The Salida Oral History Project preserved the history and heritage of Salida through interviews of long-time residents and other knowledgeable people who lived and worked in the area. These are shared stories of their childhood, schooling, family, church, outings, celebrations, friends, hobbies, and events that still live in their memories. The interviews will be kept forever so that others can learn from these true historians’ words.

The Oral History Project was co-sponsored by The Salida Regional Library and Historic Salida, Inc., and was composed mostly of volunteers.

The following narratives are in MP3 format. They are alphabetized by the interviewee’s last name.


John Aragon

Interviewed September 19, 2005. John discusses attending Catholic School, the lettuce industry, and being Postmaster for the town of Poncha Springs, Colo.

Transcript of John’s interview

Ted Argys

Interviewed June 24, 2004. Ted discusses the mischief he used to get into as a boy, life in the U.S. Army, and Ted’s Auto Sales.

Transcript of Ted’s interview

Tom Bauman

Interviewed July 5, 2005. Tom discusses his military training in Texas and his career at Climax Mine at Leadville, Colorado.

Transcript of Tom’s interview

John Bayuk

Interviewed February 12, 2005. John discusses his football career and becoming All-American, his business-owning ventures, and his contributions to the city of Salida.

Transcript of John’s interview

Bob Biglow

Interviewed March 12, 2005. Bob discusses skiing around Marshall Pass, being drafted into the U.S. Army, and his surveying business here in Salida.

Transcript of Bob’s interview

Bonnie Bondurant

Interviewed March 15, 2005. Bonnie discusses her businesses, particularly Oxford’s Market on Highway 50 in Salida, Colorado, and her contributions to the town of Salida.

Transcript of Bonnie’s interview

Irene Budd

Interviewed April 29, 2004. Irene discusses her struggle with tuberculosis, and raising two kids in Salida, Colorado.

Transcript of Irrene’s interview

Gladys Bunker

Interviewed September 25, 2003. Gladys discusses growing up and the ranching life in the San Luis Valley.

Transcript of Gladys’s interview

Frank Butala

Interviewed January 29, 2004. Frank discusses growing up in Salida, his work in the USMC, starting his business, Butala Construction, and has a funny story about a getting paid with Susan B. Anthony silver dollars.

Transcript of Frank’s interview

Bette Cable

Interviewed October 26, 2003. Bailey Escapule remembers Bette coming in to Salida’s photo developing shop and saying, ‘My name’s Bette Cable. Like Betty Grable. And I got the legs for it.’ Bette discusses her father and uncle’s businesses and her marriage to Salida Police Chief Harry Cable.

Transcript of Bette’s interview

Helen Campbell Drake & Norman Campbell

Interviewed September 21, 2003. Betty and Norman reminisce about attending Valley View School, square dancing at the band pavilion in Alpine Park, and have a funny story about Easter eggs.

Transcript of Helen & Norman’s 2003 interview

Laurence 'Campy' Campton, FIBArk Legend

Interviewed May 10, 2004. Laurence discusses his time in a P.O.W. camp in WWII, competing in FIBArk in the 1950s, and his life and work in Salida, Colorado.

Transcript of Campy’s interview

Jack Chivvis

Interviewed January 11, 2005. Jack discusses the many layers of the history of Salida, focusing mainly on Salida’s historic district.

Transcript of Jack’s interview

Mabel Davis

Interviewed October 24, 2003. Mabel discusses living in Poncha Springs and her work on the council and with the booster club. Mabel also has a great laugh.

Transcript of Mabel’s interview

Wilmoth Everett

Interviewed October 26, 2004. Wilmoth discusses ranching in Salida and the surrounding areas with her husband George E. Everett, the local rodeos they used to attend, and the plane crash that killed her husband and two Chaffee County Commissioners.

Transcript of Wilmoth’s interview

Jane Ferraro

Interviewed June 18, 2004. Jane reminisces about growing up in Salida, going to St. Joseph’s Parochial School, and what she did for fun.

Transcript of Jane’s interview

Florence Fullenwider

Interviewed November 10, 2003. Florence discusses ranch life in northern Saguache County, the beginnings of the Saguache Library, and has a funny story about how the first cemetery in Villa Grove, Colo. got its start.

Transcript of Florence’s interview

Jean Hanfelt

Interviewed October 20, 2004. This interview details the genesis of Salida Aspen Concerts.

Transcript of Jean’s 2004 interview

Flora Harrison

Interviewed April 26, 2005. Flora discusses FIBArk, the Denver & Rio Grande passenger train, and being the first female surveyor in the state of Colorado.

Transcript of Flora’s interview

Catherine Hayden

Interviewed October 2, 2003, Catherine discusses growing up in Salida and the businesses she remembers, the Salida Fish Pond, going up to the ‘Red Rocks’, working at the Hay Studio, and being sent to the Dumb Bunny Room in school.

Transcript of Catherine’s interview

Mary Held

Interviewed October 10, 2003. Mary was the wife of the High School music director, John Held, creator of Spartan Sparkles.

Transcript of Mary’s interview

Joy Humes

Interviewed September 11, 2003. Joy discusses surviving the Great Depression and ‘Shasta’ the family car.

Transcript of Joy’s interview

Wendell Hutchinson

Interviewed March 14, 2004. Wendell, aka ‘Hutch’, discusses going to Valley View School and ranch life at the Hutchinson Homestead.

Transcript of Wendell’s interview

Wendell Hutchinson

Interviewed March 21, 2004. Wendell discusses going to Salida High School and the teachers and coaches, meeting his future wife, Sue Swallow, and who his influences were in deciding to become a veterinarian.

Transcript of Wendell’s interview

Wendell Hutchinson

Interviewed March 27, 2004. Wendell discusses his veterinary practice, ranching and working on the farm, and dogs that he has known.

Transcript of Wendell’s interview

Wendell Hutchinson

Interviewed April 4, 2004. Wendell discusses some family history, his veterinary practice, and has an especially gruesome tale about a cow and a hatpin.

Transcript of Wendell’s interview

Wendell Hutchinson

Interviewed November 11, 2004. Wendell discusses cattle roundups and ranch life, his four great uncles (Bailey, Art, Harold, and Joe) and the details behind his grandmother’s murder trial.

Transcript of Wendell’s interview

Virginia Imig

Interviewed January 17, 2005. Virginia discusses her work in Salida on City Council and with Salida-Aspen Concert Series, and her musical career as an accompanist with The Noteables.

Transcript of Virginia’s interview

Marie Klockenbrink

Interviewed May 31, 2004. Marie discusses growing up in the San Luis Valley at Fort Garland, her Hispanic heritage, and has a funny story about driving her brother’s car in to the side of the Post Office.

Transcript of Marie’s interview

George Koenig

Interviewed November 8, 2003. George did one of everything! He discusses his service in the U.S. Navy, owning a business in Salida, being a member of the Elks, Masons, Shriners, and the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps. George was also a state highway commissioner, was on the board of HRRMC and the Chamber of Commerce, was the first president of the South Arkansas Fire Protection District and as one of the first officers of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, he was instrumental in bringing the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project to life. And George discusses how the Shriners obtained their meeting space, which used to be Laura Evans’ parlor and home on Sackett.

Transcript of George’s interview

Anabel Lamberg

Interviewed January 22, 2004. Anabel reminisces about her childhood in Buena Vista, and her life and career in Salida.

Transcript of Anabel’s interview

Billie Jean Love

Interviewed January 29. 2004. Billie discusses her father’s work at a Salida brickyard, Salida High School hijinks, FDR on a whistlestop tour in Salida, and the effects of WWII on Salida.

Transcript of Billie’s interview

Jane Melien

Interviewed April 30, 2004. Jane talks about riding the Denver & Rio Grande trains, the construction of Monarch Pass, and the history of Salida’s First Presbyterian Church.

Transcript of Jane’s interview

Katherine Mendoza

Interviewed August 10, 2005. Katherine discusses hanging out on Front Street in Salida and getting candy from Laura Evans, selling ice cream at Alpine Park’s gazebo on Thursday nights, and soapmaking with her brothers and sisters.

Transcript of Katherine’s interview

Forrest Miller

Interviewed April 6, 2004. Forrest discusses his military service, the Poncha Springs and Lodge, fires at the Jackson Hotel, and working as a liftie at Monarch Ski Area.

Transcript of Forrest’s interview

Alberta Mitchell

Interviewed December 13, 2004. Alberta reminisces about how Salida was, the hijinks that her husband would get into with the American Legion Drum & Bugle Corps, and her career as chief surgical nurse at the Denver & Rio Grande Hospital.

Transcript of Alberta’s interview

Alberta Mitchell

Interviewed January 25, 2005. Alberta mentions a few more things about her hospital work, including taking care of Laura Evans.

Transcript of Alberta’s interview

Dennis Morain

Interviewed July 24, 2012. Dennis discusses his life in Salida and working at the Chaffee County Courthouse. Dennis rescued the 1930s-40s Assessor’s Cards from the trash while working there. No audio file available.

Transcript of Dennis’s interview

Janet Murphy

Interviewed November 11, 2004. Janet discusses her work with the Hospital Auxiliary, and her flower store (and its history) at 225 F Street, and a little bit about the Salida Library.

Transcript of Janet’s interview

Janet Murphy & Opal Heister

Interviewed October 21, 2004. Janet and Opal discuss their work with the Hospital Auxiliary, and the history and people who worked at the Hospital.

Denver & Rio Grande Hospital floor layout

Transcript of Janet and Opal’s interview

Florence Naccarato

Interviewed March 25, 2004. Florence talks about ranching in Chaffee County and her great husband Lloyd.

Transcript of Florence’s interview

James Nance

Interviewed April 7, 2006. Jim discusses working in Salida, the downtown businesses on F Street, and his work as a videographer.

Transcript of Jim’s interview

George Oyler

Interviewed February 25, 2005. George reminisces about his life as a newspaperman in Salida, and living life as a cowboy up Bear Creek.

Transcript of George’s interview

Erma Perri

Interviewed August 10, 2006. Erma discusses her Italian American roots, working at some of the downtown Salida businesses, and having fun at FIBArk.

Transcript of Erma’s interview (PDF)

Gwen Perschbacher

Interviewed November 6, 2003. Gwen reminisces about her time working at the Denver & Rio Grande Hospital and Columbine Manor.

Transcript of Gwen’s interview

Robert Post

Interviewed February 5, 2004 (immigrants from Italy, Bob’s Sporting Goods & Cafe on Highway 50, skiing Old Monarch Pass).

Transcript of Robert’s interview

First Presbyterian Church Members

Stan Provenza

Interviewed June 1, 2004. Stan reminisces about playing for the 1933-35 Salida Spartans champion football team and attending St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Church.

Transcript of Stan’s interview (PDF)

T. Rex Rhodes

Interviewed April 4, 2006. T. Rex reminisces about all the fun he had in Salida when he was growing up: taking the ski train up to Marshall Pass, ice skating on the Albright ponds, fishing at Frantz Lake, and hanging out with the Frantz family.

Transcript of T. Rex’s interview (PDF)

Richard Robbins

Interviewed June 15, 2005. Dick discusses working at Climax Mine in Lake County, and working as a diesel mechanic in the San Luis Valley.

Transcript of Dick’s interview

Tom & Mary Jo Sandell

Interviewed August 11, 2006. Tom and Mary Jo reminisce about the changes Salida has seen, particularly with the Denver & Rio Grande Hospital, the inception of the Salida Cyclones, and taking their kids up to Monarch Ski Resort.

Transcript of Tom & Mary Jo’s interview

Chris & Paula Schirmer

Interviewed November 20, 2004. Chris and Paula discuss in detail the beginnings of Christmas Mountain U.S.A.

Transcript of Chris & Paula’s interview

John Spino

Interviewed February 27, 2004. John’s family built a multitude of businesses on Highway 50. He remembers mining for local companies, cutting ice for the ice sheds, having fun at Wellsville Hot Springs, and being involved in the first FIBArk in 1949.

Transcript of John’s interview

Dixie & Leon Stanton

Interviewed January 26, 2005. Dixie and Leon reminisce about all the downtown businesses on F Street during the 1960s and 70s. Leon was the Chaffee County extension agent and remembers 4H and his crew, particularly Bernice Miller, and all the help they were to him and the kids in 4H. Dixie worked for Bob Biglow’s surveying company and sang in the Methodist church choir.

Transcript of Dixie and Leon’s interview

Iris Stotler

Interviewed February 4, 2005. Iris remembers all the changes that have taken place in downtown Salida, and her teachers at Salida High School. Iris loved swimming at the Wellsville Pool, ice skating near the Little Arkansas River, and roller skating at the rink when she was younger.

Transcript of Iris’s interview

Frank Thomson

Interviewed October 28, 2003. Frank discusses the Seratoma Club, the Old Goats, Haight Furniture Store, and Isaac Haight putting up money for ‘S’ Mountain.

Transcript of Frank’s interview


Dick Tuttle

Interviewed September 10, 2003. Dick recalls Tuttle’s Sporting Goods store, serving as Salida City Councillor and Chaffee County Commissioner, and the building of the senior center.

Charles Upp

Interviewed March 13, 2004. Charles recalls going to the movies at the Empress Theatre, military service, music store, and the Denver & Rio Grande Narrow Gauge shops.

Anthony Vigil

Interviewed January 15, 2004. Anthony discusses discrimination, Salida’s downtown stores, and the Salida High School burning down.


Mary Virginia Luna Apodaca Vigil

Interviewed September 6, 2003. Mary recalls playing poker for pinon nuts, discrimination, and picnics at O’Haver Lake.

Transcript of Mary’s interview

Johana Whisenant

Transcript of Johana Whisenant

No audio file available