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. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - A Vintage Valentine's Present

Sunday is here again and you're all still sitting here with me!  I love being able to sit here by the river with you all and share every day ... but as you know I prefer Sundays when I take a break from the facts and figures.

I'm dedicated to sharing that information because it's a passion of mine - a labor of love - to give more information about the River Portal people - beyond names, beyond unidentified faces in pictures.  Who were they?  Where did they come from?  Where did they go?  The facts and figures help.  I love chatting more though.

Today I'm not going far from River Portal with my story.  I'm going to share something that helps tell the story - beyond words.  So sit back and relax.  I've got something to pass around for you all to look at.

Last Sunday I mentioned that I had planned to share a different story - about this year's Valentine's Day present from my husband but that the present hadn't arrived in time to share it.  It's here now though and I can share it.  Yippee!  It's not what you'd expect.  It's definitely unusual for a Valentine's Day present - but it's something that's very close to my heart - something I feel very sentimental about.

My husband usually asks me for ideas about gifts.  When he asked me this year what I wanted for Valentine's Day I had only one suggestion - only one wish.  I think he would have thought I was certifiably insane if I hadn't been telling him at least once a day about something special I'd found on Ebay.  He might not agree with me wanting something like that but he realized I wasn't joking about wanting it.  Are you curious yet?  Okay...I'll stop the suspense.

I was Googling "River Portal" and happened upon something that flabbergasted me - a vintage postcard for sale on Ebay.  It's a photo postcard of River Portal - as it was back in the day - back in the day when my Mason family lived there.  Wow!  The postcard has the postage on it and the postmark - August of 1912.  In two years it will be one hundred years old!  There is writing on it as well.  It's just a quick note - not much said - but it didn't take long to identify who wrote it and who received it.  It was written by Alford Anderson who lived in Central City, Colorado in 1910 and was listed as the "General Manager of Mines".  It was written to another man named Robert Johnson who was also living in Central City in 1910.  He was an engineer on a stationary engine.  They're not related to me - but that's okay.  I feel like all of these people who lived at, worked at, or even just visited River Portal are part of a big extended family that I'm proud to be a descendant of.

My husband buying that postcard for me may not have been chocolates or roses or diamonds - but it's a great expression of his love for me.  He has no interest in genealogy - not even his own - (although his is more interesting than mine in some ways).  He has no interest in facts and figures and old documents.  However, for all these years that I've been researching my family and the families of others - he has supported me and taken me to see places firsthand, walked cemeteries with me all over the country and been a companion on my journey.  He has loved me enough to give me those gifts as well - not tangible - but priceless.

I've talked a lot about serendipity and the magic of moments where a discovery is made that is just not possible to explain.  This postcard is yet another one of those.  What were the chances of me finding a photo postcard nearly a century old of River Portal?  It no longer exists.  It only existed for a brief few years.  It's so far down at the bottom of a gorge that not many would have made the trip.  I think I was meant to have this postcard.  I think I was meant to find it - even on Ebay.  Who would love it as much as I do?  Who would understand its value?

Please pass this around and enjoy it.  I'm glad I can finally share with you what River Portal looked like when the Gunnison Diversion Tunnel was being built.

Thank you for sharing time again with me on this Sentimental Sunday. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like your DH is a keeper! What a nice treasure to find.