What’s in a name?
How did the JQS Trail get its name? Or The Citizen Telegram newspaper? Like the origin of Rifles name, answers arent always clear.
According to Rifle Shots, a book published in 1973 by the Rifle Reading Club, JQS was a cattle brand used by H.W. Hallett a prominent citizen and early founder of Rifle.Hallett managed the Grand River Ranch and Cattle Company, and had about 4,000 head of cattle, which were branded JQS. In 1885, Hallett and a man named William (Billy) Chadwick established the JQS Trail one of six stock trails that led from the Grand Valley to the top of the Bookcliffs, now referred to as the Roan Plateau. The JQS Trail is currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is still used to move cattle to higher range and also for recreation. Its also a popular trail for horseback riders, mountain bikers and 4-wheelers. As to what the letters JQS exactly stand for we dont know.
The Rifle Reveille newspaper was established in 1889. The Rifle Telegram first went to print on Jan. 23, 1903, and the Garfield County Democrat, which served communities throughout the county, was established in 1905. It published until 1920.The Citizen Telegram was launched in 1990 when the nonprofit group, Community Newspapers of Colorado, Inc., purchased the failing Rifle Telegram from Bil Dunaway of Aspen, according to Rifle attorney and the nonprofits current president, Tom Stuver. At one time, Dunaway owned The Aspen Times, The Valley Journal in Carbondale and The Rifle Telegram. Dunaway sold the Telegram and Journal to a couple from the area, Charles and Judith Griffin. When the newspapers started failing, Dunaway purchased the papers back from the Griffins, then promptly sold the Telegram to the nonprofit group. Community Newspapers of Colorado, Inc., had started its own paper, the short-lived West Valley Citizen, a month prior to purchasing the Telegram. Community Newspapers blended the two papers, thus forming The Citizen Telegram.The Telegram had been run into the ground and we bought the remains, Stuver said.The name Citizen reflected the community-owned paper, which was made up of more than 100 business and individual share holders.We sold 100 memberships for $200 each, Stuver said. They got a quarter-page ad for the first year.Morris Communications of Atlanta, Ga., purchased The Citizen Telegram in 1998 from Community Newspapers, along with a slew of other papers in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.We wanted to keep the (Telegram) local, but we got them to pay the price we wanted, Stuver said.Morris later sold all the newspapers in 2000 to Swift Newspapers, a Reno, Nevada-based, family-owned newspaper company with papers in Colorado, Oregon, California and Nevada. The money earned from the sale of The Citizen Telegram has afforded the still- operating Community Newspapers of Colorado, Inc. to make contributions throughout Rifle, including installing the clock at Railroad Avenue and Fourth Street adjacent to the Rifle Post Office and the Mark Twain statue in front of the Rifle Public Library. The group also made a contribution towards the elk statue at the entrance of the city. Community Newspapers also provide scholarships for graduating students at Rifle High School, exceptional teacher awards, and funds to support The Traveler van service for seniors through Colorado Mountain College.
Rifle old-timers are puzzled that a portion of whats always been known as the Book Cliffs is now referred to as the Roan Plateau and the Roan Cliffs. The name Roan is old Roan Creek near Rifle was named long ago, but not when referring to the plateau or the cliffs. In fact, the old Rifle Union High School yearbook was called Cliff Book, in honor of the formations above Rifle. The Book Cliffs run east to west through the Rifle area and clear into Utah, and whats known as the Roan is part of that formation. And how do the cliffs look like a book? Rifle native Paul Bernklau said the name refers to pages of a book. Its as if a book is lying flat and open, and its pages are lying horizontal like the cliffs sedimentary rocks.
Some Rifle old-timers insist the correct pronunciation of the name is pre-fountain, though others disagree. Most people today dont say it like that.The name originated from two men, Eph and Alf PreFontaine, who came to Rifle in 1885 from Quebec, according to the book, Rifle Shots. They developed their mesa into a fine fruit ranch, which included an extensive vineyard. They raised hay and cattle at first, like most ranchers, and then branched out into grain, potatoes and fruit. The avenue that bears their name runs north to south, south of the Rifle High School. Prefontaine Mesa is located west of the Highway 13 bypass.
The mesa, located northeast of Rifles downtown, was named in honor of Isam Graham, the mesas first settler, who came to the area in 1886. Graham married a Rifle Creek girl, Jenny Mullen, and the couple had eight children. Isam lived on the original homestead for the rest of his life, with the exception of a few years when the family lived in town and Graham operated a lime kiln. The road and court named after him are directly south of Graham Mesa.
Charles W. Fravert owned an ice house in Rifle, and was a general contractor, who built many of Rifles homes and buildings at the turn of the last century. Both Fravert Reservoir and Fravert Avenue are named after him.
Fred Munro was the Sam Walton of the early 1900s at least in Rifle. He owned one of the largest department stores in town, competing with Ed McLearn, who was another big department store owner. Munro also served as an original trustee for the town of Rifle.
Clarkson Avenue Off of Morrow Drive, Clarkson was named after Geroge E. Clarkson, president of Telegram Publishing Company, which published The Rifle Telegram in the early 1900s.Howard Avenue – Between 16th and 20th Streets, and north of 24th Street, this street was named after Rifles first mayor, George M. Howard.Other Rifle streets named after old-time Rifle families: Arnold Avenue and Court, Hutton Avenue, McCarron Avenue, Circle and Court, Morrow Drive and Taughenbaugh Boulevard. There are others. This is just a sampling.
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