Phippsburg centennial celebration |

Phippsburg centennial celebration

Saturday event highlights history of S

Melinda Dudley

— If mine owner Sam Perry hadn’t had a beef with the town fathers of Oak Creek in 1908, Phippsburg as it’s known today might not exist.

Although Phippsburg never has been incorporated, the community is celebrating its centennial this weekend. It’s been 100 years since Perry purchased the Wilson homestead and established his mining camp there. Perry’s construction of homes, boarding houses, a pool hall and a grocery store for his coal miners and their families serves as Phippsburg’s unofficial founding, local historian Mike Yurich said.

Perry named the community Phippsburg after a friend of his, railroad investor Sen. Lawrence Phipps, Yurich said. It was a fitting name, because the mining camp was defunct within only a few years, and Phippsburg became a railroad community with the construction of the switching yards, he said.

The Historical Society of Oak Creek and Phippsburg will host a centennial celebration Saturday in Phippsburg Park, a free event with live music and lunch for attendees.

“We’re expecting a lot of the old-time residents to show up,” Yurich said.

Attendees also will get their first look at a former Denver Rio Grande caboose donated to the historical society by the Union Pacific Railroad, now part of the park’s railroad display. The caboose was dropped by crane into its new home at Phippsburg Park on Saturday, just in time for the centennial.

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To celebrate the event, the Phippsburg post office will use a special mail cancellation Saturday. The design, by Kimberly Rossi, depicts a train heading into Phippsburg past the Flat Tops.

Tread of Pioneers Museum is sponsoring free transportation from Steamboat Springs to the event. A bus will leave the Tread of Pioneers Museum at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and return at 2 p.m. Riders will enjoy a railroad history talk along the way, said Candice Lombardo, the museum’s executive director.

The bus ride is free, but space is limited, so riders should RSVP to the Tread of Pioneers Museum at 879-2214.