Crested Butte
by LeRoy Head

Here is an poem that is part of the folklore of Crested Butte.

History and Origins

As best we can tell, it was written about 1930 or possibly earlier.

The typescript copy was obtained from Crested Butte local Rudy Sedmak (and 624 Maroon neighbor) sometime before 1971. It's likely that Rudy typed it out from memory, or re-typed it from hard copy he had. It is the kind of poem that was passed around year after year among the old-time miners.

Rudy mailed it to my father -- whom he knew from the 1930's when my grandparents, my father and my aunts lived there. My father sent it on to me in 1971 before the house was built.

Geographical Note

In the 1930's only reliable winter-time route to Crested Butte was via the narrow-gauge D&RGW train that ran up the valley from Gunnison.

The "smokestack and a hill" referenced in the poem is the Colorado Fuel & Iron (CF&I) coal mine -- the "Big Mine" on the bench -- and the associated very smoky coke production facilities located below the bench in Crested Butte.