Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


The Alferd Packer Grill

The Alferd Packer Grill in the University Memorial Center on CU campus is named in honor of, you guessed it, Alferd Packer (no, that's not a misspelled "Alfred" - maybe his mates made the mistake of making fun of his name (see below)). In February 1874, Packer and five other members of a larger prospecting party from Provo, Utah headed into the snowy San Juan Mountains in search of gold, and were soon engulfed in a furious blizzard near present-day Lake City, Colorado.

Packer was next seen (alone) in April, at the Los Pinos Indian Agency. The story he told at that time was that he had lost contact with the rest of the prospecting party during the storm, and had eventually headed alone for Los Pinos. After recovering, he headed for Saguache, Colorado, where (unfortunately for him) he encountered several others from the original Provo party who were skeptical about his story.

An Indian Agent took Packer back to Los Pinos for questioning, and extracted the first of Packer's two conflicting confessions: Packer claimed that one man had died and been eaten by the others, three men had died from starvation and exposure, and Packer had been forced to kill the last man in self-defense.

Part II of the saga behind CU's Alferd Packer Grill

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