Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sugarloaf Townsite.

An important stop along the Eldora extension of the line was the Sugarloaf Station. At one time the spelling was Sugar Loaf, but in recent times it has become Sugarloaf. This helps in differentiating it from the original name of the town of Wall Street, which was actually Sugar Loaf. Pretty confusing.

In fact, the Gold Extraction Mill at Wall Street--previously Sugar Loaf--proved economically infeasible, and eventually the mechanical works were transferred from there to the US Mill at the new Sugar Loaf/Sugarloaf, where it operated successfully for many years.

Stories of the town of Sugarloaf are told in the voices of early residents in a fine history by Dawn Kummli, who has lived on the mountainside there for the past 25 years. My friend Jim Hubbard, who lives on Sugarloaf Road, recently told me about The Lives and Times of Sugar Loaf Community. I haven't had time to purchase it yet, but have examined it closely at our friendly Carnegie Branch Library for Local History. Here's a fine line-drawing map from the opening pages.

The Switzerland Trail ROW is shown clearly in the upper left of this cropped image, with Sugarloaf Mountain Peak in the upper center. The solid line extending from lower left to upper right is Sugarloaf Road, which extends to the east down to Boulder Canyon Road (State Highway 119), from there on into Boulder.

Here's an image of the area made from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.

In 1964 the Sugarloaf community was the subject of a picture essay published in the Focus Magazine section of the Boulder Daily Camera. I can't link directly to the story--its publication (November 22, 1964) precedes the online archive of the newspaper.

Today it's a quiet neighborhood, recently in the news trying to keep itself safe from the dangers of those who want to hunt for wildlife in this part of our mountain community.

Twenty years ago--July 9, 1989--it was in the news for quite another reason. The Black Tiger Fire, started by a carelessly thrown cigarette, devastated the area, sweeping through, burning the forest to the ground. All traces of the town's history disappeared in an afternoon.

Here are graphics from the case study (available as a 3.2MB pdf file) produced later by the National Fire Protection Association. For reference, note the circle in the upper left corner representing the location of Sugarloaf Mountain.
[A free Reader for this file is available for download at the Adobe website.]
Cover sheet from case study.


Dawn Kummli has also written a splendid book about the Black Tiger Fire, widely distributed and still somewhat available commercially and through libraries.

In the meantime, the forest and her creatures are returning.

No comments: