Map it and they will come.
That’s the goal of the 4 Rivers Historical Alliance with the historic-site map the nonprofit group produces. The map highlights museums and historical societies between Parachute and Leadville along Interstate 70 as well as the Roaring Fork Valley and Highway 133 between Carbondale and Marble.
The alliance is an advocate for history in the communities located along the Roaring Fork, Crystal, Eagle and Colorado rivers.
The map includes four areas in Pitkin County: the Wheeler Stallard Museum, the Holden Marolt Ranching and Mining Museum and the Independence and Ashcroft ghost towns.
Since the map directs people to visit Pitkin County, the alliance asked the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners for $2,000 to offset part of the cost of creating the map.
“We direct a lot of tourism to Pitkin County,” said Lisa Hancock, the vice president of the 4 Rivers Historical Alliance and the curator of the Aspen Historical Society. “We’re hoping you’ll see the work we’ve done and support it.”
Hancock said the group printed 5,000 maps in 2013 and placed them at all the historical sites and museums featured on the map as well as local highway rest stops and highway portals that access the mapping area. The cost for creating and printing the maps is around $3,000.
“The maps are very popular,” Hancock said. “They fly off the shelves and are highly sought-after. The maps are kind of a cultural heritage map, with some sites being free and others being admission-based.”
The alliance already has secured funds to print 7,500 maps for 2014 and was hoping the county would contribute for next year’s printing.
There were four commissioners present at the Tuesday work session, and all supported the project but at a lesser financial level than the $2000 requested. Instead, the commissioners agreed to pay $1,000 for the project from the county’s strategic fund.
“I can see the positives from this map,” Commissioner Steve Child said. “Any help in directing tourism to Pitkin County is a good thing.”