Frontier Diary | PostIndependent.com
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Frontier Diary

Willa SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

To what lengths would you travel to be with the person you love?When 17-year-old Eleanora Catherine Leonard repeated her vows of marriage on Feb. 4, 1885, she probably had only a small notion of the adventures in store for her. Her new husband, Randall Perry Malaby, had moved to a settlement in Colorado called Glenwood Springs three years before. He believed in the town and that it would hold promise for the couple.After the wedding, Perry Malaby returned to Glenwood Springs. Eleanora waited for spring, leaving her hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio, that May. Her six-day train ride ended in Colorado at Granite, a stop just outside of Leadville. From that point on, the journey would continue over Independence Pass by stage.The brutal winter left behind an immense snowpack that, with the spring melt, had made the road impassible by stage. Male travelers would be allowed to continue by horseback. Women would stay behind.This decision mustered Eleanora’s determination. After all, Perry was waiting for her in Aspen. She convinced all of her abilities to handle a horse, befriended her two fellow male travelers and started up Independence Pass to Aspen. The trip continued fairly well until Eleanora’s horse dropped to the ground and rolled. Eleanora was unhurt. Discovering that the saddle had been cinched too tightly, Eleanora and her male traveling partners remedied the problem. Their journey continued.At the town of Independence, the road was better and the trio took the stage into Aspen. Just as she predicted, Perry was there to meet her. Overcome with relief, Eleanora fainted. She awoke in a hotel room, finding her traveling companions would not leave her until Perry proved he was indeed her husband.Eleanora Malaby was a wife of 44 years, mother of six children, and a community leader. She died in 1962 at the age of 95.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday and Thursday through Saturday.


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