On a hot, dusty August day, 30 women from the far-flung ranches of the Livermore area gathered at the home of Lucinda Peters along the banks of the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre at the foot of Eagles Nest Rock. They arrived on horseback, by buggy and in wagons. The year was 1896.
They met to form the Livermore Woman’s Club. They set their annual dues at 10 cents and adopted the motto, “Woman is power,” then went on to prove it.
One hundred fifteen years later, to the day, current club members journeyed to the site to pay homage to the founders. They traveled in a caravan of 4-wheel-drive trucks, led by Zack Cook, a ranger in Larimer County’s Open Space program.
The site of the Peters homestead is now part of the Eagles Nest site, accessible from the aptly named Rattlesnake Road, off County Road 74E near its junction with State Highway 287. Eagles have nested continuously in these rocks and cliffs for over a century.
Little is left to mark the site of the original cabin, barns and outbuildings except for a plaque installed earlier by the club. There is also a deep excavation that could be the remains of a meat cellar. Near the riverbank in a cottonwood grove are the remains of an antique rope swing with carved willow branches for the seat. Perhaps children played here. Perhaps romance dwelt here a century ago.
After a brief ceremony, the club members moved to the community building in Livermore to cut their cake and display their impressive historical collection. These included a 20-foot-long timeline complete with photos, clippings and text chronicling major events in the history of the area and the men and women who pioneered it.
Also on display, a great collection of scrapbooks revealed the detailed history of the club and the area, through old letters, cards, clippings, hand-written notes of meetings and many other items. These notebooks form a tangible link to the past. The collected history of the area was published in the book “Among These Hills,” now in its second printing.
The scrapbooks contain precious information about the club’s activities, including many literary programs for the community, dances, card parties, strawberry festivals, autumn fairs and musicals. The historical treasures include such items as a postal receipt for a donation to the Polish Relief Fund during World War II.
Special guests Craig Livernash and his sister Christine Jackson, now Wisconsinites, and relative Glendora Hammond of California added a personal touch to the anniversary celebration, relating the genealogical history of the Livernash family. Craig’s great-great-great grandfather was a brother of Adolphus Livernash, co-founder, with Stephen Moore, of the community called Livermore.
Adolphus and Moore were miners and built the first cabin in Livermore. Of French-Canadian descent, Adolphus was only 16 at the time and stayed in the area only a few months, just long enough to give his name to a community. He died at age 35 after being struck by lightning while working a mine west of Boulder.
His son, Edward, lived for many years in LaPorte and worked in a pharmacy in Fort Collins.
Moore stayed on for several years, although little is known of his subsequent life. But his name lives on, still partnering with Livernash, in Livermore.