This section is from the book "The Potato: A Compilation of Information from Every Available Source", by Eugene H. Grubb, W. S. Guilford. Also available from Amazon: The Potato: A Compilation Of Information From Every Available Source.
The districts that supply the markets with Western Slope potatoes are Carbondale, Rifle, New Castle, Eagle, Gypsum, Montrose, Delta, Olathe, Grand Junction. The conditions in all of these are very similar and a description of one serves to describe all.
Because it was a leader in making the present popularity of the product, the Carbondale territory will be described most in detail.
Carbondale is just off the Roaring Fork of the Grand River. From the Frying Pan - a small tributary at the head of the Roaring Fork - to Glenwood Springs, where it joins the Grand, the Roaring Fork is about thirty miles long, and the valley is about one mile wide. It is a rough, mountainous country, with an elevation of from 5,000 to 8,000 feet.
The farming land in this valley is not in one continuous body, but in scattered areas along the river and its tributaries and on the bench land adjacent.
It is in this sort of country that the potato is found growing wild. The soil is open and well drained and the native vegetation consists of rich grasses, sage brush, and trees.
The excellence of the potatoes grown at Carbondale first attracted the interest of the particular hotel and dining-car trade. Seven years ago (1905) Mt. Sopris Farm contracted to furnish the New York Central Railroad with potatoes. Baking and cooking tests were made at the farm by the buyer. The business grew, and Carbondale had the first growers' association on the Western Slope. Now this product is known from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
In an interesting publication regarding the country is the following descriptive matter: "Lying within the shelter of high mountains at an altitude slightly over 6,000 feet, shielded from severe storms and extremes of temperature, with pure, dry, invigorating mountain air and the purest of mountain water, entirely free from alkalies, it is a natural health resort and an ideal place in which to make a home - an unpeopled valley, luxuriant in wild vegetation and threaded by crystal streams fed by the inexhaustible snows of the giant Mt. Sopris and surrounding ranges, transformed in less than twenty-five years into one of the garden spots of the globe. This, in brief, is the story of the Carbondale district, a story that typifies the highest achievement of natural resources and human resourcefulness and cooperation."
One of the most popular booklets ever published about the potato, if popularity can be judged by demand, is that issued by Mt. Sopris Farm entitled 'A Modern Delicacy." Because that publication is not now obtainable it is being practically reproduced in the following: