Area History

Berg's Hill History
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For those that are new to Storm Mountain you may not be aware of why the last hill of the access road is called Berg’s Hill. Ray and Erlene Berg bought up here about 40+ yrs ago and had a working ranch until it became too much as they grew older.

They had been a big part of the mountain community, hosted a yearly BBQ for family and friends, road in the July 4th parade / picnic and one year Ray was awarded the oldest to attend.

He and his wife have since passed, along with their son Ray, Jr just recently. They had 40 acres that ran from the access road back to Snow Top. Years ago Ray Sr. donated 1 acre to build the new fire department where it stands on Palisade Mountain Road.

Drake History
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This historic River Forks Hotel in Drake, CO 1910.

River Forks in Drake, CO 1927.

At the turn of century, the Colorado & Southern Company conducted a stagecoach business with horses and coaches. They made a deal with the Johnson brothers to offer stagecoach rides from Loveland to Estes Park and back again, starting May 15, 1905. Frank Bartholf had anticipated the need of facilities for travelers up the Big Thompson canyon once the new road was finished. He had begun building an Inn, at the junction of the north and south branches of the river, when the road construction was first started.

1905 was a year of brisk business for the Inn at the forks, as daily stage travelers had a meal while the horses were changed. Some travelers stayed overnight. That year, Frank Bartholf, with the help of State Senator William A. Drake convinced the Postal Service to establish a post office in his establishment. Because of this, the area became known as Drake. In the book Fort Collins & Larimer County: An Illustrated History, authors Thomas J. Noel and Ron D. Slader write, “The Forks Hotel offered good meals and respectable accommodations for travelers along the Big Thompson between Loveland and Estes Park. As Loveland was the nearest railhead to Estes Park, this route was heavily used. Originally tourists came in horse-drawn stagecoaches, but by 1909 many came in Stanley Steamers. Frank Alderdyce bought The Forks in 1906 and also became postmaster. The post office remained in the hotel until 1973 when it was moved into a modular building.”

In those days, Estes Park was like a frontier town. Accomodations were sparce. The journey up the Big Thompson was a major part of the travel adventure, especially if a stop-over at the Forks Hotel was included. Not all travel to Estes Park was done commercially. Many people made the trip in their own horse drawn carriages.

Cedar Springs and Cedar Park

The Cedar Springs and Cedar Park Estates were developed in 1967 and 1968 by the Cedar Springs Development Company as a covenant controlled community called the Cedar Springs Improvement Association.

Bobcat Gulch Fire of 2000

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The Bobcat Fire started around 7:20 am on June 12, 2000 by a camper who used to like to camp back behind the waterfall at the first switchback. He didn't get his fire totally put out and when the wind kicked up, the fire started. Locals tried their best to keep things contained until the fire department arrived. 

Many neighbors stayed and helped firefighters locate homes. By Wednesday our area was mostly contained, but it continued to burn to Masonville. There were 400 fire and rescue personnel and 100 fire engines. In the end it had burned 10,600 acres and destroyed multiple cabins, structures and belongings in its path.

Bobcat Fire Newspaper Articles

2013 Big Thompson Flood

On Tuesday September 10, 2013 rain started to fall, it rained all day, and then all day on Wednesday. On Thursday at 1 am the Hwy 34 closes, then CR43, flash flood warning issued. At 6 am 911 calls go out canyon residents. On Friday the 13th with the release of water from Estes waters rise fast tearing the riverside homes in the canyon and taking out homes in Cedar Cover causing two deaths. Our access bridge is washed out stranding our area. On Saturday a helicopter lands at the T informing residents it might be 18 months before we get back home and evacuations begin.

Below are some videos and pictures.

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2013 Big Thompson Flood Articles

The Big Thompson Canyon Association (BTCA)

The Big Thompson Canyon Association (BTCA) is a community nonprofit organization. We raise funds for individuals and for other nonprofit organizations. The BTCA has been active in the canyon since the late 1930's; our current building was completed in 1948.  We meet the 1st Wednesday every month with a potluck before the meeting and a program after
the meeting when possible. Come join us for food and fellowship. The meeting are 6:30-8:30.  Our address is 1479 W. Hwy 34, Drake, CO, about 1 mile west of Drake, next to the Canyon Fire Station.