Bruce Davies shared history highlights of Estes Park.  Bruce provides driving tours of the nature and history of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. 
Archaeological discoveries of our Native American ancestors date back some ten thousand years, migrating through the areas we now call Estes Park.  Some of the valuable artifacts from that time can be seen at the Mahaffy Cache on the CU campus. 
The arrival of the first Euro-Americans to these valleys began in the 1790s.  Kentuckian, Joel and Patsy Estes and their 14 children traveled to this area in 1860, discovering its beauty and thinking it would be a great place for raising cattle.  The Estes family did not stay, leaving in 1866, in search for a more temperate place in which to ranch their cattle.  Others, however, soon arrived, and by 1874, the valley had been opened for settlement under the terms of the Homestead Act.  Though the first pioneer families (the MacGregors, Spragues, Jameses, Hupps, Fergusons, and Lambs among them) came to ranch and farm, most soon discovered that a more profitable living could be made by taking care of the needs of the summer visitors who arrived, in increasing numbers to vacation in this scenic area.  
The name “Estes Park” (or “Este’s Park” as it was first known), was bestowed on the valley by William Byers, founding editor of the Rocky Mountain News, in honor of its first permanent Anglo residents, Kentuckian Joel Estes and his wife Patsy.  
The Town of Estes Park was platted by Abner Sprague in 1905, surveyed out from the small group of existing buildings.  Lots sold quickly, and within a decade the footprint of the town we know today was largely in place.  Most of the town’s early infrastructure—its electricity, its water and sewerage system—came from the generosity of steam car pioneer F. O. Stanley, who had come to the Estes Valley in June 1903 hoping to recover his health. His legacy lives on most visibly in the magnificent Stanley Hotel complex overlooking the town, built between 1907 and 1909.    
Rocky Mountain National Park was established in January 1915.  Two years later, in April 1917, came the formal incorporation of the Town of Estes Park and the beginnings of local government to guide the affairs of a fast growing community.  
Joel and Patsy Estes
Enos Mills:  Climbed Longs Peak 300 times.  
F.O. Stanley, founder of the Stanley Hotel. 
Stanley also hand carved over 200 violins in his lifetime.