In the March issue of
Colorado Central Magazine

A Denver & Rio Grande Railway train on Marshall Pass above Mears, Colorado, circa 1881-86. Courtesy of History Colorado. Our current print edition has an article on the history of this historic railroad pass over the Great Divide.

About the Cover Photograph: Marshall Pass Panorama

Our cover photo this month is a single panel from a panoramic shot of Marshall Pass, taken between 1890-1900 by renowned photographer William Henry Jackson, a partner with the Detroit Photographic Co. The original print was 8 1/2 x 22 inches and is labeled as a Photochrom, a process for producing colorized images from black-and-white photographic negatives via the direct photographic transfer of a negative onto lithographic printing plates.

The process was invented in the 1880s by Hans Jakob Schmid. According to Wikipedia, he was an employee of the Swiss company Orell Gessner Füssli, who founded the stock company Photochrom Zürich. Read more


Places: The Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center

Chaffee County’s past comes alive at a unique historic spot between Salida and Poncha Springs, just off U.S. Hwy. 50. The Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center is a place where it’s easy to imagine what life was like in the early settlement days in the Upper Arkansas Valley.

The Hutchinson family settled in the region in the 1860s, and their ranch was started in 1868 when Joseph Sykes Hutchinson and Annabel McPherson were married, settled on a homestead, and began raising cattle – one of the largest operations in Colorado’s high country in its day. In 2019, the Hutchinson cattle business is still in operation.

Dr. Wendell F. Hutchinson, a fourth-generation member of the family, had a vision of preserving the original ranch buildings on the north side of the highway, “To preserve some things from the past so that future generations will know how people lived and worked in those bygone days.” Read more



By Hal Walter

I’m not sure when winter began in earnest but probably back in January. I knew I was in trouble when I bought a 25-pound bag of wild bird seed at the feed store. I grew even more troubled when I realized the wind chill was such that I was feeding only two juncos and one chickadee. The rest of the birds had wisely flown the coop apparently along with my own sanity.

Some snow arrived, along with consistently cold temperatures. Attempts at cross-country skiing ended in frustration of sugar snow and cold hands and feet. This soon dissolved into a daily struggle to just get outside to do battle with the cold wind, typically alternating walking and jogging, while being careful to not fall on the thick ice.

I really needed something to warm my heart if not my numb toes and fingers. Read more