By Bob Amick
Special to the Herald Times
MEEKER | Meeker National Historic District consultant Carl McWilliams, renowned Principal of Cultural Resource Historians, reports that the extensive research and documentation for the nomination of the downtown Meeker area as a National Historic District (NHD) is progressing on schedule. McWilliams has completed extensive research on early day history of eligible structures within the proposed NHD including historic residences, the Hugus Building, original courthouse near the IOOF building and current courthouse. Ellen Reichert, the Meeker Public Library and others have provided historic photographs and anecdotes useful to essential documentation of the 38 eligible structures which will be concurrently nominated for designation as National Historic Places as a part of the NHD nomination process. McWilliams is also researching N.C. Meeker and his family who were originally from Greeley before Meeker was appointed Indian Agent of the White River Ute Agency in 1878. A History Colorado State Historical Fund Grant and a Freeman Fairfield Trust matching grant provided $28,000 to the Town and Rio Blanco County Historical Society (RBCHS) to fund the two-year NHD extensive research and nomination project.
McWilliams reports that the field survey and photography are complete; he has submitted a handful of initial draft intensive-level forms for review by History Colorado’s Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (HC OAHP) staff and by the Town and RBCHS. McWilliams has completed research at Denver Public Library and at the History Colorado Hart Library in Denver which has the Meeker Herald on microfilm providing several important articles. McWilliams plans to submit the draft nomination to OAHP in September so that it will be on the agenda for the HC OAHP Review Board meeting on Jan. 19, 2018. Upon approval, the nomination will proceed to the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service for final review and designation as a National Historic District. There are 110 districts in Colorado. Such designation provides international recognition and promotion of historically significant areas and landmarks to dramatically increase heritage tourism and economic development.
Bob Amick is the chair of the Meeker National Historic District Task Force.