A private, old style western ranch with modern conveniences nestled next to the Rawah Wilderness

A Written History of Glendevey Lodge

-By Olivia Peterson -1996-

     C.E. Talmadge originally owned the property known as Glendevey or Glendevey Lodge. In the early days, a tie camp, or supply depot, was established here. Mr. Talmadge moved in and homesteaded 160 acres, and this was recorded in 1907. He was a trapper and owned quite a few Airedale dogs. When he returned from his winter trapping he would find people camping on his property, so he put up some cabins and started renting them out. The old road from Ft. Collins to Walden, vie Dead Man Pass, went right by Glendevey, so he had lots of freighters and fishermen to take advantage of the cabins and beautiful scenery.

     In 1916, Leslie Burns and his family moved to Glendevey from the Stuart Place and brought the Glendevey Post Office with them. The original Glendevey Post Office was established May 19, 1902, and was down the valley on the Sholine Ranch. The original Sholine Ranch was established by Cassell Forester in 1897 or 1898. In 1900 he sold to Thomas "Cap" Davy, who had been a captain on a Mississippi Riverboat. "Cap" Davy and Mr. Sholine owned a lot of land in the. Laramie River Valley and the Tedman House in Ft. Collins plus a hotel in Rocky Ford. Glendevey was named after Capt. Thomas H. Davy. Davy who owned the ranch in the glen.

     A few years later Mr. Burns sold to Everett Farnham and his wife who had been living on the Degney Ranch. Ray Farnham, Everett's brother, lived at Glendevey too until they sold to Lloyd (Casey) Jones and George Jones (Helen Elliott's father).The Jones operated it along with raising foxes and rabbits until 1920. During this time the Jones leased Glendevey to Thomas Moore. Mrs. Moore became the postmistress. When their lease expired the Moore's moved the post office to At Moore Lodge, now owned by Chuck Wagnild. George and Elizabeth Jones operated the "Glendevey Summer Resort" only in the summer months and took fishermen into the wilderness lakes, packed in campers, and had a general meeting place for the ranchers of the valley to stop and have a cup of coffee. Helen and her sisters were a big help to her folks. They loved the valley and Glendevey Lodge. GeorgeJones passed away in 1935 and his wife, Elizabeth, sold Glendevey to Glen Briggs from Greeley. He had it a short time and leased it to Jack McDowell of Ft. Collins, who called it Ranch of the Red Rooster.

     Approximately 1937, a woman by the name of Josephine Lamb bought Glendevey. This is where our ranch and valley history becomes very interesting. Josephine Agnes Lamb, known to everyone as Aunt Jo, was born July 31, 1897, in Soldier Canyon west of Ft. Collins. Her parents, Eugene _ Patrick and Effie Sarah Wright Lamb, homesteaded forty acres in Soldier Canyon, now underwater at the northwest corner of Horsetooth Reservoir. Her father was a stone cutter and built the home with stone from his quarry. In 1976, after the Big Thompson River flood, the reservoir was drained and the remaining family members were able to walk on the ground and see the remains of the Old Home. Josephine attended school Number 40 in Soldier Canyon, Cache la Poudre High School, Colorado State University and the University of Colorado in Boulder. She first taught school in South Dakota but then moved back to the mountains of Colorado, and taught in North Park and Gleneyre School. She started a Forestry Club with the help of the Forest Service. At the age of 21, Josephine homesteaded. While teaching school here, she stayed with Mr. and Mrs. John Elliott, parents of Orville "Buck" Elliott. John Elliott owned thousands upon thousands of acres in the valley.
Josephine received her first cow from her mother. She kept it on the Elliott ranch. Her herd grew larger and larger over the years, and she homesteaded more land, one piece called the Bushfield, was over by Cherokee Park. "Aunt Jo" and her grandfather had a lot of land that would become part of the ranch John Elliott would build at Pine Creek.

     At this point in time, Orville "Buck" Elliott, John's son, married Helen Jones, daughter of George and Elizabeth Jones. Remember, the Jones had owned Glendevey. Approximately 1941, Buck and Helen decided they wanted Glendevey Ranch, the dude ranch that belonged to Josephine. So Buck confronted Aunt Jo and said that he would like to trade his interest in the ranch his father had, for Glendevey. Josephine could not believe he would do this, so she confronted John and told him what his son wanted to do. John Elliott said "Here's where two fools meet. He's a fool for offering you such a deal, and you're a fool if you don't take it." She did take it-traded Glendevey for Buck's part of the Elliott Ranch.

     John Elliott and Josephine were partners now. They made many cow drives from the Laramie River up the McIntrye Creek to the Rawahs. John ran his cows in Shipman Park along with Josephine's. Josephine Lamb could hold her own with any man, not only in the hay fields, cow pens or hunting but she could cuss any man to embarrassment. She was known for throwing men off her property and scaring them half to death to boot. Aside from being a teacher and rancher, she was also a poet and an artist. Josephine was still teaching and wanted to be closer to the highway, so she eventually moved to the Old Livermore Hotel which she purchased in 1953 and owned until her death in June 1975. She and John had also purchased the old Fisk Home in Livermore, and later the Elliotts moved in with her. She not only left her mark in the Laramie River Valley and the Livermore community, but all of Larimer County. She was, to say the least, a very incredible woman.

     After  Buck and Helen Elliott acquired Glendevey in 1941, they built more cabins and enlarged their own home. The same one that Garth, Matt and I are living in now. They fixed up the lodge and expanded the store. All supplies including gas, ice, groceries, pop, candy, cigarettes, and fishing tackle, they hauled in themselves. Ice was cut and hauled to the ice house to supply ice boxes for the cabins and tourists. Buck and Helen, along with Helen's parents and family, were responsible for giving Glendevey its wonderful reputation. We still have many people stop in and reminisce about the "old days with the Elliotts." Elizabeth Jones, Helen's mother, spent every summer at the Lodge after her husband's death and was a big part of the family operation.

     Glendevey Lodge was sold in 1964 to several men. One of them, Dr. Len Caranna, became the sole proprietor in about 1965. He kept the place for himself and his family until the 1970's then leased the lodge to Roland Kleinhansen. Roland opened the lodge again to the public, only this time in the form of a saloon. He also rented rooms and horses. Alas, the Glendevey Lodge acquired quite a reputation for having some wild parties with all the local cowboys stopping in for drinks. We still hear stories of running toilets and water flowing where it shouldn't be.
    In 1971, Garth Peterson was just starting his outfitting business. He had acquired the Forest Service Permits for this area, and his base was just a mile south of Glendevey Lodge by Brown's Park. After a long hard hunt in the Rawah Wilderness, the staff would go down to the Lodge for a meal and some refreshments. Alas, the seed was planted. Garth decided he wanted to buy the place. Easy for him, being a country boy from Canada who always loved the outdoors and hunting; but how was he going to talk his wife, Olivia, (a city girl from Pennsylvania) into this wild scheme. It did take him a few years!! In 1986 Garth and Liv Peterson bought Glendevey Lodge from Len Caranna.

     There are 160 acres of the property that border the Rawah Wilderness Area. The lodge was in a very sad state and believe me, that is an understatement. Every pipe was frozen. I did a lot of crying and wondered what in the world had I gotten into. Well, with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention hard work and the incredible expertise of our loyal ranch foreman, Todd Johnson, the dreams and visions started to materialize. Just about everything in the lodge has been rebuilt or replaced. Each year we add a little to the ranch, depending on what we can afford. After ten years, we all look at the old place and are very proud of it. Glendevey has such charm and warmth. I believe that is why people are so attracted to it. I often wish it could talk.
Garth and Liv are still operating the outfitting business (25 years) which is a very large part of our business. Our son, Matt, is a big part of our operation and we hope one day he will allow us to retire. Todd Johnson and his wife, Irene, have purchased 35 acres on the other side of Middle Mountain and Todd has built a gorgeous home. We are truly fortunate to have had him with us all these years.