Colorado Mother of the Year

The mother and child in this painting by Alfonso Rodriguez are not the Glovers.

In 1884 Tom and Alice Glover drove up Colorado’s Grand Valley in a covered wagon to start a new ranch along the banks of Parachute Creek. Alice held their baby daughter Queenie. When they arrived, Tom pitched a tent for the family to live in that summer. Once the camp was set, he found a couple cowboys to help him build a ranch.
While the men were building, Alice was on her own to make the camp a home. On wash day she carried water from the creek to heat in a kettle over a fire. She made her own lye soap which was corrosive, but still, the only way to get stubborn grime out was to scrub the clothes between her sore knuckles. As she tended the fire, hauled water, washed, and rinsed, she kept an eye on Queenie who was playing on a quilt a safe distance from the fire.
As Alice hung the clothes to dry, she heard a slight rustling sound behind her. She turned to see a mountain lion. Mountain lions regularly take down deer and elk. This one had Queenie by the head and was hauling her into the oak brush. Alice screamed, grabbed an axe, and went after that lion. Her screams frightened the lion into dropping Queenie and vanishing into the hills. Alice scooped up her baby and did what she could for her. Head wounds are known to bleed heavily, but the important thing was that the skull was intact. Queenie healed strong and healthy, but she carried a scar on her temple for the rest of her life.


This in an excerpt from a story my mother, Alberta Payton, researched and wrote for the Grand Valley historical society.

The cabin that Tom Glover built is still standing and now on display behind the Battlement Mesa Schoolhouse above Parachute, Colorado.

About breathtakebyways

Ann Williams’ travel articles have appeared in publications all over the country including The Washington Post, Roads to Adventure, and Jack and Jill. Between researching and writing books, she specializes in creative lectures.