An historical archive of the year of the great flood.

Archive for the ‘Photo, Video, Music’ Category

Last Post

This is the last post of the Jamestown Connect. The website will remain up and available as a historical archive of the first year after the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013.

It was exactly one year ago today, to the minute (5:31 AM), that I published the first post, two days after Nancy and I were evacuated.

Sitting in Kara and Waldy’s house in Longmont (after they rescued Nancy, the pets, and me from the teeth rattling Blackhawk helicopter drop-off and Niwot High School, and put a roof over our heads for six weeks), I kept checking the QT for status and critical information, like how to contact FEMA, or when could I drive back to town in a borrowed car. But it was hard to find facts because there were so many messages scrolling by so fast from concerned friends and family.

I wished I had a resource that gave me just the factual information that we needed. Then it occurred to me that if I needed that then other residents did too.

So I started the Jamestown Connect with the idea that it would only contain immediately useful information for evacuees. Over the months the mission expanded to include:

  • Recovery-related actionable information and announcements of immediate interest
  • Posts of interest to the community that I hoped would help people find some peace, such as Flood Journals and the Shadow posts
  • Posts of better days before the flood to help us remember how it will be again, such as Sunday Reflection
  • With rare exception I did not post pictures of the disaster unless it helped tell a particular story, such as a few before and after photos. (However, I did create the Jamestown Shoebox linked to the site to be a collecting place for disaster and other photos by community photographers.)

Jamestown Connect gained a following, and I appreciate the many nice things that people have said to me about the website. The year’s stats include:

  • 402 posts
  • 36 Sunday Reflections
  • Over 53,000 views
  • Over 300 followers by email
  • Visitors from more than 30 countries
  • Numerous “likes” on Facebook

But the site was always meant to be temporary, as the banner says, “ . . . until we are together again.” Now, a year later, about 90% of the households have returned home. Some will never return.

A year ago I naively thought there will soon come a day when “we’ll be back to normal.” That was before I saw the devastation up close and personal and could comprehend the implications. Now it’s clear that the old normal may never be again. We are evolving to a new normal and I can’t predict what that looks like or when Jamestown will be there.

It may be years before there is a full recovery and the flood is a distant memory. But we have come a long way in a year thanks to the tenacity of Jimbillys and help from FEMA, State of Colorado. Boulder County, Red Cross, United Way, faith-based groups (like the Texas Baptists, Salvation Army,  and Mennonite Disaster Services), and an army of volunteers, to name a few. And last but not least, our hard working and dedicated Town Government. But I think we would have become just another abandoned mountain ghost town were it not for the remarkable leadership of our mayor, Tara Schoedinger.

In the last year we have gone from looking like this:

Jackie on Main Street_DSC1674
to this:

Clearly, we have come a long way. But there is a long way to go.

This is the spirit that will take us there . . .


To stay abreast of important information and the continued recovery, use these resources:

  • the QT
  • Jamestown Newsletters
  • Jamestown web site
  • If you are a resident, make sure you are on the town’s email list. Call the Town Office if you aren’t receiving town emails: 303.449.1806
  • Attend Community Meetings

I’d like to end with this photo of Shadow who has become the symbol of Jamestown’s survival and resilience. As John Hardman said, “Meow-tain Strong!


Regards and thanks for being the most amazing community that I could ever imagine.


Jamestown Labyrinth

The Jamestown Labyrinth dedication was yesterday. The winding path of the labyrinths creates a circular pattern, where the circle is a universal symbol representing unity, wholeness and infinity. It is a path with one entrance and a single route that winds in a circular pattern to the center. From the labyrinth’s center point the same path will take you out again. A labyrinth is different from a maze in that there are no wrong turns or dead ends. Thanks Julie and Matt Kolhaas, Deborah Haynes, and everyone else involved for making it happen.





Sunday Reflection


Jamestown Mercantile, September, 1999

Mountain Strong, the beautiful people of Jamestown (video)

Sal DeVincenzo created this video to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. It portrays the people and sites of Jamestown after the flood.

Mark’s Jamestown Flood Story (video)

Mark Wischmeyer created this video to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. It portrays a first-hand account of the flood while it was happening through his own videos and photos, and those he collected from the community.

Jamestown’s Mountain Strong (video)

Steve Edelstein created this video to to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. It focuses on the people of Jamestown during and after the flood. It underscores that Jamestown is much more than the physical structures that were ripped away by the flood. Music by Kyle Williams.

Before the Flood (video)

Steve Edelstein created this video to to commemorate the first anniversary of the the Great Jamestown Flood of 2013. As we rebuild or little mountain town, it servers as reminder of the way things were before the flood. Music by Elizabeth Ousley.

Wonderful Jamestown kid’s flood video

Sunday Reflection

tom's place
Tom’s Place, July, 2011

Sunday Reflection

barfoot kenny and kether
Kether and Kenny, ca 2000

Jamestown Elementary school reopens after flood

Denver Post reporter Lindsay Pierce has been covering the aftermath of the Jamestown Flood in a video series from just about Day 1. Lindsay’s latest story was the opening of Jamestown Elementary on Thursday. Featured in the story is Beth Brotherton who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the school opened on time. The community owes Beth a big debt of gratitude.  The Daily Camera also covered the opening,

Click the photo to see the school video and all the other Denver Post videos.


Lindsay Pierce at work.
merc photographer-PSedit_edit

Sunday Reflection

Old Board-New Board, April, 2000


Rainbow Sign

Tim and Wendy are in Crestone. Instead of seeing their house come down this is what they saw at about the same time.

Jamestown water engineer honored as Woman Engineer of the Year

Jennifer Aieta, the town’s water engineer, was recognized in Denver for her role in getting water restored to Jamestown in record time. Of course she did not act alone but without Jennifer Jamestown would have remained Cistern Vill for a very long time. The citizens of Jamestown are grateful for her tireless efforts at helping us to get back on our feet. Thank you Jennifer and congratulations!

photo 4

Sunday Reflection

Lynn and his Mother IMG_0083

Lynn and his mom. April, 2012


Sunday Reflection

Jan's Birthday
Jan’s Birthday, 2001

Trick question

Why did the old Jamestown water mains leak like a sieve on Main Street and there is great optimism about the new mains

Hint photos by Mark Wischmeyer.



Sunday Reflection

September 2010

Sunday Reflection

The Neighbors, 1998

Sunday Reflection

Martin House

The Martin House, 1999

Sal’s mother lode of 4th of July photos

Click here to see the complete collection.

See the amazing 4th of July Anvil Shoot

A long-standing tradition in Jamestown’s 4th of July celebrations is the Anvil Shoot. In the 18oos local miners would entertain themselves with this amazing display by placing heavy iron anvils face-to-face on top of each other and igniting the black powder gently placed in the space between them. History does not record how many miners blew themselves up in the process. But the tradition lives on as video’d by Kyle Williams.

I photographed the making of an Anvil Shoot in 2005. View the insets clockwise starting in the lower left. –Steve–
Anvil Shoot_P7040011
[Click photo to enlarge]

Kazoo band in action on 4th of July

On July 4th, 2014, Laura Williams led the Kazoo Band in the World’s Goofiest Parade. They finished their march around the big park (aka Elysian Fields) with a tribute to Joey Howlett by playing his favorite kazoo opus, Yellow Submarine.

Video by Jill Bielawski.


Sunday Reflection

Homage to Jamestown 4th of July by Lynne Grieve

Elyssian Park – July 4, 2014 – Jamestown, CO

There’s Nina – coordinator of volunteers – unflaggingly drumming up support from a Jimtowner, in what might seem like an endless and energetic enterprise. There’s Joy relating her gorgeous story about her gorgeous ceramic bowls. Made out of the damn flood mud!!! Carefully hand-rolled mud balls placed in a bowl-shaped mold by post-event towners, young and old; smoothed by fingertips on the inner surface; painted shades of Mother Nature and fired solid to offer to those re-building Mennonites, Baptists, cyclists, the EPA, the first responders returning for a “Hello”. [Continued]

Photos by Steve Edelstein.

There’s an eyeball sting. There’s Alex, a little whiplashed from 6 months without work to a cyclone of work; keeping him from his beloved studio. Anticipate the day it’s back to lightwashed rainbow colors in there…scene of many a stained-glass and watercolor workshop with the most generous of mentors. Colleen, Jamestown EMS, pedals off to the park with her young adult daughter who grew up here. What would THAT be like?! Maybe you’d be most familiar with hummingbirds the way city-dwellers are with pigeons!

Every year, every event I get to attend…a little more Jamestown seeps in. No wonder; I’m sure the pores, the lungs, visual detail center in the brain – all expand and suck everything in while up here. It is expansive here; this landscape, the wind, loud water, relief to be on the other side of Floodzilla, Community.

I think about letting-go when I’m up here now. The kind of letting-go that helps you hang onto your sanity. And how are ‘letting-go’ and ‘re-building’ connected? Tap root level, probably. “Change” isn’t a euphemism for loss. It’s change.

So in the remodeled Jamestown, I sense more of a welcome towards unfamiliar faces than a battlement for locals. I sense characteristics critical to re-building that have come to be verdant in this town. I sense something dazed and dazzled in all of us processing that we’re in the large park again on the 4th of July, hippiehood Americana at full flag; enjoying our somewhat crusty pancakes drizzled with the sun-warmed syrup and swapping stories at the yards of party tables. That’s the Irish/Celtic band again, right? The babies are dancing, the earth mamas are dancing, that’s even a volunteer fireman dancing! The guy with the yellow swallowtail kite just got it hooked in not one, but two trees across the field. Oh ya, it’s time to blow up the anvil!

Tough stuff…steel anvils, human vision and resolve, kite string, granite boulders directing the creek/river, ties that bind us to people and places…mountain strong.

Lynne Grieve

P.S., from Tara, the Mayor of Jamestown
THANK YOU to everyone who made yesterday the most special 4th of July ever! Thank you to Leesa, JaVayne, Deej, Michael, all volunteers, cooks, servers, donations, Eco Products (Mary), Green Girl Recycling (Bridget and Matt), the incredible raffle prizes, the amazing merchandise, the incredibly talented bands, and the most special Community ever. xo

Sunday Reflection

Mary Ellen_IMG_1116

Mary Ellen at Julie and Matt’s wedding, July, 2011.

The remaking of James Creek

April 25, 2014

June 22, 2014

Mennonite volunteers are at work

Mennonite Volunteer Services volunteers from all over the country are in Jamestown to help rebuild destroyed and extensively damaged homes. They are working on the damaged houses and then will turn to building new houses. They are residing at the school which has their mobile shower trailer outside. Their handwork includes the houses of Deborah and David, Jennifer and Chris and Mary Ellen, shown in these photos.

Click a photo to enlarge.

Sunday Reflection

Pie 1

August, 2000

The rescued thank rescuers

Click photo for story.

Sunday Reflection

P1010610Creek Dance by Joanna Rotkin and Breanna Rogers from Tinhouse Dance.
Joanna and Breanna performed their dance in James Creek by the Town Square on June 28, 2009.

Watch the entire slide show below.

Photographs by Steve Edelstein.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New houses under construction

It’s great to see the new construction on lower Main. This photo shows Wendy and Tim’s new house foundation in the foreground, and Russel and Marcus’s framed house in the background.


It’s exciting to see the water work

It’s been a long winter but the drought is nearing an end.

Photos by Eric Flink.

Water systems repairs underway


Mighty team of volunteers repairs 16th Street and . . .

From the Jamestown Volunteer Coordinator:

With the help of a mighty group of volunteers yesterday, we:
• Made temporary repairs to the road (near the part of Anderson Hill next to the school)
• Moved some essential items for Mennonite Disaster Service
• Helped move some items for a neighbor
• Moved a piano!
• Cleaned up a yard along the creek
• Moved a neighbor to a temporary location so her home can be repaired
• Lay gravel and begin to lay a path
• Make a home safer from fire danger by moving wood away from home


Sunday Reflection

County Road 1

Coming into Jamestown, 2010

Sunday Reflection

Daily Camera, September 21, 1999 (double click a photo to enlarge).
Jamestown Part1

Jamestown Part2

JT mayor meets #1 fanboy

Mayor Tara and Arne recently attended a private gathering of luminaries including Senator Bennet and the mayor’s biggest fan, Vice President Joe Biden. Their last conversation was months ago when the VP was flying over the Jamestown flood at 30,000 feet. Finally, the VP had the honor of meeting the mayor in person as Arne recorded the moment.


Sunday Reflection

Joey and Hollis

Joey and Hollis, November 02, 2001

Sunday Reflection


Richie, September 2010

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