The Saratoga Sun -

Woodchoppers back in swing this weekend


Saratoga Sun Archives

The original Woodchoppers ad from 1962, designed by this year's Grand Marshal Dick Perue.

The annual Woodchopper's Jamboree and Rodeo will be held in Encampment and Riverside, with local historians Dick Perue and Nancy Anderson as Grand Marshals of the event.

This year's Jamboree will be held Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 in Encampment and Riverside, and will begin with a 9:30 a.m. parade on Saturday. Woodchopping events begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday. Rodeos will be held on both days at 1:30 p.m. at the Encampment-Riverside Lion's Club Arena.

Perue, who was then editor of the Saratoga Sun, recalled creating the first newspaper advertisement for the jamboree in 1962. The Jamboree has been going on every June since then.

"I wasn't' a member of the Encampment-Riverside Lion's Club, but the Saratoga Lion's Club used to do a lot of things in conjunction with it," Perue said. "But my role in this was to publicize it, to get it out to the public and do the ads and do that type of thing."

Perue has lived in the Valley since he moved here in 1938 at the age of 18 months. He worked as a printer's devil at the Saratoga Sun, then returned in 1958 after graduating college when he became the paper's editor and publisher. He bought the paper in 1968 and sold it in 1982. He now runs a nonprofit business called Historical Productions by Perue, dedicated to preserving the history of the Valley. He is the author of books about the 100th anniversaries of Riverside and Encampment.

Anderson, the other Grand Marshal, moved to the Valley in 1956 after accepting a job at the Beer Mug Ranch north of Medicine Bow. She was a member of the original board that created the Grand Encampment Museum.

She was drawn to the history of the valley because of the company she kept, she said. "My two dearest friends were Lora Nichols and Vera Oldman, both of whom were instrumental in establishing the (Grand Encampment) Museum."

Anderson also wrote a book cataloging the diaries and writings of Nichols, whom Anderson described as a pioneer in the Valley and a photographer. The book, "Lora Webb Nichols: Homesteader's Daughter, Miner's Bride," was described by Perue as "one of the best historical preservation books on the Grand Encampment area."

Despite her grasp of local history, Anderson is not sure what her duties as Grand Marshal entail. "Aside from being in the parade, I have no idea (what the Grand Marshal does)," she said. "I have to call the people in Encampment and ask what I'm doing."

"All I know is that we are going to be the Grand Marshals for the parade."

Courtesy Dick Perue

Nancy Anderson, second from left, meets with the Grand Encampment Museum Board sometime in the 1960s.

Anderson said she thinks she and Perue both were chosen for the honor of Grand Marshal because of their involvement in the establishment of the Grand Encampment Museum, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

"I think it's because I was on the founding board of the Grand Encampment Museum," she said. "Dick Perue was also the voice of that board. He did a lot of advertising and was very active in establishing the museum.

"I think that's the reason why we were chosen," Anderson said.

While Perue is certain that Anderson was chosen for her contributions to historical preservation in the Valley, the old newspaperman is not sure why he was chosen.

"I don't know why they selected me," Perue said. "The only reason I can think of is that I outlived everybody else, I guess."


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