Doudy Draw Picnic Area
Distance: 0.3 miles one way
Amenities: ADA accessible trail (.3 miles at 5% grade on crusher fines), ADA restrooms. Picnic tables.
How to find the trailhead: 1.8 miles south of Highway 93 on Eldorado Springs Drive.
History: The Doudy Draw picnic area site sits on what used to be a homestead and dairy farm. Ruth Dunn grew up in the Dunn House, part of which still stands just west of the South Mesa Trailhead about half a mile from this picnic area. In 1928, Ruth married Henry Helart and lived at the site of a stone foundation at the northern end of the picnic area. This house was moved from the mining town of Marshall, about three miles away, after the coal strike in 1914. The Helarts ran a dairy farm with as many as 50 cows for several years. You can make out a concrete foundation and several fence posts from the corrals just south of the restrooms.
Remains of a walkway at Helart farm near current picnic area
In an oral history interview given in 1982, Ruth recalled the difficult days of life on the farm in the early 1930s.
"There was no rain, no crop, nothing but grasshoppers," she said. "I had two surgeries, we had no money, it was just terrible." The Helarts left the dairy farm to live with her parents, John and Emma Dunn, soon thereafter. John Dunn rented the property for a number of years but the house burned down in 1960. The only building remaining is the milk storage shed near the creek, just north of the picnic area. Milk was kept cool from creek water which circulated through the shed.
Feel free to explore the area for signs of the dairy farm, but, as always, please be respectful of our cultural resources and refrain from climbing on them, collecting any artifacts you may find or vandalizing the property.
Cultural Resources Program home page
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2012 14:13