Estes Park Bank

The Estes Park Bank opened in 1908 and  was the first brick building contsructed in the town. It cost $,1,627 to build, including the cost of the vault. This was at a time when a bank employee earned about 75 cents a day. The photo is dated 1909.

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Manford Hotel

The Manford Hotel also opened in 1908 and was located directly across the street from the Bank. It is seen here in a 1920 photo. Today the building contains various shops.


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Craigs Hotel

The Craigs Hotel opened on July 4, 1914, and was named for the rocky outcrops on the mountain side where it was built. It’s owner was Joe Mills who, along with his brother Enos, were largely responsible for the establishment of Rocky Mountain National Park. The hotel is seen here in a 1916 photo.



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Stanley Hotel

Once referred to as “the jewel of Estes Park,” the Stanley Hotel opened its doors in June 1909. It was originally painted a mustard yellow color. The picture shows the building just before completion in 1908. (See also the Hotel category for more info.)

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Estes Park

Adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park is the gateway community of Estes Park. It is accessed primarily from the east via Rt 36 and from the south by Rt. 7. The first picture shows a souvenir shop east of Estes Park. Note the sign on the store’s addition just above the car in the latter shot (click to enlarge).  The third photo shows the arrival of some early toursits from the southern route.

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First Church

The first church in Estes Park is seen here in a ca. 1910 photo. The congregation moved in 1959 and the building converted to mercantile occpuants.

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Downtown Estes Park

This vintage photo brings new meaning to the term “rush hour.”

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Lulu City

Lulu City was a mining town established in 1879 in what is now Rocky Mountain National Park. At its peak it had a population of 500 but declined rapidly until finally abandoned in 1883. The woman in the picture is a tourist visiting the site in 1889. Note the mining scars in each photo. As always, click on the photo for a larger image

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Horseshoe Ranch

Horseshoe Ranch is an example of an inholding that was required to be removed after the Park was established. The ranch was converted to a large resort complex and named the Horseshoe Inn in 1909. It operated until 1931 when it became the first inholding purchased by the Park which burned all structures and cleared the land.

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Civilian Conservation Corps

Eighteen years after the Park’s dedication, Franklin Roosevelt’s CCC arrived and stayed for six summers. They built roads, fought  fires, and maintained structures but were best known for cutting and removing insect damaged  trees, in the process earning the nickname “Woodpecker Army.”


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