An old bar run by old-timers

This past weekend a celebration dedicated the Columbine bar. It was established in 1910 and continues to be one of the oldest operating bars in Colorado.

In 1948 it was noted in the Mancos Times as "an old bar run by old timers." It has always had a notorious reputation.

For generations the Columbine Bar, named after the Colorado state flower, has been a meeting place for family, friends and strangers, and now the Ancient Order of the E. Clampus Vitus (and the chapter of Alferd Packer fits in there somehow).

The following is from the Mancos Times of April 1894.

The funeral for Charles A. Frink took place last Saturday. He left behind a wife, three sons and a daughter. He was one of the old timers, although only 38 years old at the time of his death having come to Colorado from Iowa about 1865 with his parents who settled on the Genaros River in Pueblo County, where his mother still resides.

In 1876 he came to this part of Colorado driving a herd of cattle for Major Sheets, having charge of them for several years afterward. He located on a ranch owned by William Menefee and for some time lived there. (William Monroe "Bill" Menefee was born in the fall of 1877 and was the first white child born in the Mancos Valley. His parents came to the Mancos Valley in the spring of 1877.)

He afterward traded for the ranch upon which he has since lived and which he has made one of the finest places in our valley. Ever since coming to this section he has been engaged in the cattle business. In 1879 he was one of the party of 10 who went down into Arizona to recover the bodies of Merrick and Mitchell, who had been killed by the Navajos while prospecting for gold on or near their reservation. (Ed Merrick was one of the seven miners who settled in the Mancos Valley in 1875. Dick Giles was also one of the seven miners and built the first cabin in the Mancos Valley. His was also the first death in the valley.)

It was a perilous trip for Frink and the party of ten for the Indians were not then as quiet as they are now but they did find the bodies of Merrick and Mitchell and buried them. (There is no mention of either man in my cemetery book so they were evidently buried on the reservation.)

Mr. Frink was here during the early Indian troubles and has seen the development of this section from an unbroken wilderness. Stricken down in the very primehood, his loss will be felt by all who knew him.

(For some time Charley Frink was associated with Curg Williams of racehorse fame. Silver Dick, Curg's famous horse, won upwards of $200,000 later on for other owners.)