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Get ready for the 2024 Stanley Home Museum Gala!July 25, 2024

James H. Pickering – Historian Laureate, Town of Estes Park

When F.O. Stanley, but recently recovered from a bout of tuberculosis, purchased land on which to build a summer home, there was as yet no Town of Estes Park, the community to whose subsequent growth and development over nearly four decades he would commit both his time and resources. The Stanley House, like the nearby Stanley Hotel, which it preceded by some four years, stands as an enduring monument to a visionary individual who through ingenuity, courage, and persistence found ways to harness the emerging technological forces of the twentieth century to make those dreams a reality. “The Grand Old Man of Estes Park” they called him, and rightfully so. From his time until our own, the influence of F.O. Stanley continues to be felt throughout the Estes Valley.

It is for this reason that the efforts being made by Tom Shamburg and his associates to purchase and maintain the Stanley home at Rockside are so important. It is an architectural treasure that, like its neighbor to the west, Rocky Mountain National Park, whose creation F.O. Stanley did much to facilitate, deserves to be preserved for the use and enjoyment of future generations. The Stanley House is a gift from the past to both the present and the future. And no one would be more appreciative, or more supportive of these efforts, than Mr. Stanley himself.

This cannot happen, of course, without the full support, financially and otherwise, of the Estes Park community and those, and they number into the millions, whose lives have been similarly touched and enriched by the physical beauty of Estes Valley and the legacy of Freelan Oscar Stanley. Surely there can be no better or appropriate way to celebrate the Centennial of the Town of Estes Park as it pauses to celebrate the beginning of its second hundred years.

-James H. Pickering. Historian Laureate, Town of Estes Park