Archived article from the High Plains View News - February 8, 2008 Volume No.2 Issue No.6

Coffee on the Rails
By John LaBorde

Limon Heritage Society recognizes volunteers
The Limon Heritage Society hosted their annual dinner on Feb. 2 at the United Methodist Church in Limon, Colorado. The annual dinner is to recongonize volunteers from the past year and kick off the new year. Their calendar of events scheduled for the year also was released.

After dinner Steve Lee, a professional story teller, related some railroad stories from the turn of the century and the evening was concluded with a enjoyable fund-raising auction of goods donated by various people, groups and businesses.

Leon Kelly of Hugo, Colorado, was honored as the Limon Heritage Society volunteer of the year and Vivian Lowe, co-director of the society, was recongonized for her tireless dedication to the Pioneer Museum, the Depot Museum and the grounds.

The evening meal was served by the Methodist church youth group. When every one finshed dining on prime beef, Steve Lee began his story of Hi-Wheeler, aka Hiram Wheeler. Hi Wheeler began his career on the railroads as a telegrapher in Omaha, Nebraska, and continued working for other roads until he ending up in Colorado working for the Denver Rio Grande and Western Railroad out of Denver.

Some of Lee's stories were factual, others were folklore. The stories included the nail biting ride up and down on Otto Mear’s Rio Grande Southern from Ridgeway to Rico, Colorado. There was also a rattlesnake that learned morse code and could talk to Mr.Wheeler's good friend, A.J. , by using his rattles to tap out morse code.

Storyteller Lee brought forth more than a few hearty guffaws and chuckles from his audience. Being a volunteer at the Colorado Railroad Museum, Mr Lee was able to have a original conductor’s uniform from the museum as a prop for his prsentation and some other props. He is a member of the story tellers guild and presents his stories throughout the state.

The evening concluded when Jim Herron, manager of Mountain View Electric in Limon, was the autioneer of the donated goods. There was some intense bidding and ribbing in good nature as members bid for various items.

Folks bid on everything from art work, clothing, collectiables, books, Rockies and Nuggets tickets as well as various other things.

The evening ended when the left over beef bone was auctioned off.

The Limon Heritage Museum and Railroad Park kicks off the season on Sunday, June 1 with a gala opening and reception at the musem.

The following weekend will be Limon's first "Railroad Day". Sunday, June 8, is the Limon Festival Trail Ride and Friday, July 4 is Chamber of Commerence/ Town of Limon celebration. Wednesday, July 16 is “Our Little School on the Plains." Saturday, Aug 2, is the Heritage Celebration and the season concludes on Saturday, Aug 30, with a pops concert/ ice cream social.

For further information the Heritage society can be contacted at 719-775-8605.



Steven R. Lee - Storyteller Email - Phone - (720) 878-7945