In the late 19th and early 20th century, before the invention of the mechanical refrigerator, food was kept cool with blocks of ice, which was delivered in the summer months by wagon to the housewives of Ouray County. The Ouray Museum has a 12” x 12” x 2” cast iron horse tie used by a Ouray ice deliveryman. He would throw the horse tie on the ground and tie his horse to it while delivering ice. Often the home icebox would have a door on the outside of the house for the iceman to place a block of ice without entering the home. Ouray children would be sure and be home when the ice was delivered so that they might get a small piece of ice from the deliveryman.
In order to supply ice in the warm months, large icehouses were constructed and straw or sawdust was used to insulate the blocks so that they would be available all summer long. Sawdust was also placed between the blocks so they would not stick together.
Ice was harvested in January and February from Lake Lenore and from a pond near Piedmont, which was flooded with clear water from Coal Creek. The Lake Lenore ice was hauled to Ouray by wagons. A January 23, 1896 article in the Ouray Herald states “all of the teams were pressed into service hauling ice from Lake Lenore. The ice is of fine quality this year.”
The attached photo shows ice cutting on the Haskin Ranch at Piedmont. When the ice was about 30 inches thick it was strong enough to bear the weight of the horses and people and thick enough for ice blocks. Each block weighed 300 to 400 pounds. The ice from Piedmont was loaded onto a Denver and Rio Grande train for the trip to the icehouses in Ouray.
A number of Ouray businesses, often beer or coal distributors, sold 50 to 100 pound blocks of ice all summer long. C. W. Andrew had the exclusive contract for Lake Lenore ice. During the 1890s and early years of the 20th century W. R. Kramer was the manager of the Ouray Ice and Coal Company. S. E. DuPuy was the distributor of Zangs’s Beer and he also sold ice out of his icehouse near the railroad tracks along the Uncompahgre River. The river was the undoing of Mr. DuPuy’s business when on June 15, 1906 the river rose so high that it took out his ice house and sent it several blocks down river. N. P. Sorensen had an icehouse just southwest the Ouray Depot and just northwest of the depot was the Zadra and Zanella San Juan Bottling Works, which also sold ice. Charlie Zadra was the last businessman in Ouray to sell ice blocks.
Ridgway also had an ice business. The Ridgway Creamery, managed by George W. Braman from its opening in 1905 until 1912, began to sell ice during the summer of 1909. The Ouray Herald issue of November 27, 1908 states, “A new icehouse is being erected at the Ridgway Creamery. The creamery company proposes to store ice for its own use and will be able to supply the ice trade in Ridgway during the summer months next season.” The January 9, 1909 issue of the Ouray Herald indicated that the icehouse was completed and being stocked with blocks of ice. On January 14, 1910 the Ouray Herald reported that over 90 tons of ice was put up at the Ridgway Creamery and on January 27, 1911 the Ouray Herald reported that the Ridgway Creamery was obtaining its ice from Piedmont.
About the Author: Don Paulson is the curator at the Ouray County Historical Society and Ouray County Museum. He is also a retired Professor of Chemistry where he specialized in organic chemistry. Don is an active member of the Ridgway Railroad Museum, and an avid hiker, 4WD (jeep) enthusiast, and photographer in addition to his duties as curator for the museum.
Who would have thought - St. Patrick's Day in the Switzerland of America!?!
Ouray has found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! You can often find a leprechaun or two at O'Brien's Pub on his special day, celebrating the Irish holiday with $4.00 Irish Car Bombs and half price pints of Guinness all day to complement the Special Menu filled with your favorite Irish dishes and give-aways all day and into the evening.
From 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, get your groove on with The "3 Irish Men", then take a break, to wander through town, or enjoy a relaxing soak in our natural mineral hot springs before heading back out to dance the night away to the foot tapping tunes of Funkdafari from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Just a block down from the Pub, you may find an Irishman or two sitting out on the large patio enjoying a Green Pizza and washing it down with a pitcher of green beer! Other specials in honor of Sain Patrick's Day will be on the menu, including Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Of course, there is more to do than hang out at the pub all day, not that that isn't fun....There are a number of winter activities for the family right here in town! Vinegar Hill is just up the street on 6th Avenue, and ready for a fantastic sledding experience, or, if you feel like skiing but don't want to head out of town, Lees Ski Hill is a great spot for families to practice their skills at no charge, and of course the Ice Park is still in great condition for a few climbs of your own or to watch these athletes scale walls of ice.
Shopping in March can be quite fun, shops on Main Street have a variety of treasures, and the friendly service of local shopkeepers will entertain and enlighten travelers to a number of interesting facts and activities in Southwest Colorado.
If you aren't in the mood for Irish food, do not fear! Several other local restaurants will be open and offering fantastic dining options.
Artisan Bakery - Fresh baked goods, Ouray style! Open daily 6:00 am to 2:00 pm
Backstreet Deli - Breakfast burritos and loaded sandwiches! Open daily 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Bon Ton - Great Italian Food, Open daily 5:30 pm to close
Buen Tiempo - Santa Fe Style Mexican food with flair! - Open daily 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Gold Belt - Pizza, sandwiches and more! - Open Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am to close
O'Brien’s Pub - Irish food and fun! - Open Wednesday through Monday 11:00 am to 9:00 pm for dining, bar only - 9:00 pm to close
Outlaw Steakhouse - Steak, Seafood and Pasta old west style! Open Tuesday through Sunday, 5:00 pm to close
Ouray Brewery - Eclectic menu to compliment a great variety of microbrews! Open daily, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
Come stay in our Green Hotel and celebrate the "Luck of the Irish" with the Box Canyon Lodge!
Stay in Ouray for a weekend of music and fun!
Spend the day enjoying the beauty of the San Juans. With plenty of ice for climbing, snow for sledding, and water for soaking, what better way to end the evening than a concert in one of the most historic venues in Southern Colorado? Since the grand opening in 1888, the Wright Opera House has served the city of Ouray as a venue for art and culture, as well as a distinct addition to the Ouray Historic District.
After functioning in this role for over 100 years, the building stood empty until 2007 when a group of voluteers formed the "Friends of the wright Opera House", and began the process of revitalizing the building to its former glory, bringing talented performers and events to Ouray once again.
James McMurtry is one of the eras most acclaimed singer/songwriters, and it is with great excitement that the Friend of The Wright Opera House welcome this talented musician to share his music. The Box Canyon Lodge, in support of The Wright Opera House, is offering two tickets to this concert and a one night stay for $99.00 plus tax. Tickets to the show itself will be available at discounted rates as well.
Every song tells a story and Americana Music Award winning James McMurtry has over 19 years of stellar songs full of the heart and soul of a true story teller.
Since the debut of his first album 'Too Long in the Wasteland' in 1987, this Texas native has realeased several critically acclaimed albums. In 2011, "We Can't Make It Here", was cited among 'The Nation's' "Best Protest Songs Ever." Bob Lefsetz writes, "'We Can't Make It Here' has stood the test of time because of its unmitigated truth."
Much of his music is reminiscent of Johnny Cash and Roy Acuff, early influences in his life, with a touch of folk and a taste of rock, manifest in his stark guitar riffs. Genuine and passionate lyrics combined with the keen talent of his band members Ronnie Johnson, Darren Hess and Tim Holt, his show at the Wright Opera House is sure to be one to remember.
Show starts at 7:30pm, March 23 at the Wright Opera House in Ouray.
Ticket price: $25.00 per person
Contact: Rennie Ross
Email: savetthewright @ouraynet .com
Phone: 325 4399
Dancing, fashion, food and fun for a great cause in Southwest Colorado!
Saturday, March 10, 2012, spend the evening Mardi Gras style with fantastic food, a live and silent auction filled with spectacular finds while dancing the night away all in support of our furry friends in Southwest Colorado!
The Second Chance Humane Society once again presents its annual fund raising event not to be missed. Party attendees will be spoiled from the moment they arrive at the Ouray County 4H Center in Ridgway as they enjoy complimentary beer and wine from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
After a day enjoying the scenic wonders of Southwest Colorado, join the Second Chance Humane Society in a fundraiser not soon forgotten! Sample from a decadent array of tasty treats prepared by local chefs from Ouray and San Miguel Counties, with the palate pleasing creations of Chef Alix Fremgen as he returns to provide a dining experience not soon forgotten.
Bid on over 300 items in the silent auction and marvel at the Fashion Cabaret Fashion Show. The evening heats up to the diverse high energy dance tunes of DJ Antone. A cash bar will be open for the evening as well, and this should be one of the most fun and exciting evenings of the year.
Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door and available at the Second Chance Thrift Shop, Telluride Veterinary Clinic, Buckskin Booksellers in Ouray or DaLee Spa in Montrose.
Don't miss this great function for an even greater cause!
O'Brien's Pub & Grill in Ouray, Colorado serves up awesome entertainment to heat up the winter!
It's Saturday night. You have had a great day enjoying all of the winter activities the San Juans have to offer; ice climbing, skiing, sledding, soaking in the mineral hot springs, finished off with a fantastic dinner at one of our many great restaurants, but the night is young and there is still fun to be had!
At 10:00 every Saturday night through the end of March, the crew at O'Brien's clears the dinner tables and the real fun begins.
Local musical talents including Tony Rosario, the North Fork Flyers, and Funkdafari, featured at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, have played this little Ouray venue, in the traditional laid back Ouray atmosphere of dancing and entertainment.
Local singer and song writer, Til Willis often plays the Pub as a headliner, or with some of our many talented local artists. Either way, it is always a pleasure to hear him play.
Jen Greenholt, owner of O'Brien's, has made it her goal to offer consistently good food, service and fun at this Ouray hot spot. "Poor and Hungry" Mondays offers burger specials for those on a budget, All You Can Eat Fish every Friday and Happy Hour every day combined with a friendly staff makes your dining experience extremely enjoyable. The menu includes a wide variety of homemade food, including fresh spinach salads, homemade soups and irish egg rolls, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. And you always get a perfect pint!
Don't forget St. Pattys Day! This is an Irish pub, and they make it a point to celebrate in true Irish style!
So be sure to visit O'Brien's Pub & Grill during your time in Ouray for a truly original experience in a restaurant filled with friends!
The best restaurants in Ouray, Colorado make this a special Valentines Day for all!
There will be several dining options in town on Valentines Day, from simple and easy to decadent romantic feasts:
Bon Ton -
5:30 pm to close - Romance is the flavor of the day at the famous Bon Ton restaurant this Valentines Day! Enjoy a variety of fine Italian cuisine either off menu, or sample one of the culinary masterpieces of the chef off of the Specials menu!
Buen Tiempo -
5:30 pm to close - Take your sweetie out for one of the best Margaritas you'll ever enjoy, and dine on the spicy fare of this fun and festive spot!
11 am to close - For lunch or dinner, enjoy a marvelous sandwich or wrap and an icy beer, with couple specials all day long!
5 pm to 9 pm - Don't want to go out on Valentines Day, but want to make an impression on your sweetie? Not a problem! The Mineshaft will be delivering all night, and what better way to impress that special someone than with a heart shaped pizza (upon request only) delivered to your door?
Outlaw Steakhouse -
5:00 pm to close - Share a lavish evening of seafood and prime rib cooked to perfection, either off menu or choose one of the couples specials of the evening.
Ouray Brewery -
11 am to 9 pm - Come on in and celebrate "Love My Beer" night at the brewery! Beer specials will be running into the evening, a great way to enjoy together time!
If you are looking for a romantic, weekend getaway in Ouray Colorado, consider the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. The lodge has a beautiful honeymoon suite and we can add many romantic touches to create the ambiance for a delightful weekend of romance and relaxation. We are offering a spectacular Romance Package for $199.00, which runs through March, or create your own package! Our staff will gladly help you to create a magical evening of surprises from champagne and roses, to romantic adventures in the great outdoors.
Come and soak in our mineral hot springs tubs, relax and enjoy!
Weehawken Creative Arts Centers offers a plethora of learning and fun to Ouray County!
Filling a void in Ouray County for years now, Weehawken Creative Arts centers is a non-profit organization that seems to have encompassed all that defines this small County in Southwest Colorado. From visual arts to horticulture, this organization defines the arts based on the needs and interests of its community. Ballet, Poetry and culinary classes abound, as well as photography and woodworking. Zumba Dance classes are held daily, and Karate for adults and children offer opportunities for the community to express themselves while getting a great workout!
Of course, in addition to traditional dance and acting classes, one cannot forget the beauty of the area all around. Recognizing this, in conjunction with San Juan Mountain Guides, Weehawken is offering several Outdoor Winter Workshops. Beginning this weekend and operating through March, celebrate the beauty of the San Juans while participating in one of these four hour courses designed to open your eyes to the fantastic world of Ouray Sports.
Intro to Ice Climbing for Adults:
January 22, 2012, February 26, 2012, and March 16, 2012 9am to 1pm for Adults ages 16 and up
Have you often wanted to try this sport, but felt intimidated by the ice? This is a four hour course designed to teach the basics of ice climbing. The course will include instruction on crampon and ice tools use, introductory movement skills for ice, and basic top-rope belay skills. This is an excellent way for individuals to get a taste of ice climbing, learn some fundamental techniques, and experience the Ouray Ice Park. All equipment and boots are included in the course tuition. Students need their own appropriate winter clothing.
Price Member: $60.00
Introduction to Ice Climbing for Youth:
January 23, 2012, February 5, 2012 and March 9, 2012 9am to 1pm for ages 11-17
A great way for the young ones to learn the basics of Ice Climbing in a safe environment. This is a four hour course designed to teach the basics of ice climbing. The course will include instruction on crampon and ice tools use, introductory movement skills for ice, and basic top-rope belay skills. This is an excellent way for individuals to get a taste of ice climbing, learn some fundamental techniques, and experience the Ouray Ice Park. All equipment and boots are included in the course tuition. Students need their own appropriate winter clothing.
Price Member: $60.00
Introduction to Backcountry Ski Touring:
January 21, 2012, February 25, 2012 and March 17, 2012 9am to 3pm for ages 16 and up
Backcountry Skiing is one of the most exhilarating ways to experience the Uncompahgres in the winter, however, as with all outdoor activities, it is a good idea to know the fundamentals of safety and equipment. This will be a one day introduction to the fundamentals of backcountry skiing in the San Juans. It will include instruction in ski equipment selection and usage, basic snow and avalanche recognition skills, avalanche transceiver use, ski technique for uphill and downhill travel, and tour selection and planning. This is an intensive intro session. Field session will occur on Red Mountain Pass. All ski and avalanche equipment is included. Students need their own appropriate winter clothing.
Price Member: $60.00
So come on up to Ouray for the weekend, and experience the great outdoors while learning a new awesome sport, then come home to the soothing mineral hot springs tubs at the Box Canyon!
Spend the day experiencing the beauty of fall in the San Juans on horseback while supporting a local charity!
The Ouray Elks Lodge would like to announce their upcoming 26th Annual “Ride for Charity.” The Ouray Elks Lodge “Ride for Charity” was originated by Don Harrington and Bob Wilson kept the tradition going for years. The ride is now referred to as the Don Harrington Memorial Charity Horseback Ride. This year’s horseback ride will be a 3+ hour event on September 24th sponsored by Sherry Petersen doing business as Ouray Livery. We will begin approximately six (6) miles north of Ouray, head straight up the mountain, turn left and travel through some of Colorado’s most beautiful country using the old railroad grade. Lunch will be served after the ride back at the Ouray Elks Lodge #492 historical building located on Main Street.
All charity pledges raised by our riders are used exclusively for our Youth Programs in the form of College Scholarships, Youth Drug Awareness Program, Easter Egg Hunt, Santa Claus Program, Haunted House, in addition to our Building Fund and local charity account. Among other things, our Charity Account assists local youth with special needs, i.e., glasses, verbal therapy, emergency dental work or medical assistance.
What you should know:
- ·Information - for more information contact Manette Steele at (970) 325-0095. Rental horses are available.
- ·Registration - all participants must pre-register to participate and get the packet of information
- ·Elks - you do not have to be an Elk member to participate
- ·Awards will be presented to qualified riders once they have handed in their pledges
- Minimum of $100 donation is requested but not required from all riders
* “I Survived the 26th Annual Charity Horseback Ride” T-shirt awarded to those that bring in $100+ in donations
For a fun-filled day in the saddle and a chance to make new friends, consider joining this 26 Year Tradition on the Elks Charity Ride.
Happy trails and we look forward to having you join us.
Manette Steele lives and works in Ouray, Colorado. Not only is she a devoted member of the Ouray Elks Lodge #492 she has also served as Exalted Ruler twice and held the position of District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler for Southwest Colorado.
If only all of your destination wedding details in Ouray, Colorado could be as simple!
With so many things that go into planning your Colorado wedding it is sometimes very easy to overlook the most critical of details like your Marriage License! Luckily, Colorado is not as stringent as some other states when trying to obtain that all important piece of paper to seal the deal.
Once you arrive in Ouray and have decided to take the plunge you will head over to our County Court House located at 541 Fourth St. in Ouray to fill out the necessary paperwork for your license. The Clerks office at the Courthouse is open 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, which is where you will need to go. (Excluding all holidays)
Your next order of business is meeting the requirements for marriage in Colorado.
- You will need to be 18 years or older and bring either your birth certificate or driver's license for your proof of age. If you are under 18 you must have a parent or legal guardian present.
- If you are divorced you will need to provide proof of the dissolution of your last marriage.
- Finally, you will pay the $30 fee for your license. The license is valid 30 days from the date issued.
One of the best aspects of getting married in Colorado is that anybody can marry you. You do not need a member of the clergy or a Justice of the Peace to officiate your nuptials; in fact, you can marry your partner all alone under a waterfall or high on a mountain peak, no witness necessary. Just make sure that your Certificate is returned to the County Clerk and Recorder who issued the license within 60 days of the marriage date.
So, it’s just that simple to get a Marriage License here in beautiful Ouray. Now you just have to make it through the wedding!
Weddings can be not only one of the most beautiful days of your life but also one of the most stressful. If you are thinking about having your destination wedding in Ouray, Colorado and would like some more information on how to make it happen please feel free to contact us at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs and Ouray Event Planning.
About the author:
Nikki Komar works at the Box Canyon Lodge & Hot Springs. She works with many of our groups including family reunions and destination wedding couples. She lives with her husband and four children in Ouray.
Colorado Wildflower Update 2011: Imogene Basin in Southwest Colorado Near Ouray
August 3, 2011
The wildflowers in the basin are filled with buds and there are so many different varieties covering the hillsides. Pretty flowers grace the lower area near the Mayflower Mine above the turn off thru the Camp Bird Mine.
As you go higher into the basin, there are more and more flowers, albeit a bit shorter, but nonetheless abundant.
Here are some pictures from today:
For more information on wildflower trails and sightings, please see the following links:
Last Dollar Road
Yankee Boy Basin Near Ouray Colorado