Ryan’s Field Notes #7 – Captain Smith and Harry Walker – That they left behind.

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Howdy gang. Hard to believe we are in the last week of February already.

Time flies whether you are having fun or not.

In this weeks Field Notes we are taking a little journey down into Escalante Canyon just North West of Delta, Colorado.

Down in this interesting canyon there are a couple of old homes that still stand from the early settlers of the area.

We are going to take a look at Harry Walker and Captain Smith’s cabins.


Outside view of Harry Walkers Cabin
Escalante Canyon, CO

Turning off of Highway 50 a few miles outside of the little town of Delta, CO there is a gravel road that soon turns into a dirt road.

As one follows the twists and turns on this narrow road you drop down into the picturesque canyon called Escalante.
A canyon with a rich history.

Down in this canyon well over 100 years ago there were men and women coming from the Eastern lands who chose to make this western land their home.

Times had changed, this was no longer the land of the Native American, it was a land in transition.

Here is a little bit of history about a couple of those who came during this era of change.

In 1911 the bricklayer Harry Walker and his family chose to build in this frontier.

The Walker family came to this area by covered wagon. What made them choose this high desert country I will probably never know.

Using stone from the area and making their own dirt mortar, as they were not a wealthy family, they constructed a beautiful home for their growing family.

According to sources as many as eleven Walker children and grand children occupied the home, while one room was at times used to house the local school teacher.

The stories I am sure these walls could tell, the laughter and the tears I am sure they heard.

Over time the old homestead was left vacant and now many years later due to neglect and vandalism it is no longer the strong inviting home I’m sure it once was.

Sign at the edge of the property of the Walker Cabin
Escalante Canyon, CO
Interior view of the Walker family cabin
Looking through the windows of the Walker family cabin.

The next cabin we explore is that of Civil War Captain Henry Smith.

Another frontier settler who chose this high desert country to call home.

A tombstone carver by trade this rocky canyon country allowed Captain Smith to use his skills in the building of his home.

Building three walls against a large sandstone boulder he used it as his fourth wall. Using the skills of his trade he carved a bed and a slot for his guns in this stone wall.

Captain Smith was known for being a hospitable host and he built another cabin that was used for his guests.

Both of these homes are unique to the area in their construction for their time. This uniqueness has allowed them to stand longer than most of the other homes from that time frame in the canyon.

The more common log homes are mostly all gone while these two still stand though they have seen much damage due to vandalism and the toll of time.

Front of Captain Smiths Cabin with the canyon wall in the background
Escalante Canyon, CO
Sign greeting visitors at the cabin
Interior of Caption Smiths cabin with the view of his bed area and gun niche.
Interior of the guest house showing the deterioration that the years have had.
Looking through the window of Captain Smiths Cabin at the guest house.
A view of both of Captains Smiths cabins with the road and far canyon wall in the background.
There is something about the old homes that always intrigues me. 

I am sure during their lives they never thought about the history or the legacy they were leaving.

They were just living their lives to the best of their ability.
See you all next week in the next edition of Ryan’s Field Notes.

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