Looking Back on Teddy Roosevelt's History in Western Colorado

Feb 12, 2019

The area around Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Silt was once 'Teddy Roosevelt country.' A century after his death, he's still remembered as a larger-than-life figure - in both American history and that of Western Colorado.

The nation’s 26th president hunted in the Divide Creek area and stayed at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. He stayed at the hotel at least twice and some people still refer to it, only half seriously, as "the Western White House"

He even negotiated a major peace treaty between Russia and Japan while staying at a cold, muddy hunting camp high in the Divide Creek drainage south of Rifle.

Roosevelt made such an impression on Rifle residents that a local church commissioned a stained glass window in his honor. Today, it's displayed in the Rifle Public Library. (See photo below.)

That's where Andrew Gulliford, Professor of History at Fort Lewis College, recently delivered a talk on Roosevelt’s adventures in the area.

KDNK’s Mark Duggan caught up with Gulliford to talk about TR's legacy, almost one-hundred years to the day that Roosevelt passed away.

The pastor of a Rifle, Colorado-based church commissioned this stained-glass window in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, who hunted in the area in the early part of last century. Today, the window sits in the Rifle Public Library.
Credit Mark Duggan