Moving to Glenwood in its year of incorporation
Carleton Hubbard’s ancestors came to the United States from Gloucester, England, in 1632 and settled in Vermont. Two hundred and fifty years later in 1885 the silver boom in Aspen lured Carleton’s grandfather and his brothers to western Colorado.
Gallacher: So the Hubbards have been in the valley from the very early days.
Hubbard: They came in 1885, the year of the incorporation of Glenwood. My grandfather wrote a story for the Glenwood Post in 1923 telling about his first trip to Glenwood Springs. He described how he left his wife who was pregnant and headed west. He told her, “Well, we’re going to Colorado.” And she said, “Well I’m not going to have my first child born out there in the wild West where there’s Indians and all.”
So she stayed with her parents in Vermont and he took a train to Chicago where he met one of his brothers, and they came on to Minturn. They had to walk the rest of the way into Glenwood. They put what baggage they had on a freight wagon, but the freighters wouldn’t take passengers. So Grandpa and his brother had to walk all the way.
All of their belongings were on this freight wagon that they thought they would meet up with before they got to Glenwood, but they didn’t. So the walk became quite an ordeal that took about three days.
Fortunately they knocked on a couple of doors along the way and people were very nice and provided them with some food. The nights were long and cold. When they finally got into Glenwood it was around 10 o’clock at night, and they went looking for the tent their sister was living in, somewhere down on Seventh and Eighth street near town. There was no lighting in town to speak of, so they knocked on a lot of tents and doors before they finally found her.
Gallacher: Why was it so urgent for your grandfather to leave home and come west?
Hubbard: He was suffering from a respiratory disease they called cattahr. His brothers had told him about the hot springs here and they thought it might help him. His doctors in Vermont hadn’t given him a lot of hope for a long life. That was what really motivated him to come out early. He lived another 50 years after he got here.
Gallacher: Did your grandmother take to the place when she finally got here?
Hubbard: I think so, probably out of necessity. She was the wife and she was going to do whatever he wanted to do. My dad was born in 1887 and the last child was born in 1906. So they had 10 children in 20 years.
Gallacher: Your grandmother was worried about the Indians. Did your grandparents have encounters with the Utes who were still here?
Hubbard: Yes, but their experiences with them were very friendly. They had no skirmishes and weren’t threatened in any way.
My grandpa built a home up on Garfield Street between Eighth and Ninth, and my grandmother came west with her new baby who, by the way, was my father. He was the only one of the eight children born in that family not born in Glenwood Springs.
My grandmother related that one day she was busy cleaning in the house and she suddenly felt that there was someone in the room. She looked up and there was this indian gentleman just standing there watching her. He didn’t threaten her or anything. She didn’t know what to do so she offered him some food and invited him to leave right away. Apparently the Utes were pretty comfortable just walking in and out of homes.
Gallacher: Do you remember stories of hard times?
Hubbard: Yes, my dad being the oldest son was required to do a lot of the hunting in order to provide the family with food. There was grandpa and grandma and eight kids in that house. They lost two daughters when they were about 1 from illness.
Eventually grandpa’s mother came west and then a niece whose parents had died came out. So there was quite a houseful, but they all got along.
Immigrant Stories runs every Monday in the Post Independent.
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed around 9 p.m. Thursday for a flash flood warning.