Nimerick Butte is east of I-25, south of Upper Lake Gulch Road and north of Greenland Road. This Butte has a story and a family attached to it. The story that made this Butte is about a young girl, named Nellie Nimerick, who was suffering with tuberculosis. At that time part of the cure or treatment for TB was to get out in the fresh air and to get some exercise that is just what Nellie did. The story is told of her climbing the butte, which is a smaller and lower butte than some of the others in the area; she carried a rock while she climbed. When Nellie got to the top she started to pile these rocks and in the end she had a formation that could be seen from the ground and lasted for many years. We don’t know if this treatment cured her of her ailment, but it is a wonderful anecdote.
This photo was taken many years after Nellie piled the rocks. This view from Nimerick Butte was photographed by a member of the American Federation of Human Rights, circa 1919.
Nellie’s father was James M. Nimerick; he had homesteaded in this area in 1873, coming to the area, it is thought, in 1872. The Nimerick’s, James, his wife Elizabeth and sons; William, James, John, Neil and daughter Nellie (mentioned above) ran the ranch in Greenland until 1886, when they moved to Rio Blanco County.
A well know family for James Nimerick’s music ability, with the fiddle, he played at parties across the county. The Castle Rock Journal of 1885 told this story about Mr. Nimerick:
“A very enjoyable party took place at the resident of Mr. Moorhead on Friday night…in the honor of the return of M. D. Moorhead’s family from Denver and for F. A. Noble, who departs for little Dry Creek. All enjoyed themselves hugely and more especially the DANCERS, who tripped the light fantastic from early eve till nearly morn to the music of our “old Timer” J. C. Nimerick, who always plays in such lovely time.”
Mr. Nimerick was also known, in the county, for his involvement in political and community concerns. One such concern was written about in the Castle Rock Journal in July of 1885.
“Road Matters at Greenland, a well attended meeting of citizens of Greenland and vicinity was held this day (June 27, 1885) at the post office. Organized by the election of J. M. Nimerick, Chairman, and T. A. Perrine, Secretary. The Chairman stated the object of the meeting to be to consider what action should be taken by the people in view of the fact that threats and attempts had been made to close up nearly all the public highways leading to Greenland by fencing across them and disputing the right of the people to travel over them. A general discussion of the subject ensued, which was participated in by Messrs. Thompson, Cronkite, Moorhead, Perrine and others. The sentiment seemed to be unanimous, in favor of maintaining the existing roads which have been laid out by the proper authorities and recognized by the public as highways, including the “Old Territorial Road,” so called, which was duly legalized by act of the Legislature. It was finally decided to appoint a committees of three to attend the next meeting (of County Commissioners). J. M. Nimerick, W. B. Cronkite and T. A Perrine were designated as such committee.”
John C. Nimerick, October 23, 1885. He was also a fiddler and worked for I.J. Noe.
This is a 2008 photo of Nimerick Butte the Nimerick family namesake. As seen from Greenland Road.
Thanks to the Colorado Historic Newspaper Collection, American Federation of Human Rights, Louis R. Higby and the Ida May Noe History Collection.