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. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

If I Could I Would.......

If I could I would...go back in time and meet all of the interesting people who lived at River Portal working on the pioneer engineering project of diverting the Gunnison River through a tunnel.  I'm fascinated with the thought of the type of people who would be willing to live in such rough conditions at the bottom of a gorge - a lifestyle so difficult that I can't even wrap my brain around it.  Hard work and hard life - and many with families including children.  I try to imagine what it was like during the winter months.  I try to imagine the isolation.  I wonder if they bonded in ways that we'll never understand.  I hope so. 

If I could I would...provide a complete biography with pictures, obituaries, family stories, and more for each and every person who lived at River Portal during this project.  It would be so wonderful to flesh out the people.  My passion - my labor of love - is trying to give at least a glimpse into who they were - where they came from - and where they went after River Portal.  To that end I'm providing every piece of documentation I can find - sometimes very limited.  I truly hope that others may find a familial connection to the River Portal families.  Perhaps they'll help provide other information and pictures and help contribute to this project.  It's a dream of mine to see this grow.

If I could I would...have descendants of these River Portal people organized into a group that memorializes, commemorates and celebrates the lives of these hard working folk who diverted a river by building a tunnel that brought water to dry earth and helped the Uncompaghre Valley become productive for farming.  It's about PRIDE - pride in heritage, pride in what our ancestors accomplished, pride in belonging to such a limited group of people and pride in knowing that we have this connection to one of our country's amazing national parks - Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. 

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