Like an old friend you stand worn and tattered.....Once filled with life and things that mattered.....
What stories you hold.....In these walls of old
If you are silent you can hear the cabin walls whisper of a simpler time. The year is 1896, a brisk fall morning greets a sleepy miner as he stokes the wood stove. We are all awaken by the vivid smell of strong coffee and sweet hot biscuits. As daylight appears between the cracks of the rough logs, I can hear Mom's rocking chair creak back and forth as she soothes baby sis. Hard cold floors greet me as I crawl out of my warm bed. As the new day starts these walls are filled with the hustle and bustle, laughter and chatter and all things that mattered.
The year is 1904, cool crisp spring mornings and cozy afternoons brings a new found life to the cabin. The buzz of saws and the tap of nails, what is this, a new addition to the cabin. I am now three rooms instead of two. A new face lift too as soft linen wallpaper covers these walls of old. Time does not stand still in our growing miners town. We now have a main street with a school, meat market, hotel, saloon, general store, newspaper and post office. New cabins have sprung up, I am no longer alone in this valley called Cat Gulch.
The year is 1939, a warm summer afternoon wind drifts threw the open front door of the Cabin, now known as the Post Office. The sweet smell of pipe tobacco fills the cabin, as a handful of old miners play cards and share stories of old. Daddy strolls over and gazes out the window, praying there is rain in those dark clouds. It is the quiet before the storm as we all wait for the delivery of our weekly mail. Mail is no longer delivered by horse and wagon but rather a 1934 Plymouth makes the "stagecoach run" delivery.
November 1939, a sad day faces these old walls as they say the Post Office must close. It is time to leave, the gold has run out, cabins are empty, only a handful of determined families remain. We are now classified as an official Ghost Town. What does that mean, I am not a Ghost I am alive waiting for my next family, don't leave me, come back.
It is the 1970's, many travelers have walked through my walls of old. They have not given but rather taken away. My pretty wallpaper has been stripped, sturdy boards have been ripped up and hauled off for decorating purposes and my roof now leaks over all things that mattered. It is now time for me to leave as I stand worn and tattered, the struggle for existence has ended.
The year is 2000, wake up, wake up, what is this, oh no what is happening. Do I hear the buzz of saws and that tap of nails again! A new roof, new floors, new windows and doors, I am no longer sinking into the earth. Sweet smells of mouthwatering stew and savory pumpkin pie fills every crevice. Who are these lifesavers, they must be my new family. Look at me I stand so proud, the Post Office has been reborn. I no longer look worn and tattered, I am filled with life and things that matter. Just wait my new found family, when you are silent you will hear my cabin walls whisper of a simper time. What stories I hold in these walls of old.
Notations From The Journal
To begin our journey I decided the best path to take was to quote directly from the daily journal I kept. Since the journal is 5 months in length, I will share specific events, major problems and solutions and fun times spent with new friends.
The path that led us to Colorado was our yearly vacation, where we fell in love with the huge Rocky Mountains. For several years we pulled the old Airstream trailer over endless Passes enjoying all the beauty this wild land had to offer. Most of the time was spent on back roads seeking out Ghost Towns and old buildings falling into ruin. We traveled dusty trails barely wide enough for a vehicle, crawled over granite boulders and drove through flowing creek beds swelled from the spring thaw.
Whenever we came to an old run down homestead way back in the hills, my mind would start to wander. What was it like to live here 100 years ago. As I carefully walked through the broken down walls, I tried to imagine who were these folks that carved out a living in this vast land. What were their hardships, joys and sadness. I would sit and listen, letting the old barren boards and rusty nails whisper the tales of another life. The more the walls talked to me the more I knew my destiny. I needed to be a part of this history, I commented to hubby "how great it would be to live in an old cabin" and he added "in a Ghost Town".
Back at our campsite, while reading a local newspaper, there appeared in small fine print, so small we almost missed it, "Do You Want To Own A Part Of History, Purchase Property In An Old Ghost Town". I jumped off my camp stool and pulled that paper right out of hubby hands, where is it, call the number, we have to check this out, that was the beginning of a wonderful journey.
Off we went 12 miles up the mountain, climbing again over huge boulders,where sharp switchback curves led us to the Ghost Town called Turret. There were numerous lots for sale with gorgeous mountain views, and about 10 original buildings (ruins) left in this once booming mining town. Since I knew my destiny, it was an old cabin in ruins or nothing, but which one. The last School House, last Post Office, Livery Stable with cabin, or a few miners cabins were my choices.
After hours of walking around the ruins, sitting in the ruins, feeling the history we finally decided on a lonely cabin that called out to me. Pick me, I will share countless stories of days of old, when times were simple, hardships and joy abounded in my walls, pick me, let me live again. An old miners cabin built in the late 1800's, and the cabin which housed the last Post Office in Turret in the early 1900's, was our choice. It is Autumn of 2000, with countless pictures in hand, I have my piece of history, I can now make a difference. I will have all winter to dream and plan, to purchase boards and nails, windows and doors, all the things needed to breathe new life into the Old Post Office. Restoration will begin Summer of 2001................