About the Book
Nineteenth century explorers, adventurers, fortune seekers, and in some instances their families were responsible for the settlement of Ouray, known in 1875 as the little mining camp called Uncompahgre. A remarkable nucleus of visionary men came to the new settlement. Some were highly educated. Others were gifted in a variety of ways. Together they transformed the mining camp into an incorporated and patented small mountain city by 1876. They renamed the city, Ouray, after the prominent Ute Indian leader who visited the city frequently.
This book presents the eight blocks historical tour through part of Ouray's business district. It begins with visual images and stories of block 18, one of the earliest locations for business in the town. Block 18 (the Jeffers Block), on the east side of Third Street (now called Main Street) between Sixth and Seventh Avenues can best be enjoyed from the opposite side of the street. Let's start this book tour at the marker site on the west side of the street, in the middle of the block, near the Citizens State Bank. That marker illustrates how block 18 looked between 1886 and 1908. Block 18 had its share of gifted businessmen. You'll enjoy reading about them.
As you move from chapter to chapter in the text, you will journey southward on the west side of Main Street looking east at block 19 (the Beaumont Block). Next you will see block 20 (the Elks Club Block), before crossing the street and turning north along the east side of Main Street. Traveling north you will be looking across the street to the west and can enjoy the progression of time on blocks 12 (the Wright Block), 11 (the Townsend Block), 10 (the Citizens State Bank Block), and 9 (The Story Block).
At the close of your walking tour, you will be standing on the sidewalk in the middle of block 16 looking to the west at block 8 (the Vanoli Block). Historically, block 8 was one which "respectable" people did not visit, at least not when they could be seen! This block was an important part of Ouray's "red light" district, a district that made a good deal of revenue for the city. Today, the block looks very different than it did at the beginning of the 20th century. Between 1972 and 1981, major excavations took place here from Main Street to the alley. All buildings on this block were torn down except for the livery stable and the corner buggy shed also known as the Hearse Building.
The committee members, recognized on the title page of this book, and the author all anticipate additional historic works of a similar nature will be created, by public demand, to tell the rest of the story through visual markers, story telling, and photography. There is much more to tell about this gem of a city. We trust that you will support future research and development through purchases of these books. Please feel free to send comments to the author:
Ann C. Hoffman
5468 Gulfstar Ct., Windsor, CO 80528-9377
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