The Saratoga Sun -

Elva Evans is hooked on history

Long-time friend celebrates new book


September 9, 2020

Photo from Martin/Perue Collection, courtesy of Ken Olson

Elva Olson, right, "riding" with her older brother Kenny at the 4 Bar Ranch in the late 1930s.

by Dick Perue

(Author's note: The following originally was written as an introduction for Elva's book, "Saratoga 150 Years" however, being extremely modest, she wouldn't include it in "Saratoga 150 Years". This is my personal account of Elva (Olson) Evans and her accomplishments over the past 80 years of our acquaintance and friendship. She has "kinda" agreed to me writing and publishing the following.-Dick Perue).

Elva Evans' interest in history was sparked at her parents' ranch table where ranch hands and visitors told their stories. That spark has caught fire in her latest effort, a just released book entitled, "Saratoga 150 Years".

After a life-time of reading, writing and gathering research materials, 23 years of compiling "Reflections from Our Files" for the "Saratoga Sun" plus historical preservation through founding and supporting the Saratoga Museum (serving as first museum director and initial president of the Saratoga Historical & Cultural Assn.), she decided to write a personal recollection of the history of Saratoga and the Upper North Platte River Valley.

Elva has always believed that local history should be gathered, preserved and shared right up to the present. Beyond her obsessive collecting, local historians contend that Elva's most significant contribution to historical preservation, up to the present, was compiling and editing two volumes of pictorial history entitled "Early History of Saratoga and Vicinity" in 1976 and 1977.

Photo courtesy Dick Perue

Dick Perue, right, with his younger brother Jim in front of sheep wagon in 1938 when they moved to Pick Ranch, which adjoined the 4 Bar.

"Saratoga 150 Years" is an easy read. Elva's flowing style takes the reader on a journey from the days of the Indian Bath Tubs at Warm Springs to today's events at the Platte Valley Community Center. It is history personalized, fun to read and believable with a few clever twists and quips throughout.

Enhancing the history of her first book are 80 historical photographs provided by Dick Perue from the Bob Martin/Dick Perue collection as well as 20 more illustrations and photos from various sources.

Elva Olson was born on the 4 Bar ranch west of Saratoga March 18, 1934, educated in Saratoga Schools, a graduate of University of Wyoming, taught school one year, married to Valle Evans in 1955 and mother of four children, Julie, Kathleen, Kelly and John. She has lived on ranches and in town in this area her long, joyful life, contributing to preserving its rich heritage and history as well as being a "good neighbor", homemaker and business and civic leader.


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