Home Is Where The Heart Is. A Brief History Of The Turgeonville Cabins – Gypsum, CO

How do you define a home?  Is it how many rooms there are?  The square footage of the house?  What kind of tile is in the kitchen?  I sure hope not!!  I hate to be cliche, but I believe “Home Is Where The Heart Is” and for a year of my life I put my heart and soul into a place known as Turgeonville.

Turgeonville is a strip of land that includes a number of cabins located on the east side of U.S. Highway 6, just south of the railroad tracks in Gypsum.  The strip of land and the cabins themselves are rich with history.  I will attempt to share my knowledge about the history of the cabins and Turgeonville itself, however, these facts are what I’ve read in local newspapers and what I’ve been told by locals regarding Turgeonville.

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A view of Turgeonville from Highway Six

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Parking area and backyard of Turgeonville

Dick Turgeon was an active member of the Gypsum community, serving on the town council and the sanitation district board of directors. He was a member of the Eagle County Planning Commission for nine years. Turgeon worked as a carpenter and helped build several of the original structures in Vail.  He and his family purchased the strip of land in 1969, this property would eventually become known as Turgeonville.

The cabins that make up Turgeonville have an even deeper history.  They originate from Gilman, CO, an abandoned mining town 40 minutes southeast of Gypsum.  Many conspiracies have been written about Gilman, most I believe to be true.  When the mine was active these cabins served as temporary housing for miners.  When the mine shut down, the town  and cabins were abandoned.  Remnants of the town can still be viewed from the highway (pretty cool if you ask me).  The cabins that housed miners were moved, by truck, from Gilman to Turgeonville to provide housing for Gypsum residents.  How lucky was I to end up in one!

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Photo credit to Angie.  Shot taken in 1971

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Photo credit to Angie.  Shot taken in 1972

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Backside view of one of the cabins

I can’t take all the credit for finding the gem that is  612 Highway Six (Turgeonville).  My girlfriend Brooke invited me in to stay with her and she was the first one to mention the history of Turgeonville and the cabins.  The cabins were small, smaller than your average studio apartment.  The electricity was certainly not up to code.  The walls and carpet were rich with years of mining dust and dirt.  The roof was outdated and in serious need of repair.  I tell you all these things that may seem bad or disqusting at first, but that’s what we loved about the cabin.  Brooke and I learned to live together in a space meant for one. We piled all of our belongings in every nook and crany that we could find, learned to cook together with enough space for only a cutting board and a knife, cuddled on the couch everynight and in the winter we held each other even closer because there wasn’t any insulation.  Home is where the heart is and it doesn’t matter the size of the home, what matters is the size of the hearts within the home.

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Rear entrance of 612

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View of 612 from Highway 6

I want to personally thank the Town of Gypsum, Dick Turgeon & family, and the community members of Turgeonville for everything we have experienced with living in confined spaces and seeing the best of it.

I want to note to readers that I’m writing this because soon the cabins of Turgeonville will be gone to make room for a park.  Again, this is what I’ve either read in local newspapers or heard from locals, so take it as you will.  God Bless Turgeonville and thank you for all you’ve done for us.

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6 thoughts on “Home Is Where The Heart Is. A Brief History Of The Turgeonville Cabins – Gypsum, CO

  1. Angie says:

    This was such a neat article to read. My parents lived in one if these cabins when I was born and for the first few years of my life, my mom, brother and I managed to live in each one for a short time. We were good friends with the Turgeons. At one point we lived in a small camper that was parked next to the cabin that was on the farthest north end. The cabin actually caught on fire while my brother and I were playing cards in the camper. I remember Dick punching his hand through the window to help extinguish the fire. I have a few pictures and would share them if you would like. One is a picture of Dick and Francis, their daughter Margie, my mom, brother and me in front of their trailer house that was on the east side next to the river and one is of my brother in front of one if the cabins. The one farthest north I believe. I have many fond memories of the Turgeons and their property as we would visit often throughout my childhood after we moved to Jefferson County. Thanks for the article!

    Like

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