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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Aspen in Pitkin County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Living at Altitude

Survivng in Independence

 
 
Living at Altitude Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 4, 2020
1. Living at Altitude Marker
Inscription.  The demographic of Independence was a mixture of prospectors, miners, and entrepreneurs as well as some families. While many single men were transient and used tents, some settled in log cabins. Archaeological records indicate most cabins had at least two occupants and female-specific artifacts found around some cabins indicate women resided in the town as well, and not just as ladies of "ill repute” found in most mining towns.

Log cabins were small and low-ceilinged with a wood-burning stove for cooking and heating. Windows were placed on the south wall for solar gain in the winters and the very short summer season.

Residents relied on what could be easily brought in by pack trains and wagons or what could be hunted locally including bear, elk, deer, mountain sheep, grouse, beaver and trout. Skins could be used for warmth or sold for profit. Fresh fruit and vegetables were scarce and usually found in the form of chutneys and jams for the Vitamin C.

Sidebar:
Rosetta Noble in 1886 was one of the first teachers in Aspen. She and another teacher landed at Independence in the evening and were told that
Living at Altitude Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 4, 2020
2. Living at Altitude Marker Detail
What the interior of a typical cabin looked like in the 1890s.
a trapper had just brought in a huge bear so, of course, they were filled with curiosity to see the mighty hunter. He was not a handsome man but a large one and in his rough clothes with coon skin cap he was formidable looking. Rose's companion, remarked, "Good Lord he wouldn't have to shoot a bear. It would frighten it to death just to look at him.” (Carbondale Pioneers 1879 to 1890 by Edna D. Sweet, 1947). Rosetta ended up marrying the same man a few years later and moved to Carbondale.

Caption:
Left: What the interior of a typical cabin would look like in the 1890s.
 
Erected by Aspen Historical Society, Independence Pass Foundation and U.S. Forest Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureSettlements & SettlersWomen.
 
Location. 39° 6.417′ N, 106° 36.378′ W. Marker is near Aspen, Colorado, in Pitkin County. Marker can be reached from Colorado 82 5.6 miles east of County Road 23 when traveling east. Marker is accessible via footpath leading from highway overlook to the town site. The road is closed October-May. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Aspen CO 81611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Business District (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named
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Business District (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Finding Gold (about 600 feet away); Tent City (about 700 feet away); Independence Townsite (about 800 feet away); Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Welcome to the Ghost Town of Independence (approx. 0.2 miles away); Independence Pass Foundation (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aspen.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 36 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Jan. 25, 2021