Live Like a Local: Historical society founder’s guide to Battlement Mesa and nearby |

Live Like a Local: Historical society founder’s guide to Battlement Mesa and nearby

Battlement Mesa Schoolhouse and its adjacent teachers cabin offer a look at life in the early days of Parachute and Battlement Mesa.

Judith Hayward isn’t a native, but she adopted west Garfield County as her home three decades ago. She was working for a national fundraising organization out of Atlanta, and an assignment brought her to western Colorado right after the oil shale bust. She continued to travel, but kept thinking of western Colorado. A job with the American Heart Association made her dream reality.

Judith Hayward

Hayward originally planned to live in Glenwood Springs, but while driving back to the Grand Junction airport, she remembered previous experience in Battlement Mesa. “They were giving places away,” she said.

After moving there, she met her husband, trail guide Lee Hayward, who she called her cowboy. She’s dedicated to the Battlement Mesa community, where her late husband was raised.

Now, in her retirement, Hayward is an active volunteer. Hayward founded the Grand Valley Historical Society in his honor in 1999. She shared several of her favorite places in and near Battlement Mesa.

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Let’s eat

“I enjoy Hong’s Garden (33 E. Second St., Parachute; 285-6888) and El Tapitio, the Mexican restaurant (393 E. Second St., Parachute; 285-7508), and Mama’s (103 E. First St., Parachute; 285-0210; search Mama’s Restaurant on Facebook) occasionally.”


“We’ve had two artists in the schoolhouse (7201 Co Rd 300, Battlement Mesa; do a sale. The rec center (0398 Arroyo Drive, Parachute; 285-9480; has some art on display.”

Turn it Up

Hayward drives to Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction for live music, and recently saw Three Redneck Tenors in Grand Junction. “Oh, could they sing,” she said. “I tend to go east more. That way I tell the commissioners I spend my money in the county. I’m really attuned to spending money locally whenever I can.”

Free time

Hayward spends much of her free time at Battlement Mesa School House and with the Grand Valley Historical Society. She’s also a member of Parachute Battlement Mesa Women’s Investment Club and involved in Grand Valley Days.

Don’t miss this

Battlement Reservoir. (off County Road 320, five miles east of Battlement Mesa Cemetery; It’s 2.3 miles to the top,” she said. In the spring, the historical society will fund historical signage on the trails, with the first close to parking so anyone can easily see it.

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