Captain Rockefeller named the town of Rockvale

The inhabitants intended to call the town “Rockefeller,” but the Captain protested. He finally agreed to use the phrase “Rock” from his name and “vale” because it was in a rocky valley. (B. F. Rockefeller, for whom Rockvale was named, was born November 18, 1835 in Nunda, Livingston County, New York. He was educated at Temple Hill Academy, N.Y. and at Oberlin, College in Ohio. He was one of the promoters and incorporators of the original Coal Companies at Rockvale and Brookside. The Santa Fe Railroad finally secured some of the properties of these companies through his effort.)

Back in the 1870’s Captain Rockefeller’s history of Fremont county tells of very little change in temperature records over the years. He wrote that Fremont County possessed all the favorable features of Colorado climate. “The breezes common to the valleys, forerunners of storms–which are the exception, while fair weather is the rule–are said here to be the special purifiers of the air, coming down from the rarified atmosphere of higher mountains to westward, by the Grand Canyon; certain it is that though the valley portion of the county is a mile high, or, in exact figures, 5,300 feet. In winter months, the weather is usually ten degrees more favorable here than at other points, even in our own state.”

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., who, with his wife visited the Colorado coal camps after the coa1 strike of 1913, supplied uniforms for the Rockvale Band. He was the major stockholder in the C. F. & I., which owned five of the largest Fremont County mines. He came to Rockvale in his own private railroad car, but ate several meals at Mrs. Doran’s Hotel where Mrs. Doran served her famous fruit cake for dessert. After returning home, Mrs. Rockefeller wrote to Mrs. Doran praising the cake and asking for the recipe. Mrs. Doran always treasured this letter.