Monday, April 18, 2011

1886 Wedding in Crystal Park

According to a manuscript by Francis W. Cragin, a geology professor at Colorado College from 1891 to 1902, this is a photo from September, 1886 of the wedding party of Mary Amelia Hill and Rev. T.H. Acheson (of Pittsburgh).  The Hill family were some of the earliest settlers in Crystal Park.  This is the home of Alexander McLeod Hill; Mary was his oldest daughter.  The house is described by Cragin  as "a four-room story-and-a-half house, substantially built of squared logs, having two rooms in the main part below and one large room above, besides a fourth in the addition on the rear.  There was a tent kitchen."  He also describes "a magnificent pine tree" near the house that the Hills christened "The Queen of the Valley".  Although the exact location of the house is unknown today, it was about a mile from the Gateway, up what Cragin called "Happy Valley".  Looking at the photo, could this be near the beginning of present-day Methuselah Rd. and the big tree in the background the "Methuselah Tree"? 

Present in this photo, according to Cragin: the seven people nearest the door are Mr. and Mrs. Hill and their five children. The bride and groom are not specifically identified. In front of the window to the left are Col. John G. Nicolay and his daughter Helene.  Nicolay and John Hay were President Lincoln's Secretaries during the Civil War and wrote parts of their biography of Lincoln in Crystal Park (see the entry on John Hay below).