Telegram Staff Writer
Bob Hoffmeister recently figured out where the Roan Plateau is.
“We always called that the Bookcliffs,” Bob said. “When I first heard them say the Roan Plateau, I couldn’t believe they’d changed the name.”
When Bob, 73, was a kid, the start of fishing season coincided with the end of the school year. He and his friends would go up the JQS Trail to get to the spots where there were a lot of fish.
“That was before 4-wheel drive,” Bob said. “That was a tough trail. Crazy. We would throw rocks in the back of a pickup and put chains on the tires.”
Bob grew up in Rifle, where his parents owned Hoffmeister’s Groceries on East Third Street.
Bob’s grandfather, Louis Hoffmeister, moved to Rifle from Glenwood Springs in 1902, the same year Bob’s father, Carleton, was born. Louis was a baker for Charlie Waters in Glenwood Springs until he decided to open his own bakery, Hoffmeister Bakery on East Third Street, in 1905.
“There were at least a couple grocery stores in Rifle then,” Bob said.
Later, the bakery became Hoffmeister’s Groceries.
Bob remembered what the place looked like when he was a kid.
“We had the biggest candy counter in town,” he said.
When Carleton sold the grocery store to Bake Morris, Bob was still just a kid. Carleton worked as the postmaster for several years. He would hold bags of mail out for train conductors to grab as they went through town.
“You don’t get service like that anymore,” Hoffmeister said.
Christopher Miller ” for whom Miller Lane in the Silt Mesa area is named ” was Bob’s great grandfather. He had a successful farm.
“One year they set a record for the most potatoes ” 400 sacks per acre,” Bob said.
Like his relatives before him ” Louis Hoffmeister was on Rifle’s first town council in 1905 ” Bob was an influential member of the Rifle community. He was a member of city council in the 1960s, and he and his wife built the Lamplighter Trailer Park on Railroad Avenue.
Even now that he’s retired and lives in No Name, Bob makes his way down to Rifle to take care of his hay field, a few acres he says he farms for fun.
Thank you to Bob Hoffmeister for sharing family information for this story.
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Glenwood Springs Police Chief Joseph Deras lamented his department’s inability to maintain a constant presence downtown during a virtual public forum Monday night.