The Jeep Geek

The Jeep Geek's Blog
Aug 2012

Alice Historical Society

Sea Level is for Sissies. That is the slogan of the community of Alice Colorado. Located at 10,800 feet above sea level, they certainly can make that claim. Life was hard here when it was a mining camp. It is one of few mining camps that survived and is a vibrant community of vacation and weekend homes high in the Rockies. The beauty of the landscapes here make this an idyllic setting with a rich history that is being documented by a small band of property owners that are interested in preserving this history.

Alice’s history is a mirror of the history of much of the Rocky Mountains in general. Many of the communities that exist today started as mining camps founded by a hardy group of pioneers following their dreams. As The Jeep Geek travels throughout this region, exploring the Jeep trails that run from the old mining camps, he is struck by how tough life was back in the 1800s when these camps were booming. The weather was extreme, supplies had to be carried up by horse drawn carriages and the gold and silver ore had to be hauled down the same way. Life was hard.

Many communities failed once the mines played out. In the lifestyle section of this site The Jeep Geek has documented many of these failed camps. Alice is a wonderful example of succeeding despite the odds against it. The mines gave out, but the community thrives due in large part by the beauty of the area. Located at the foot of St. Mary’s glacier, which feeds a couple of small lakes, the residents are a hardy breed that brave the harsh winters to enjoy the quiet splendor of this area.

Now for the point of this whole article...the Alice Historical Society (headed up by Jacquie Zegan) is a small group of property owners who are working hard to preserve the history of the area as well as build a tighter community. With almost no budget they have preserved the old Alice School house and converted it to a community center. The picture at the top of this article was taken in the basement where they are restoring the room to its condition in the early 1900s when it was the home of the school teacher.

This restoration work was accomplished with just a few hundred dollars and a ton of sweat equity. Last year, even The Jeep Geek could be seen slinging some paint to help out. This effort, although modest, was contributed because of The Jeep Geek’s belief that this important history is worth the effort to preserve.

Now for the appeal. The Jeep Geek is asking his site visitors to contribute to this effort. There are a number of ways to support this work. You could come up when there is a work party organized. You could contribute funds to this frugal group...if you saw how carefully they spend money, you would be impressed with how they stretch every dollar. You could come to the annual Pancake Breakfast (Labor Day) and eat a hardy breakfast and look over the historical documents they have gathered. You could purchase a couple of tee shirts that support their efforts. Maybe you are in possession of some documents from this area that can be copied and contributed. Anything is gratefully accepted. Jacquie is a gracious host and would be encourage just by having you visit and see what she and her team have accomplished. Please, just engage and be part of this rewarding work.

If you are willing to help, leave a comment, or fill out the form in the Contact Us section of this site with your offer. The Jeep Geek will connect you with Jacquie.

As always, The Geek abides