Parachute was incorporated in 1908, four years after the name was changed to Grand Valley. In 1980 the town fathers renamed the spot Parachute after the creek upon which it is built.Parachute saw its first white settlers in the 1880s. Among them was Mike Callahan, who built a log cabin and installed a fireplace built with beautiful blue-gray rocks. Unfortunately, his house warming party proved extra warm and he watched his cabin burn to the ground. The pretty blue-gray rocks were the oil shale that later became the heart of Parachutes economy.Oil Shale development boomed in the 1920s and reached a peak of 10,000 barrels a day in the 1980s. Today there are no major facilities in the area. Oil Shale is of a lower quality than liquid petroleum and requires a great deal of processing to be turned into gasoline.On the south bank of the Colorado River, across from Parachute, sits the unincorporated community of Battlement Mesa. Early settlers moved to Battlement Mesa about the same time they settled in Parachute. One theory behind the naming of Battlement Mesa suggests that the rock formation overlooking the Mesa resembles the battlements that formed the upper walls of medieval castles. In the 1970s and 80s the community was developed to house oil shale workers. Today it has become an attractive retirement community and prime relocation area for families.Parachute and Battlement Mesa: Need To Know InfoTown of Parachute222 Grand Valley WayP.O. Box 100Parachute, CO 81635(970)285-7630(970)285-0292 FAXMayorJohn LoschkeMayor Pro TemBilly Sue KochTown TrusteesJudith Hayward, Alison Teter, Linda Waite, John Yadloski, Kyla KiburisTown Administrator & ClerkJuanita SatterfieldDeputy Town & Court ClerkDenise ChiarettaTown PlannerDennis StrangerPublic Works DirectorMark KingTown EngineerMark AustinBuilding and Planning CommissionAaron KuhnsParachute Library244 Grand Valley Way(970)285-9870Fire DepartmentGrand Valley Fire Protection District1777 Battlement Parkway(970)285-7711 (Non-emergency)David Blair, chief(970)285-9119 (Non-emergency)email@example.comParachute/Battlement Mesa Park and Recreation DistrictMary Anderson, executive directorShon Birch, program supervisorP.O. Box 299Parachute, CO 81635(970)285-0388(970)285-1110 FAXppr001@bmesa.comBattlement Mesa Metropolitan District0109 Tamarisk TrailParachute, CO 81635(970)285-9050Metro District BoardWilliam Wilde, George Cathy, Tom Beard, Lynn Shore, Bill NelsonConsolidated Metro District BoardFred Inman, Frank Lancaster, William Wilde, Robert Houska, Terry LynottDistrict ManagerBruce Smith(970)285-9050District ServicesSandy Yeager(970)285-9050Service AssociationJane Chapman(970)285-9740Battlement Mesa MaintenanceDan Locker(970)285-9174Leasing ManagerLynn Shore(970)285-9740Leasing Office73 G Sipprelle DriveParachute, CO 81635(970)285-9740Battlement Mesa Communications73 J2 Sipprelle DriveParachute, CO 81635(970)285-9032Battlement Mesa Activity Center0398 Arroyo DriveParachute, CO 81635(970)285-9480Battlement Mesa Golf ClubJohnny Goodman, Golf Pro3930 N. Battlement ParkwayParachute, CO 81635(970)285-7242Garfield County Sheriffs Auxiliary0101 Tamarisk TrailParachute, CO 81635(970)285-9261
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Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon closed around 9 p.m. Thursday for a flash flood warning.