I put together a video focusing on the Alpine Tunnel engine house including historical photos lined up with photos from our 2018 visit. My favorite addition to the video is Dave Moore’s drone shots of the structure.
Ironically, I brought a drone with me on our trip, but due to the time constraints of getting our rental vehicle back, I didn’t have time to use it there. However, I was glad to discover that Dave had done the very thing I set out to do, and much better as I was a newbie with a drone and would have been too afraid to fly it as high as he did. Anyway, Dave graciously gave me permission to use his footage. It was incredible work on his part and I hope to include more of his shots in subsequent videos.
Not picky at all. I'd like to get those details right. Do you know the source of the 1905 date? I'd just like it for some of the writing I'm working on. I went with the 1906 date from a couple books, particularly Ferrell's The South Park Line and Helmer's Historic Alpine Tunnel.
Rocky Mountain New, Fairplay Flume and the Gunnison Newspaper all covered the loss, they are quoted in Dan Edwards series of books, Vol 1 covers the fire.
I had assumed Helmer as well, and I treated Poor as a Bible and he certainly had access to sources I have not been able to find, but new sources have come to light he did not know about. Seems a common issue, Tom Klinger had the same problem, go to print and information you were looking for pops up often because you have a book out there.
I know my understanding of Como has changed significantly and there is much that remain unclear, the Alpine Tunnel area seems the same. The story of the Turntable at Alpine is a classic example.
I am more inclined to say believe rather than know now, for this date with multiple sources I think it is reasonable to be specific.
A quick search on the CO Historical Newspaper Collection reveals about a dozen papers covering the loss starting around Jan 21 1905, none giving the specific date of the fire. Here is the first I found, in the Herald Democrat:
The online newspapers can be sparse, with missing issues, years or just not even scanned at all. In the case of Boulder, for the GSL&P, you can find papers online up to about 1885 and from 1889-on, critical years for those following the line but missing even more interesting news bits. The only way to read those years will be to go to the library as there is no inter-library with UC Boulder. But regardless, we're lightyears beyond how it was. Since each community watched other communities closely, the papers reported on other communities, and needing to fill columns, lifted stories from other papers. You can get lucky and find news for a town or industry even when the local paper is missing. That said, a lot isn't reported...
Also, getting adept at the search on that site can be frustrating. It is wonderful not to have to scan pages and pages for keywords but sometimes they call things a depot or station or halt or whatever. Railroads can be abbreviated, spelled out, spelled incorrectly (to us), etc. The takeaway is to have a list of possible keywords and do multiple searches. And sometimes still scan the relevant pages as search won't always find a word due to the software garbling of print recognition. Have fun!
That the turntable was installed when built but had a covered pit. I know that there is no evidence for this, but I don't have an x-ray camera. This could explain how, if the eating house notation is true (it could very well be false and the eating house could have been located in the Stone Section house next door), the passengers were served some very heavily (coal) smoke flavored food inside the engine house. This cover would have to have been removed so that the man could fall into the pit later on and then tried to sue the railroad. It could also explain the oddly placed side door, which was placed at the widest part of the turntable instead of being offset to avoid injury to the public or employees.