On the Corner Vol. 11 Issue 2

Early Chautauquans loved the Switzerland Trail By Carol Taylor

Legend says it was the spectacular scenery on a mountain train ride that helped clinch the Chautauqua for Boulder.  Boulder had been competing with other Colorado towns for the privilege of establishing a restorative cultural retreat for Texas schoolteachers. 

In February of 1898, Texas educators arrived in Boulder to survey proposed sites for a new Chautauqua.  “The prize is too big to be allowed to slip away,” stated the Daily Camera editor Lucius Paddock.  Community leaders feted the group, showed them around town and arranged a special treat – a ride in the mountains on the narrow gauge Colorado & Northwestern railroad.  On the trip up to the town of Sunset, Chautauqua officials were amazed by the dramatic mountain splendor.