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Pages of the Past: Carbondale celebrates 100 years of solitude

Sections: News Published
From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal
(Available for public perusal at the Carbondale Branch Library)

Sept. 29, 1977

A group of youngsters formed the Carbondale Volunteer Fire Department’s junior auxiliary and planned to bake sale and fundraise their way to a youth center. Members were eligible for CVFD membership when they turned 18 and received instruction on department vehicles, hydrants and other aspects of the role.

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In other news… Football team captain John Yocom was highlighted as “Player of the Week” — earning him a free breakfast or lunch at The Village Smithy.

Sept. 30, 1987

In honor of the town’s centennial, the journal published a special edition entitled “The Carbondale Echo” featuring 32 pages of local history. “A comprehensive history dealing with the political, religious, sexual, civic, architectural, anthropological, economic, ethnic, cultural, agricultural, civil, educational, technological, nutritional and scientific evaluation of the community has yet to be written. Maybe it shouldn’t be,” wrote Pat Noel in his introduction.

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Nevertheless, the issue started with the Utes (including the Meeker Massacre and the broken promise that the Crystal Valley would be theirs “as long as the grasses grow and the river flowed) and went from there. It included excerpts from the work of Edna (Demark) Sweet about coming to join her father here in 1885, a range of potato lore, railroad and coal history, a whole album of old photographs and a walking tour of downtown.  Even the advertisers got in the spirit, with taglines like “Prospecting for Property?” while the Journal’s own house ad went with a more 80s reference with “Walk Like a Subscription.”

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Oct. 2, 1997

The Bridges Program — the antecedent to Bridges High School — was bringing students who had dropped out of Roaring Fork School District back into the fold. Opportunities included correspondence courses, homeschooling curriculum and work study for credit. At the time, RFSD had a drop out rate of around 2 percent.

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In other news… Paul, John and Bob Nieslanik were highlighted as one of the few families still growing potatoes in the area — which they planned to sell right off the truck at Potato Day.

Oct. 4, 2007

Carbondale was preparing for its own bridge project, with work on Highway 133’s span over the Roaring Fork expected to last about a year. The project had actually be slated to begin in September, but the rising costs of labor and materials had left even second round bids 38 percent over engineer’s estimates. SEMA Construction ultimately took on the challenge of widening the existing structure to four lanes at the intersection with Highway 82 and installing a new pedestrian walkway.

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In other news… With a new building farther away from downtown, Roaring Fork High saw heavier use of the school lunch program just as the inspection process slowed down service.

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