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“Saratoga 150 Years” preserved

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Historical reproductions by Dick Perue

Author’s note: The following was originally written as an introduction for Elva Evans’ book “Saratoga 150 Years.” However, being extremely modest, she wouldn’t include it in that publication. This is my personal account of Elva (Olson) Evans and her accomplishments over the past 80 years of our acquaintance and friendship. She has kindly agreed to me writing and publishing the following. – Dick Perue.

Elva Evans’ interest in history was sparked at her parents’ ranch table where ranch hands and visitors told their stories. That spark has caught fire in her latest effort, a newly released book entitled “Saratoga 150 Years.”

After a lifetime of reading, writing and gathering research materials, 23 years of compiling “Reflections from Our Files” for the Saratoga Sun, plus historical preservation through founding and supporting the Saratoga Museum – serving as first museum director and initial president of the Saratoga Historical and Cultural Association – Elva decided to write a personal recollection of the history of Saratoga and the Upper North Platte River Valley.

Elva has always believed local history should be gathered, preserved and shared right up to the present. Beyond her obsessive collecting, local historians contend Elva’s most significant contribution to historical preservation, until now, was compiling and editing two volumes of pictorial history entitled “Early History of Saratoga and Vicinity” in 1976 and 1977.

“Saratoga 150 Years”is an easy read. Elva’s flowing style takes the reader on a journey from the days of the Indian Bath Tubs at Warm Springs, later Saratoga, to today’s events at the Platte Valley Community Center. It is history personalized, fun to read, plus believable with a few clever twists and quips throughout.

Enhancing the history of her first book are 80 historical photographs provided by Dick Perue from the Bob Martin/Dick Perue collection, as well as 20 more illustrations and photos from various sources.

Elva was born on the 4 Bar Ranch west of Saratoga on March 18, 1934, educated in Saratoga schools, a graduate of University of Wyoming, taught school one year, married Valle Evans in 1955 and mother of four children, Julie, Kathleen, Kelly and John. She has lived on ranches and in town in the Saratoga area her long, joyful life, contributing to preserving its rich heritage and history as well as being a good neighbor, homemaker and business and civic leader.

Roundup readers will recognize many of the stories and photos in the book, since they have been published as a Postcard over the past decade.

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