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History of Riverside

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Riverside is on the old site of the Mayol / Leonhardy Ranch located on the flat area about 9 or 10 miles north of Buena Vista.

Frank Mayol, a Frenchman, was the first man to settle in this county in 1859. He took up this ranch in 1863 and was the first farmer in the area to raise potatoes and other crops which he then sold to the railroaders and other settlers for 50 cents a pound. Mayol married his cousin, Emily in 1867 and she died in December 1870, apparently from the effects of childbirth.

Frank and Emily were the parents of two daughters, one an infant girl who died at the age of 2 months from croup in 1869 and another who was raised by Frank Mayol's second wife, Nancy Boon of Poncha Springs, and her second husband Samuel Hartzel of the Hartsel Ranch in South Park, when Frank Mayol died from pneumonia in June of 1874.

Nancy Boon Mayol Hartzel and Samuel Hartzel sold the ranch to George Leonhardy by 1877. Leonhardy was the first Chaffee County Clerk and Recorder, a successful rancher, was sheriff of Lake County, a Lake County Commissioner and constructed the Leonhardy Cutoff via Chubb's Park which shortened the distance to the top of Trout Creek Pass. He was appointed postmaster of Riverside 1877-1879 while it was in Lake county and again in 1883 to 1886 for Chaffee County.

The late Grace Acree owned the property for many years until the late 1980's when she passed away. Her house, which still stands surrounded by many trees, was once the Riverside postoffice.

Approximately 13 burials including Frank and Emily Mayol, their baby daughter and several young children of area residents are interred in the tiny wild-rose covered cemetery located across the railroad tracks near the Arkansas River. In 1981, someone deliberately vandalized Emily's tombstone by smashing it into many small pieces. The tombstone once read:

    Emily, wife of Francis Mayol,
    born at Claret, France, 1846,
    Died December 24, 1879,
    year of unhappy memory. - -
    ___ in her room
    she went fearless to her doom,
    But is not this life of gall
    Better than no life at all?
    Therefore, I weep for thee
    Who ____ joy to me. F. M.

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