River Portal (East Portal), Colorado

I'm Irish & I'm a Mason...and I have a story to tell.

Sit By The River - Share My Journey

These entries document the stories of the men, women and children who lived at River Portal, Montrose County, Colorado while working on the Gunnison Diversion Tunnel - a historic pioneering project that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009.

Please read from the first entry forwards as I tend to have my own writing style that's more like reading a book than an entry that can be read individually. Reading the posts separate from each other doesn't really convey the story properly. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


For all of those who have been kind enough to be following this blog, I want to let you know that I've started a new blog.  I'm keeping this one and I've separated out a lot of family related non River Portal stories into my new blog.  This should help those who are researching River Portal to be able to get to the facts and it should help those who like the personal stories (the vast majority ) to be able to enjoy those without having to deal with the River Portal documentation.  If you follow me on here, I hope you'll follow me on the new blog.  I hope you like it.  We're still sitting by the river.  :) 

Irish Mason Musings & Meanderings

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Surname Saturday - Seven Surnames From 1st Boarding House

Today I posted seven different blog entries for the seven different men living in the first boarding house listed on the 1910 census for River Portal.  Please check the individual posts for the information about each of these surnames:


Hope someone finds a connection here and / or can provide additional information.

Household # 22 / 7th Person / J. M. Gilbert or I. M. Gilbert

The seventh and last person listed in the boarding house at #22 is J. M. Gilbert or I. M. Gilbert (depending on the interpretation of the census entry & different listings for indexing the census).  He presented the biggest obstacles & brick walls - resulting in very little information.  

I. M. Gilbert or J. M. Gilbert

1910 Federal Census; Colorado; Montrose County; River Portal;
E.D. 111; Precinct 17; April 27; 22/22; DCH

Gilbert, I. M. Partner M W 23 S
                                        Colorado Ohio Iowa
                                                           Engineer Stationary Engine

Household # 22 / 6th Person / Watson Blight

The sixth person listed in the boarding house at #22 is Watson Blight.

Watson Thornton Blight

1900 Federal Census; Colorado; Arapahoe County; Precinct 9;
Denver City; E.D. 47; June 9; 4236 Wessil ??; 294/295; DCH

Blight, Joseph Head W M March 1850 50 M 20
                                       England England England 1871 29 Na
           , Mary J. Wife W F May 1847 53 M 20 5/2
                                       England England England
           , Richard P. Son W M Oct 1881 18 S
                                       Colorado England England
           , Watson P. Son W M Aug 1887 12 S
                                       Colorado England England
1910 Federal Census; Colorado; Montrose County; River Portal;
Precinct 17; E.D. 111; April 27; 22/22; DCH

Blight, Watson F. Partner M W 23 S
                                            Colorado England England
                                                         Time Keeper U.S. Reclamation Service
1920 Federal Census; Colorado; Denver County;
Denver City; E.D. 16; 3629 West 33 Ave.; 35/49; DCH

Blight, Watson Head M W 33 M
                                     Colorado England England
                                                 Hydrographer State
          , Zilla Wife F W 29 M
                                     Colorado Vermont Canada
          , Aileen Daughter F W 6 S
                                     Colorado Colorado Colorado
          , Edith Daughter F W 2 7/12 S
                                     Colorado Colorado Colorado
1930 Federal Census; Colorado; Weld County; Greeley City;
Ward 3; E.D. 103; April 7; 1929 Tenth Avenue; 103/110; DCH

Blight, Watson T. Head M W 43 M 22
                                          Colorado England England
                                                         ???? Engineer Irrigation
          , Zilla M. Wife F W 39 M 19
                                          Colorado Vermont Canada
          , Eileen M. Daughter F W 16 S
                                          Colorado Colorado Colorado
          , Edith L. Daughter F W 12 S
                                          Colorado Colorado Colorado
World War I Civilian Draft Registration:

Name in Full: Watson Thornton Blight
Home Address: 725 ?? N. 5th ??
Montrose, Colo
Date of Birth: August 27, 1886
Natural Born Citizen
Present Occupation: Junior Clerk
By Whom Employed: U S R S
Dependents: Wife Child 4 yrs
No Previous Military Service
No Exemptions Claimed
Medium Build
Gray Eyes
Brown Hair
June 5 ???
Signature: Watson T. Blight
Social Security Death Index:

Name: Zilla Blight
SSN: 522-66-1375
Last Residence: 80033 Wheat Ridge, Jefferson, Colorado, United States of America
Born: 19 Oct 1890
Died: Mar 1976
State (Year) SSN issued: Colorado (1963)

Household # 22 / 5th Person / Albert Moser

The fifth person in the boarding house at #22 is Albert Moser.

Albert L. B. Moser

1910 Federal Census; Colorado; Montrose County; River Portal;
E.D. 111; Precinct 17; April 27; 22/22; DCH

Moser, Albert L. B. Partner M W 25 S
                                          Colorado Switz-German Switz-German
                                                       Civil Engineer U. S. Reclamation Service
1920 Federal Census; Colorado; Denver County;
Denver City; E.D. 178; January 10; 1125 27th St.; 57/69; DCH

Moser, Kate B. Head F W 59 W 1868 Na 1880
                                        Germany Germany Germany
           , Albert L. B. Son M W 36 S
                                        Colorado Germany Switzerland
                                                       Civil Engineer Contractor

(NOTE: Living next door to Arthur Moser - Kate's son, Albert's brother)
1930 Federal Census; Colorado; Denver County;
Denver City; District N; Block No. 4050;
E.D. 111; April 4; 2732 Race Street; 68/68; DCH

Moser, L. B. Head M W 47 M 41
                                        Colorado Switzerland Germany
                                                         Engineer Civil
           , Eva Wife F W 25 M 18
                                        Colorado Pennsylvania Kansas
           , Leo Son M W 6 S
                                        Colorado Colorado Colorado
           , Clifford Son M W 5 S
                                        Colorado Colorado Colorado
           , John Son M W 2 ?/12 S
                                        Colorado Colorado Colorado
World War I Draft Registration Card Info:

Serial Number: 1964
Name: Albert Lee Moser
Address: Livermore??? Larimer, Colo
Age in Years: 35
Date of Birth: April 6, 1883
Native Born Citizen
Present Occupation: Ranchman
Employer's Name: Mrs ?? K. B. Moser
Place of Employment or Business: Livermore??? Larimer, Colo
Nearest Relative: K. B. Moser
Address: Livermore??? Larimer, Colo
Medium Height
Medium Build
Blue Eyes
Darker ? Hair
September 12, 1918
Signature: A L B Moser

Household # 22 / 4th Person / Charles Chambers

The fourth person in the boarding house at #22 is Charles Chambers.

1880 Federal Census; Kansas; Crawford County;
Osage Township; E.D. 58; June 1; 17/17; DCH

Chambers, C. M. W M 29 M
                                        Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
                , M. A. W F 25 Wife M
                                        Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
                , C. F. W M 5 Son S
                                        Kansas Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
                , D. A. W F 4 Daughter S
                                         Kansas Pennsyvlania Pennsylvania
                , L. K. W F 2/12 (2) Daughter S
                                         Kansas Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
1910 Federal Census; Colorado; Montrose County; E.D. 111;
River Portal; April 27; Precinct 17; 22/22; DCH

Chambers, Charles F. Partner M W 33 S
                                                Kansas Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
                                                             Machinist U.S. Reclamation Service
1930 Federal Census; Colorado; Hinsdale County; Lake City Town;
E.D. 1; April 16; Bluff Street; 137/81; DCH

(NOTE: Side comment appears to say "That part of town known as Cosco" or "Casco")

Chambers, Charlie F. Head M W 55 M 48
                                                       Kansas Pennsylvania Illinois
                                                                    Machine Man Quartz Mine
                 , Martha A. Wife F W 45 M 18
                                                       Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
                 , Sunny June Daughter F W 2 10/12 S
                                                       Colorado Kansas Tennessee
Not positive that these are absolutely correct but seem to be matches.

Household # 22 / 3rd Person / Frank Graham

The third person living in the boarding house at #22 is Frank Graham.

1880 Federal Census; Iowa; Monona County; Onawa City;
E.D. 154; June 3; 27/28; DCH

Graham, Lou W M 31 M Laborer
                                       Wisconsin ? Missouri
             , Addie W F 30 M
                                       Wisconsin Canada Illinois
             , Frankie W M 8 S
                                        Iowa Wisconsin Wisconsin
             , James W M 6 S
                                        Iowa Wisconsin Wisconsin
1910 Federal Census; Colorado; Montrose County; River Portal;
E.D. 111; Precinct 17; April 27; 22/22; DCH

Graham, Frank H. Partner M W 38 S
                                            Iowa Wisconsin Wisconsin
                                                        Boiler Worker U. S. Reclamation Service
Appears to be enumerated twice - in two different counties a distance apart. Train trip visit? Listed in family though not living there? Confusing.

1910 Federal Census; Colorado; Prowers County; Lamar; Precint 4;
E.D. 136; April 25-26; 108 E Elm; 219/226; DCH

Graham, W. A. Head M W 61 M1 40
                                       Wisconsin Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
                                                        Contractor Ditch
             , Addie Wife F W 50 M1 40 5/4
                                       Wisconsin Canada (French) United States
             , F. H. Son M W 38 S
                                       Iowa Wisconsin Wisconsin
                                                        Miner Gold
             , Charles A. Son M W 28 S
                                       Iowa Wisconsin Wisconsin
             , Mary E. Daughter F W 26 S
                                       Iowa Wisconsin Wisconsin
                                                        Teacher School
             , Eva L. Daughter F W 20 S
                                       Colorado Wisconsin Wisconsin
(NOTE: In 1900 family located in Baca County, Colorado. Frank not listed with family.)