Arts

Library hosts Rollins Pass presentation, film screening, July 31

rollinspassThe Gilpin County Public Library and Nederland Community Library host a presentation and film screening by local authors B. Travis Wright and Kate Wright, July 31 at 7 p.m. at the Gilpin County Public Library, 15131 Hwy. 119. The event includes rarely-seen photographs from the newly-announced John Trezise Archive for Rollins Pass Imagery and the authors will discuss the significance of archaeological work being done on Rollins Pass to help document 10,000 years of history.

A screening of the documentary film, “Stone and Steel at the Top of the World” by Colorado State University professor and professional archaeologist Jason M. LaBelle PhD will be included. The film describes the ancient hunters of the Colorado high country as well as the Moffat Road railway that ran over Rollins Pass.

First known as Boulder Pass, this comparatively low saddle on the Continental Divide in Colorado has been in continuous use for millennia. First utilized as an expansive Native American game drive complex, the pass subsequently functioned as a toll wagon road in the 1860s. At the turn of the 20th century, Rollins Pass became the highest standard-gauge adhesion railroad grade in North America—an achievement still standing today.

This over-mountain route, known as Corona Pass, was inefficient and dangerous: resolute men tasked with the impossible faced high elevations with even higher risks of injury or death. A safer, permanent route came in 1928 by way of the Moffat Tunnel. The rails of Rollins Pass were then removed, freeing the automobile to tour the historic road. No matter the epoch, the legacy of Rollins Pass abides: a preeminently scenic route to the top of the world.

The new book by B. Travis Wright, MPS, and Kate Wright, MBA, Rollins Pass (Arcadia Press, 2018) and the Rollins Pass postcard pack (a collection of ready-to-send vintage-photograph postcards) will be available for purchase with cash or credit card; the event will include a book signing.

The Wrights, volunteer on Rollins Pass as apprentice archaeologists for Colorado State University and for the US Forest Service. Their collaboration with multidisciplinary experts helps bring to life a mountain of pictorial treasures, many of which are published within for the first time.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

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