindy felt a surge of terror. “What should I do?”

“Get Jap, Joe, and the whole kit and caboodle to the blockhouse at Pinkhampton, fast. I don’t know how much time you have. I’m headed to tell others. Be quick!”

Lindy stood in disbelief for a moment. Sandy was a man everyone trusted, a legend in the south end of the Park for having guided many a military mission across the west. He had even staked the first claim for most of the present town of Steamboat Springs, but traded it to another man for fine horses. Stunned, she watched Sandy gallop away, then turned to race toward the men cutting hay by hand in the meadow.

Dishes left on the table, a fire still burning in the stove, the family made a mad dash by wagon across forty miles of sagebrush. Lindy handled the team, Jay bouncing up and down beside her, while Joe and Jap rode horseback beside them, their rifles loaded. Half of the settlers in North Park were at the small blockhouse when they arrived, though few could stay inside. They built barricades and, with only a little food and the clothes on their backs, stayed for three long days, worrying and praying, awaiting an attack. Finally, when nothing happened and not a Ute appeared, they were told the Indians had headed back to the reservation in Utah and it was safe to go home.

The Utes, by treaty, were allowed to come back to Colorado to hunt in their old territory but, when they did, people had panicked around Meeker and Glenwood Springs, the alarm traveling clear to North Park. It was the last Indian scare in Colorado, but it lingered in Lindy’s mind a long time.

What Readers Say


Order by Mail