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October 15, 2018

Loss of historic Royal Hotel brings people of Yampa together

— Residents of the small South Routt Town of Yampa have signed on to take the first steps toward reinvigorating the town in the wake of the January fire that claimed an historical landmark and gathering place, the Royal Hotel.

More than 60 people packed into the Yampa Ladies Aid Hall Thursday night to listen to local economic development experts Jane Blackstone, Tracy Barnett, Carl Steidtmann and Noreen Moore, who urged the group to set small, affordable goals to gradually begin to breathe some new life into a historic Western town.

“It was inspiring to me to see that kind of community turnout and caring,” Blackstone, Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association economic development director, said Friday. “They have very authentic Western heritage and a real experience for people visiting this part of the world. They have a lot to build on.”

She added that at the end of the meeting, a significant number of those in attendance signed their names to three projects lists.

They’ll rally to create a new mural on the side of a building, plant their own flower barrels and tackle a list of fix-up projects. That includes refurbishing the picket fences with entry arches that are a recognizable design element in front of homes around town.

Yampa had a population of 429 in 2013, down from 443 in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We talked about their strengths and things they could do,” Barnett, director of Mainstreet Steamboat, said. “I spoke about how you can start with baby steps — a Saturday afternoon painting party. You can get wooden pallets and make planter boxes with very little money, that will show there is a community and start building on that. It activates the streets and shows there is community pride. Once things get fixed up, then somebody else starts to care.”

Accomplishing small improvements becomes tangible evidence of positive change, Blackstone said.

When the 109-year-old Royal Hotel burned down in Yampa Jan. 5, the town lost a community-gathering place as well as a source of property and sales tax revenues in a municipality that has budgeted to raise about $110,000 this year from those two sources combined.

County Commissioner Tim Corrigan, who lives outside Yampa, said this week that he is actively encouraging the town to find a way to clean up the charred beams and rubble of the hotel, which still mar the downtown commercial district.

One of the remaining flagship businesses in the town is Montgomery’s General Merchandise, which harkens back to another era with its diverse merchandise and its reliance on an old-fashioned manual cash register.

Barnett said people who attended the meeting lamented the disappearance of a sign advertising Montgomery’s from Colorado Highway 131 (which runs right by Yampa without affording a view of the little historic downtown) because it was found to have been improperly placed on county property.

Not far from Montgomery’s, the historic Crossans’ Market building is being restored with grants from the State Historical Fund. The main floor, with 60-year-old retail fixtures and advertising signs in place, will serve as a historical display, while the upstairs will serve as town offices.

There is also enthusiasm among a community of artists living in Yampa for establishing a gallery in an empty building not far from the beginning of Routt County Road 7. The road leaves directly from Yampa’s commercial district and winds up the Bear River to all of the hiking, fishing, camping and hunting in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

Blackstone said that during a recent presentation to the South Routt Economic Development Council in Phippsburg, she urged that board’s members to work to define the narratives they can tell about their region. Those stories are needed to help prospective visitors understand the memorable experiences they could have in South Routt.

Refining the stories embedded in Yampa’s history could also become one of the next steps in the little town’s revival, she said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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Loss of historic Royal Hotel brings people of Yampa together

Your Town, Your Life: Lincoln

By: Alexandra Cowley

acowley@abc6.com

In this weeks Your Town, Your Life we take you to Lincoln, Rhode Island. A town in Northern Rhode Island named in honor of Abraham Lincoln. It consists of seven villages: Manville, Albion, Lime rock, Lonsdale, Fairlawn, Quinnville, and Saylesville.

Lincoln was settled in the 17th century. Back then, the types of homes built were called Stone-Enders. Where one end of the home is a huge stone chimney wall. The Arnold House in Lincoln is a unique surviving example of this type of construction. It was built by Eleazer Arnold in 1693. The house has gone through some updates and changes throughout the centuries to keep it standing. It’s open for tours on the Weekends year round from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Lincoln was also a big mill town in the 19th century. There were many that ran along the Blackstone River. Some of the old mill buildings have been converted into apartments. However, there is one that remains empty with most of its tools still in tact. The Moffett Mill was built in 1812 and was donated to the town of Lincoln in 1980’s. It made parts for ships, machines for textiles, wagons and carriages. The stone dam that was built in 1850 still exists.

In the town of Lincoln, in the village of Lime Rock, is home to some very rare plants. That’s because of the lime in the soil which makes it sweet. We took a walk through the Nature Preserve which hosts these unique plants, the only place to do so in R hode Island

Kathy Barton knows everything there is to know about plant life. For 35 years, Barton gave tours to those interested in Rhode Island’s native plants. She says the Lime Rock Preserve is special in that it hosts plant life that needs the lime to survive.

“Cumberland, Lincoln has an even more special habitat because of the lime deposits,” said Barton.

The trail we walked used to be a commuter railroad and Limestone quarry. It is now owned and preserved by the Nature Conservancy. Had it not been taken over and preserved, Barton says all this could have been bulldozed for condos.

A few of the unique plants to the area of Lime Rock is the Walking Fern and the Hepatica Plant. Barton takes pride in preserving this natural habitat and the plants that call it home.

“All the big places have been saved. We have Yosemite, we have the Grand Canyon, and what’s left are little local gems like this. Maybe not real super big, but they’re worth saving because of what’s in them,” explained Barton.

Someone who understands that is Lincoln resident Deborah Krieger. She lives nearby and wrote into ABC 6 about the Lime Rock area.

“We raised two sons here and one of them I know this was a huge influence on him and he went to study environmental science. So I feel like we have a nice little gem here in Rhode Island and in Lincoln,” Krieger said.

The Blackstone River State Park offers a ten mile trail that winds through Central Falls, Lincoln, and Cumberland. People walk, run, and bike the length. Enjoying the views of the rushing waters through the Blackstone River.

If you want somewhere you can dive into the water, then the Lincoln Woods State Park is perfect. The park has a public beach open for swimming, canoeing, and even fishing in some areas. There is also a trail that winds around the water with breathtaking views. Campsites are available at the park, but only for the day.

A little romantic history still lives on in the town of L incoln at The Hearthside House. It was built by Stephen H opkins Smith in 1810. Legend has it that Smith built the home with winnings from the L ouisiana State Lottery to woo a wealthy woman from Providence. However, when he took her to see it she said who would want to live in the wilderness. Smith’s heart was broken and he never married. Hearthside now belongs to the town and hosts many events.

We want to know what’s unique about where you live. Click on the Your Town tab and fill us in.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014

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Your Town, Your Life: Lincoln

Paddlers prepared for 100-mile RI river tour


July 6, 2014

NORTH SMITHFIELD – The Paddle Across Rhode Island team escaped potential washout impacts from Hurricane Arthur’s close brush with the area and set out on their more that 100-mile journey from the town’s Meadows Recreation Complex on Sunday with perfect weather and perfect river conditions.

“It looks fantastic,” team leader Chuck Horbert, a R.I. Department of Environmental Management freshwater wetlands employee, said as he and three paddling friends got ready to set out on the Blackstone River at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. The group expects to keep paddling and portaging across Rhode Island’s waterways for the next eight days on a journey that Horbert had envisioned completing last July.

Hurricane Andrea arrived in the area last year just in time to raise the flows of Rhode Island rivers to impassable levels, and Horbert’s start of the trip on the Branch River in Burrillville ended before the group got out of Northern Rhode Island.

Full story appears on page A1 of Monday’s Call and Monday’s Times.

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Paddlers prepared for 100-mile RI river tour