Williams, Parachute plan a joint 100th anniversary party
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Williams Production RMT and the city of Parachute will be co-host a celebration commemorating the company’s and the town’s 100 year anniversaries.
Susan Alvillar, a spokeswoman for Williams, said the celebrations are set for Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. at Cottonwood Park in Parachute. The company and city officials expect about 1,000 people to attend.
“We want people to know it is open to the public, and everything is free,” Alvillar said.
Mike Callahan, for whom a nearby mountain and a charitable fund are named, is credited with settling Parachute. He built a house using the magnificent and sturdy blue-gray rocks he found in abundance, ignoring the native Ute Indian’s warnings that the stones were not good for building material.
Legend has it that Callahan lit his first fire in the fireplace at his housewarming party and ultimately over-warmed the cottage. The gray stones were oil shale, and the whole house went up in flames.
Parachute was incorporated in 1908. But from 1904 to 1980, the town was known as Grand Valley.
Some people argue that the town voted to change it name in 1904 for the very reason it voted to change the name back in 1980 “people confused it with neighboring Grand Junction. In 1904, the town wanted the economic advantage of getting confused tourists off the train early. In 1980, they got sick of their mail ending up 40 miles to the west.
Williams, the largest natural gas producer in the county, began in 1908 with Miller and David Williams’ construction projects in Fort Smith, Ark. After a few years, the brothers were building cross-country natural gas and petroleum pipelines, according to a company statement documenting its history.
For 60 years, the company did business as Williams Brothers. It adopted the name the Williams Companies in 1970s.
The addition of Barrett Resources in 2001 “added significant natural gas reserves and increased Williams’ exploration and production profile in Western Colorado,” the statement said.
Williams operates about 2,600 natural gas wells in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties producing approximately 800 million cubic feet of natural gas per day ” enough to heat and light 2.8 million homes, the statement said. Williams also operates in Wyoming, Texas and Oklahoma, according to the company.
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