Horace Button gravesite and GC ski history
Tim Flanagan is a Grand County ski historian who had lived in the Grand County for 43 years before moving to Jackson, Wyo. where he now lives. He knew Horace Button, who was a skier and life-long resident of Hot Sulphur Springs. Button learned to ski from Carl Howelsen and he brought organized skiing west, said Flanagan. He eventually brought it to Hot Sulphur Springs.
“Button was inspired by Howelsen,” said Flanagan. “He competed and became an icon and then stayed in Hot Sulphur Springs.”
But Button became an icon from what he was doing behind the scenes.
“He would pack out the jump after a full day of working on his ranch. He prepared the jump for the kids when they got out school. He coached and mentored them.”
If they couldn’t afford equipment Button would give them money.
Flanagan was also one of Button’s protégés. Flanagan honored Button for his work with local youth and created the Horace Button Ski Foundation.
Flanagan, with many others who knew Button, helped build Button’s gravesite that overlooks his ranch.
“We called all the people he gave money to, and who he influenced him, to get money together to design the fence.”
The outline of the fence is a Nordic ski jump on both sides and it includes kid and adult skis and poles. The artist Howard Holzworth and Gary Redfield were the welders.
Flanagan didn’t see it until after a year it was installed.
Flanagan taught the MPHS ski team and middle school in the 80s. He now teaches the high school alpine ski team in Jackson.
“I love high school ski racing,” he said.
He learned from one of the Colorado’s best.
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