Dan Dillon Casement was a fascinating character and his ranch in Unaweep Canyon was an important part of Western Colorado history.
I’ve written about Casement and his ranch in a couple of history columns now, (use the “My Columns” tag above to read the most recent one). This is from his book “An Abbreviated Autobiography of a Joyous Pagan.” It’s his description of Christmas at the Unaweep ranch in 1891.
“Christmas that winter in the Unaweep was celebrated with an elaborate dinner. Isabel (wife of Casement’s college friend and ranch employee, Jerry Black) was radiant in a Paris gown that had been a year in retirement. We men resurrected our tails and white ties. I had previously made a difficult trip to Grand Junction and had brought in the goods essential to the occasion. There was a big turkey stuffed with chestnuts. Hidden under the table, until the appropriate moment, a quart of champagne cooled in a bucket of snow. This by way of a surprise to Jerry. The glasses in which it was served had taxes the resources of all the bars in Grand Junction. Although they were of orthodox shape with long, hollow stems, they were plainly peerless in their weight and thickness. Put to their proper use only on that memorable evening, one of the, at least survived the ravages of time for nearly fifty years. A staunch reminder of the long ago.”
Have a merry, Western Colorado Christmas, everyone.