Dolores 80 years ago

Taken from the Friday, July 20, 1934 pages of the Dolores Star

One of the largest and most extensive forest fires in the history of this section raged for a week or more on Mesa Verde, destroying a considerable amount of small timber and burning over an area of several square miles on the table land. Ute and Navajo Indians and as many white men as could be secured, the total numbering around 1,200, battled the blaze over the weekend and finally brought the fire under control Monday. All the available tools, such as shovels and axes were taken from the various stores in the basin. G. D. Taylor supplied 83 axes from his stock and also a number of shovels. The fire caused quite a little excitement and the smoke and flames could be plainly seen from higher points in the valley.

Judge John B. O'Rourke and Court Stenographer Peters passed through Dolores Monday on their way home from Rico where they had been attending to official duties in connection with the next term of the district court.

The new Lynton service station has begun to take on the semblance of a completed building, with the roof on and doors and windows in place. This week the workmen are putting in underground storage tanks and doing cement work around the building. It is going to be a fine looking layout; and a great improvement to that section of town.

Probably the hottest day on record for Dolores was last Sunday when reliable thermometers here hit the high mark of 106. Other days in the past week have been registering 100, 103 and such figures.

The 8-year-old daughter of Mrs. Marian Smith was killed and four other members of the family were injured, Sunday morning when the Smith car plunged off the Akin grade, on the Dolores-Rico highway about eight miles above Dolores. The Smiths were on their way with a party of friends for a picnic on the Dolores River. Arriving at the Akin grade, they met a car from Rico, which was passed and then the car left the roadway and plunged over the embankment and rolled nearly a hundred feet to the railroad track below. Owing to the difficulty in bringing the injured people up to the road, the pop car was taken from the local section house and the injured people brought to town down the railroad. Just what caused the accident is not definitely known. The girl who died was named Wanda.

Shannon Livick