Gold was discovered in Colorado in 1859.
Among the adventurers who joined the rush was a Missouri native named Joel Estes.
Estes and his son Milton followed a trail west up the Little Thompson drainage, from what is now Lyons. They chanced upon a high mountain valley filled with wildlife and surrounded by snow covered peaks. In the spring of 1860, Joel and Milton returned to set up a ranching operation including two houses and corrals at the eastern edge of that green lush valley. Joel moved his wife and their four other children up into the mountains in 1863 during Civil War.
This Mountain Life continues with these traditions.