Article brought back memories of Grand Lake childhood
December 19, 2007
I was reading your article about Bill Hagemann’s retirement and read the part that said, “He highlighted two projects in particular that stand out. … The other was bringing town water to the Grand Lake Lodge, which benefited the residents of Woodpecker Hill, as well as the Elk Creek Campground.”
The article brought back some very colorful memories of my childhood in Grand Lake.
Anyway, my father, Col. Truman L. “Steve” Stephens, was the person who paid to put the first year-around running city water on Woodpecker Hill back in 1985. He paid for it himself, and the town gave us nine free water and sewer taps for our lots in return as we owned/developed the land directly below the lodge and the town wanted to get the rest of the residents on Woodpecker Hill to hook in.
The town didn’t have the funds at the time, and we needed running water and sewer to develop the land.
The town tried to plug the houses on the hill into the water and sewer main there in the road in the middle of the gulch, but my dad parked his truck over the pump station until the mayor agreed on the terms as it was our pipe and our lines and he wasn’t going to allow them to do that for free. Wasn’t long before Gene Stover showed up and agreed on the terms. Nothing like a 68-year-old man guarding his truck/pump station with a shovel to keep the town at bay.
Later that afternoon, laughs and a few beers went along with it at the Lariat as that’s where all business in Grand Lake was conducted at the time. Before that, it was the Stagecoach, when owned by the Losassos and the DiDonatos. It is now a Mexican restaurant across from the old post office.
Before 1985, Woodpecker Hill had summer water only. There was a pipe on top of the ground that Gordon Spitzmiller, founder of Grand Lake Plumbing, had put there years before so he could have running water at his summer cottage, which was in the gulch near the end of the road on Woodpecker Hill.
The road used to end in the gulch, but we built the road across the gulch and built the first house there directly below the lodge.
Anyway, Bill Hagemann is a great guy, as you said, always quiet, always helpful, and always nice. It’s a great article.