The Red River area has a rich history. Ute and Jicarilla Apaches fought and raided nearby
pueblos and roamed the area. When explorers, fur trappers and prospectors discovered the area they put River City, as Red River was first called, on the map. Hundreds of gold, silver and copper mines were carved into the mountain with names like Golden Treasure, Silver King and Black Copper. Red River's population soared. There were two general mercantiles, a livery stable, two newspapers, a sawmill, blacksmith shop, barber shop, more than a dozen saloons, several hotels and boarding houses, a dance hall and a hospital. There was also a red light district with plenty of gambling and bar room brawls.
From Boomtown to Mountain Retreat
The mines played out eventually, but soon homesteaders outnumbered prospectors. Town gained new momentum by renting abandoned mining cabins to flatland visitors seeking refuge from the heat. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Red River was designated the "mountain playground" that it is today.
On the National Register of Historic Places:
- Little Red School House Museum: At the Y and built in 1915 and used as a school house until 1942. Visit the Little Red Schoolhouse Museum.
- Ver Mallette Cabin: River Street and Copper King Trail
- Orrin Mallette Cabin: River Ranch
- Melson-Oldham Cabin: Tall Pine Lodge
- Pierce Fuller House: Two-story cabin at Silver Bell and High Street
Red River Historic Sites Locator Map
Click on the map above for a printable version of the Historic Sites Map.
Altitude: 8,750 feet
Average Winter Temperature: 40 degrees in the daytime, 12 degrees at night
Average Summer Temperature: 75 degrees daytime, 38 degrees at night
Average Snowfall: 188"
Town Services: Police, Fire, Ambulance, Water, Sewer, Solid Waste
Flora and Fauna
Trees: Aspen, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Silver and Blue Spruce, Cottonwood and Red Willow.
Wildflowers: Over 250 different species of wildflowers can be found around this area. Some of these include: Columbine, Cinquefoil, Mariposa Lily, Scarlet Paintbrush, Mountain Iris, Daisy, Fireweed, Fairy Trumpets, Aster, Pentsemmon, Indian Blanket and many more.
Animals: Beaver, Black Bear, Chipmunk, Mule Deer, Elk, Bobcat, Mountain Lions, Bighorn Sheep, and many others.
Fish: German Brown, Rainbow, Brook and Cutthroat Trout; Pike and Salmon in nearby waters.
Birds: Broadtail and Rufous Hummingbird, Tree Swallow, Mountain Bluebird, Robin, Junco, Gray Jays, Stellar's Bluejays, Woodpecker, Golden Eagles, Ringneck Dove, Owl, Red-tail Hawks, Chickadees, Evening Grossbeaks, Nuthatch, Magpie and several others.
The Bear Facts
No matter where we live in Bear Country we're never too far from bears, spectacular animals that, unfortunately can get into trouble with humans. Homeowners and campers need to remember that bears have an extremely good sense of smell and will check out anything that smells like food. They also have good memories -- once “rewarded” with food, a bear will return with regularity to sites where they once got a free meal. The best approach is to “bear-proof” your property by storing food, garbage and other attractants away from bears.
Stored garbage often attracts bears. Once a bear uses human garbage as food, it is very difficult to persuade the bear to leave the area. Bears that are drawn to stored garbage but are unable to obtain feed will usually leave and not return.
Some Garbage Care Tips:
- To decrease odors, store garbage in tightly tied or heavy duty bags.
- Store garbage in 'bear-resistant' dumpsters or garbage cans. If a bear-proof container is not available, store the garbage inside until it can be taken to a refuse site.
- Take advantage of regular trash pickup services. Don't stockpile your garbage -- it will begin to smell and may attract a bear.
- Store extra smelly items like fish parts and meat bones in a freezer until they can be taken to a refuse site.
Bears are intelligent creatures. It doesn't take long for a bear to realize that improperly stored garbage is an easy source of food. The pattern of events is predictable: A bear feeds on garbage and people enjoy the spectacle. After a few visits, the bear loses its fear of humans because the lure of garbage is greater than its natural tendency to avoid people. When the bear no longer fears humans, someone usually gets hurt and the bear is destroyed.
“Garbage bears” are often killed because it is the only practical option available. Transported bears often return from great distances to their home territory, and those that don't return take their raiding habits with them to new areas. The adage that “A Fed Bear Is A Dead Bear!” is usually true.
Bears are very opportunistic and eat basically anything that humans and their pets and livestock do. The following is a breakdown of typical bear attractants and what you can do to avoid inviting a bear to your home.
Only place as much bird feed in the feeder as birds can consume in a few hours. There will be less spillage on the ground and less waste.
Hummingbird feeders -- Bring in at night.
Dog food -- It is always best to feed dogs inside. Feed only that amount that your dog can consume at one time.
Horse grain and cubes -- Store all grain and cubes in bear-resistant containers, sheds or structures. When feeding, feed only that amount that your horse can consume at one time.
BBQ's -- Keep clean and in a garage or shed when not in use.
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