I have spent the better part of a decade researching and composing the story of the last occupants of that house. I came up on the stage and the Elliotts met me and I went to the ranch and taught there. He had no brothers or sisters, and few other children lived in the district. And he looks the part. This fact provoked intense discussion in the community, and dissension within the family.
She and John finally tied the knot in 1908, and in 1910 he bought a thousand acres on Middle Rabbit Creek. The cowboy was wild and impetuous like an adolescent, especially if he was single. Deborah had lived in the Poudre Canyon and worked there as a Natural and Cultural Resources Interpreter for the United States Forest Service. Before the year was out she filed a claim on six hundred-forty acres of rangeland bordering the Elliott spread. It tells of the changes to the land by humans. Some of it can get tedious. Walking in the northern Colorado foothills, the author discovered an abandoned ranch.
The word choice is significant. The heavy rains that plagued the expedition were part of the short monsoon season that typically occurs at the end of July in this part of the country. She wears a well-tailored dress, the waist tightly drawn in by a corset, perhaps stiffened by whalebone. What Thiem and research associate Deborah Dimon discovered is that the three had an unconventional living arrangement that endured for over forty years, a relationship that had as much to do with their love of the land as of each other. Always curious about earlier inhabitants of this land, and conscious of the changes wrought by modern sprawl on its use and character, Thiem pursued the story of these former ranchers for nearly a decade. In youth and early manhood, John had been a cowboy himself—for seventeen years. Josephine Lamb grew up in the country west of Fort Collins.
John Elliott was a large man, and at six foot three inches, maybe the largest rancher in those parts. This young woman, however, stayed only two years. There were no fences, irrigation ditches, power lines, cell phone towers, paved roads or even improved dirt roads. It is a potent image. She taught the winter term of 1919, at the schoolhouse on the North Rabbit. John Elliott's father moved his growing family from Iowa to Kansas in the 1880s, then to northern Colorado in 1890 when John was twelve. What Thiem and research associate Deborah Dimon discovered is that the three had an unconventional living arrangement that endured for over forty years, a relationship that had as much to do with their love of the land as of each other.
So the Elliotts needed a new teacher. All I knew about the country was what my father had told me. Miss Lamb moved to the Elliott's ranch in 1919 to teach their only child, Buck, until he left for high school. They also give insight into his character. He was clean-shaven and handsome. There were no saloons or brothels. By the 1840s, seasonal trappers had eliminated the beaver from the streams.
We followed him into the Livermore country where he hired out as a ranch hand and ran a freight line. Seeing the Land in Time 5. On a cattle drive, Mary Clare Wetzler saw two bulls fighting. He was not a man of many words. Cattle on the Land 9. Exotic plants like tumbleweed, wooly mullein, leafy spurge, cheatgrass and crested wheat grass had not yet invaded the native soil. Josephine Lamb grew up in the country west of Fort Collins.
Otter figured in Ute tales: he had more hair than any other creature and so wanted winter to last nine months of the year, but Hawk held out for a shorter cold season, and he more or less prevailed. In 1997 Jon Thiem was hiking in Livermore country near Fort Collins, Colorado. John Elliott was a crack shot. Together we were able to discover the remarkable story of the three settlers. I wonder, would he have approved this latest step in the conquest of the West? Graduating from high school in 1916, she became a mountain teacher, traveling to small remote schools. The last of them passed away six years before I came to Colorado.
This set him apart from other Livermore ranchers, and it was one reason the community found it hard to embrace him. It's been a fabulous adventure for me. The Elliotts, like Fremont, were susceptible to the beauty of the landscape, but like most of their contemporaries, they saw the land chiefly in economic terms, as a place for raising livestock. It's fun to read about places near by. I thought it gave a good insight into their lifestyles, personalities and the realities of living on an isolated ranch in the early part of the 20th century. To men of his stamp, talk about emotion signified weakness. He smoked and drank whisky.