The first of those publications was the Castle Valley Times, which was published by Kris Coffey, Jil Kulander, Joan Sangree and Jack Campbell in 1992. It appeared monthly, mostly by subscription, from February 1992 until August 1998 and was full of fascinating local information and history written by the organizers and by local reporters. Campbell said Kris Coffey was the primary force behind the publication because of her desktop editing skills and the equipment to operate it. Their purpose was to help people understand the issues at the time and to be a community resource by publishing the new town ordinances and land sales that affected citizens.
One of Sangree’s duties was to interview the old timers of the valley, which was a popular column in the newsletter. Even though the publication was titled the Castle Valley Times and that title was on the masthead, a larger masthead reflected a current event. For example, the first edition was called the “Muddy Times.” Eventually the organizers began falling away and Campbell did the last couple of years by himself.
The next monthly newsletter to appear was the Castle Valley Grapevine, which began publishing around 2006 courtesy of former resident Gilbert Gonzales, known locally as “Gonzo.” He published the newsletter for a short time when Susan Halliday agreed to help him, and when Gonzales moved from the valley Halliday took over the operation for the next two and a half years, until 2009. She said that she received a lot of support initially but much of that support finally waned and she was left doing most of the work herself. The newsletter was available on the web or by the printed form on her home printer and was available in a newsstand at the mailboxes. The publication was full of information along with monthly columns on plants, the stars, a dog report, the environment and adventure page, and a fire department report.
Susan Roche, along with others from the valley are interested in trying to compile several complete sets of the Castle Valley Times to be bound as books for the town’s historical records and for the Castle Valley Library. They also want to create a digital version, which will be searchable by word or topic. “In our town archives, one set ends in August 1996, but we’ve also seen issues from the last months of 1996 and a few from 1997 and 1998,” she said. “We’re particularly interested in having at least one complete set by the first of June. We have a chance to get that set evaluated in early June by a Utah history program, for possible future digitizing.”
The organizing group is asking residents to let them know if they have old issues of the Castle Valley Times to contribute to this project or that they could photocopy and return. People can leave these issues in care of Jenny at the library or the library can pick them up. Give her a call at 435-259-7986.
Our official Castle Valley weather observer, Bob Russell, tells us that April’s weather wasn’t very exciting. “April was sort of dull,” he said. He says that our recorded rain for the month was .33 inches and that all came on April 8. Our historical April rainfall is recorded at just more than an inch, and May also shows just more than one inch of rain during past years.
“If you felt warmer in April, you were right,” Russell continues, “our recorded average high was 69.8 degrees and our low averaged 43.6 degrees. The average highs and lows for the 1978 to 2005 period were about two degrees lower. May’s high for the same period was 77.4 and the low was 49.3.”
Russell thanked Jocelyn Buck for recording most of temperatures during the month of April while he was out of town.
There is no shortage of volunteer opportunities in Castle Valley according to a memo that was posted by Town Clerk Jocelyn Buck. The town is seeking two dedicated volunteers to complete the term ending June 30, 2022 on the Planning and Land Use Commission.
The town is looking for a few people to help them liaison with various agencies regarding watershed protection, as well as other water related issues. Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest to Buck detailing relevant experience.