Was this ridge the secret grave site of Lena Medina, the fifteen-year-old daughter of Loveland’s first settler? According to David M. Jessup’s historical novel, Mariano’s Crossing, the beautiful young girl could have been buried in a place like this after her distraught Indian mother stole the girl’s body from their home on the Big Thompson River.
Thirty participants visited this site during the May 17 tour of historic sites depicted in the book.
“Wow! What a ride and what a beautiful place,” said one participant after ascending to the cliff top. “Another said, “it was a very special day for all of us. David Jessup was so knowledgeable of the history of the ranch and of course of his book.”
The tour, sponsored by the Heart-J Center for Experiential Learning at Sylvan Dale Ranch, began with brunch in the ranch dining room followed by a walking visit to the original ranch homestead next to the river. Other sites included the restored Medina cemetery, the old Weldon school, and Namaqua Park, location of the original stage stop and trading post established by Mariano Medina in 1858.
The tour was sold out several days in advance, and a waiting list established for the next tour, to be scheduled sometime in September. To get on the wait list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase a book, visit www.davidmjessup.com.