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Pages of the Past: West Divide dams and the passing of Anne Holden

Locations: News Published

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal, compiled by Lynn Burton

April 7, 1977

Rancher John Arbaney announced he was fighting a West Divide water district proposal to use condemnation to build a 190-foot-tall dam on his 640-acre property up Thompson Creek southwest of Carbondale. The proposal came after public opposition to West Divide dams on the Crystal River south of Redstone pretty much killed that project.

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The new proposal called for a 175-acre dam on Yank Creek to provide water for Four Mile Canyon and Dry Park. West Divide said the water was for agricultural purposes but Arbaney pointed out that agriculture is on the decline in that area, and that the water would be used for residential and industrial development instead.

April 9, 1987

Carbondale postmaster Jolie Springer told the Valley Journal she offered the PO boxes at the old post office (the current Carbondale Beer Works on Main Street) to Colorado Rocky Mountain School to use as student pick-up boxes. The new Carbondale post office, located directly north of the old post office, covers 10,725 square feet and was built at a cost of $918,000. One feature of the new post office: box holders receive parcel post deliveries after hours through keys left in their boxes.

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April 10, 1997

In a memorial service, CRMS co-founder Anne Holden was remembered as a “pioneer” and “powerful loving woman” who loved teenagers and loved learning. Holden, a Smith college graduate (1933), started Colorado Rocky Mountain School with her husband in 1953. Time magazine wrote an article about the school that year quoting from its brochure, saying it had “no buildings, laboratories or equipment … student would have to build (facilities) themselves.”

As a result of the brochure and Time article, six students enrolled and 35 teachers applied to teach for free.

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