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The area that is now Eagle County, Colorado was first inhabited by the Ute Amerindians, who used the territory for summer hunting and fishing. Kit Carson and the rest of John Fremont's exploration party of 1843 were the first recorded whites to pass through the area, but the Eagle Valley wasn't settled until the 1870s, at which time lead carbonate ore was discovered at nearby Leadville and prospectors seeking this mineral as well as gold and silver flocked to the region. The camp town of Red Cliff had been established by 1879, and was made the seat of Eagle County in 1883 when that entity was carved out of Summit County. In turn, the town of Eagle became the county seat in 1921.
After World War II, a group of veterans of the famed 10th Mountain Division returned to the area of Camp Hale at Pando, Colorado, where they had received the Alpine training which had proved so successful against the Germans in Italy. Pete Seibert, Bill "Sarge" Brown, Bob Parker, and uranium prospector Earl Eaton teamed up to make the Vail ski resort a reality in the mid Sixties, and, with the help of residents like President Gerald Ford, Eagle County has flourished ever since.
Sources: city-data.com, townofeagle.org