Essex column: 2017 is a time for Glenwood to celebrate |

Essex column: 2017 is a time for Glenwood to celebrate

A page from the Glenwood Post on Oct 27, 1965, promotes approval of a new junior college.

2017 is a year of anniversaries in Glenwood Springs, and we’ll be celebrating.

The Post Independent and White River National Forest both trace their origins to 125 years ago. Colorado Mountain College and Sunlight Mountain Resort are 50 years old.

Other institutions mark milestones either in late 2016 or in 2017 as well — Bighorn Toyota is 40, for example. I’d like to encourage others to reach out and let us know if you are marking round-number anniversaries, and we’ll work to recognize you over the course of the year.

To celebrate, we’ll be providing special content on many Sundays.

In addition, the Post Independent and CMC, along with our sister newspapers on the Western Slope, will be working in partnership on a couple of things through the year.

CMC will soon provide more detail on this, but we’re excited to be part of an essay contest for high school students in the region with several $500 CMC scholarships as prizes.

The topic of the contest will be “How diversity shapes our lives in western Colorado.”

CMC instructors and administrators will set up judging of the entries, and Colorado Mountain News Media operations in Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Vail, Summit County, Aspen and Rifle will publish winning entries in print along with runners up on our websites.

Again, look for more details from CMC, which will be published in the Post Independent when they are available.

You’ll also read early in the year about the founding of CMC, which was advocated by David Delaplane when he became part-time director of the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce.

CMC President Carrie Hauser has written of the school’s start and growth:

“On Oct. 2, 1967, Colorado Mountain College opened its doors at two residential campuses — Spring Valley near Glenwood Springs, known then as the ‘West Campus,’ and Leadville, known as the ‘East Campus’ — to its first students. Today, the college operates 11 campuses and centers in western Colorado — in Aspen, Carbondale, two in Glenwood Springs (also home to CMC’s administrative headquarters), Rifle, the Vail Valley, Steamboat Springs, Dillon, Breckenridge, Leadville and Buena Vista. It offers five bachelor’s degrees, 54 associate degrees, more than 60 certificates and myriad online, noncredit and lifelong learning courses.”

The Glenwood Post, our historic predecessor, was a major supporter of the creation of CMC, so it’s fitting that both institutions’ 2017 anniversaries will be celebrated in our pages through the year.

Starting Jan. 8, the back page of the Sunday paper will feature, in turns, CMC, the PI and the White River National Forest, which was designated as a forest preserve in October 1891.

We see this as a celebration of a great community. The Post Independent and its predecessors have been fortunate to witness and chronicle the history of Glenwood Springs and Garfield County, and we’ll be recounting some of those highlights, decade, by decade, over the course of the year.

We’d enjoy hearing from local historians and longtime residents about their perspective on key moments in our past and growth. We’re especially interested in historic photos whose locations and years can be identified. Through the year, we can create a rich archive on

Like any town, Glenwood has had its highlights and tragedies, from Teddy Roosevelt’s visits to the Storm King Fire; the small-town charm of Strawberry Days to the headaches of heavy traffic along Grand Avenue.

This seminal anniversary year for local institutions comes, of course, as the town gets a new bridge and development that will change the face of downtown. As we look back, our regular coverage will be looking forward as we watch current developments.

This is a great place to live, work and visit. Let’s celebrate all of that.

If you are wondering, by the way, the word for what we at the PI are commemorating is quasquicentennial.

Happy quasqui to us.

Randy Essex is publisher and editor of the Post Independent.

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