Having ice a tough task in old days before refrigeration

Farm and ranch crews had to wait until area ponds and lakes froze over before they could begin the arduous task of cutting blocks of ice from the frozen surface and transporting those blocks back to the farm or ranch in sufficient quantities to last through the year.

MEEKER I Early employees of the 101 Ranch, now the Rio Blanco Ranch, may remember the “ice house” and going out to cut blocks of ice to be used for refrigeration throughout the year—or as long as it would last.

Metal artists bring library sign to life

Local metal artist Kyle Stewart partnered with his wife, Ashley, to bring the Rangely Library’s new sign to life on Main Street. The Stewarts used approximately 30 square feet of metal, with 55 separate pieces cut and welded together to create the 150-pound sculpture.

RANGELY I It was only a matter of time before metal artist Kyle Stewart’s creations became a family affair. The 24-year-old, who works for family business Stewart Welding and whose metal sculptures can be seen in public spaces and private residences around Rangely, has taken on a full-fledged partner in his latest endeavor: his wife, […]

Noted woodcarver revs up saw for CNCC sculptures

Ron Eye, a master carver from Vernal, Utah, commissioned to create three sculptures for Colorado Northwestern Community College, uses a Stihl chainsaw to coax a Spartan from the stump of a Chinese elm tree. Eye, who completed a 16-foot sculpture for Meeker’s Highlands Cemetery last week, swept June’s “Whittle the Wood Rendezvous” in Craig, winning first place in the judge’s, artist’s and people’s choice categories.

RANGELY I At first glance, master wood carver Ron Eye looks like just another guy wearing hunter-orange camo chaps and wielding a chainsaw.

Bachmann, Collins formed partnership based around loyalty

MEEKER I One definition of loyalty is “a feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection.” Another is “faithful adherence to another.” Loyalty may be the simplest way to describe the relationship established on the Wakara Ranch. A duo that began as owner-manager turned into a friendship hat spanned nearly four decades.

Deep roots and positive impacts

The Taylor family came to Meeker in 1936. Through the years, parents Sherman and Deltha delivered mail, repaired shoes, farmed, owned the Standard service station on the corner of Fifth and Market streets, operated a grocery, taught school, volunteered and played music for friends, family and at local dances. Sherman played the mandolin and Deltha played the piano.

The Taylor family came to Meeker in 1936. Through the years, parents Sherman and Deltha delivered mail, repaired shoes, farmed, owned the Standard service station on the corner of Fifth and Market streets, operated a grocery, taught school, volunteered and played music for friends, family and at local dances. Sherman

Four couples in one family married total of 234 years

Bill Mitchem, his three siblings, and their spouses spent last weekend touring the area and reminiscing together, with plenty of good-natured camaraderie in the mix. The four couples have each been married for more than 50 years, with Bill and Martha celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary on Monday. From left, the Mitchem siblings on the couch with their spouses standing behind them: Bill and Martha Mitchem (62 years); Ken and Donna Mitchem (61 years); Peggy and Verl McElwain (59 years); and Jack and Charlotte Mitchem (52 years).

RANGELY I It’s not every man who can say he’s been married to his wife for more than 60 years. Even fewer people can lay claim to three siblings who have been wed to their respective spouses for 50 years or longer, logging a collective 234 years of marriage as a clan.

K Bar T has colorful past

The K Bar T Ranch has beautiful vistas and a colorful past, dating back to a barrel of whiskey in 1884. The name of Tom Kilduff, past and present, has a long string of ties to the ranch and the Meeker area. The ranch started out as 160 acres and

Appreciation of life fits Merriam mold

The Merriam family gathered for a reunion and all five of Dick and Nyla’s children were in attendance, along with the majority of their 17 grandchildren and 16 great-grandkids.

MEEKER I Nyla and Dick Merriam have passed down a sincere appreciation of life, career longevity and set an example of a marriage that lasts the test of time — having been married since 1948.

Meeker alumna is tops at horse reining

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MEEKER I Meeker High School alumna Melanie Watt Wilhelm will be recognized June 27 for her recent selection as the National Reining Horse Association Professional Horsewoman of The Year.

Work ethic, good sense, class define Wilbur family

Dressed in their Sunday finest are Mary Ann, Sally and Pauline Wilbur. All three girls have fond and vivid memories of family life growing up and the hard work that was involved in getting by without a lot of money to spend.

MEEKER I Many people in Meeker are fortunate to have homesteaded land passed down through generations. The work it took to turn those homesteads into real homes is difficult to comprehend, but many of those homesteading families have maintained that work ethic and history for generations.

Arlene Fritzlan cut from tough stock

Calvin and Arlene Fritzlan started the Fritzlan Ranch, where they guided hunters and fishermen. She cooked at the Fritzlan’s Cafe and sent Christmas cards to all those who signed the guest book. She ran a business that became a tradition in many people’s lives — from hunters coming every year to locals getting dinner once a week.

MEEKER I “I learned something I never forgot on that trip. If you hire on a job, finish it,” said Meeker native Arlene Fritzlan about a two-week pack trip all over the upper White River area when she was very young and working for her Uncle Joe.

Sizemores persevered until modern times

Roy Sizemore riding one of the horses from the Sizemore Resort. Roy would later run the resort with his father Oscar.

MEEKER I Perhaps the greatest quality of the people who homesteaded the White River valley in the early 1900s to make a life for themselves was perseverance. The second greatest quality was their innovative methods for earning money.