Because gold had been found at the headwaters of the Blue River at Breckenridge, hopes were high among prospectors who worked the downstream tributaries in Grand County. However, this lower section of the Blue contained no mineral wealth.
The Denver and Rio Grand Railroad planned to run a route through the valley and began constructing grades, but the tracks were never laid because Moffatt's railroad crossed the county first.
An enterprising Canadian, 25 year old Willis Charles Call, had been employed as a cook for the grading company in 1881. When the railroad abandoned the project, Call became a registrar of voters, and in 1886, the county assessor. By 1890, he had a choice ranch near Kremmling. His Austrian wife, Mary Rohrocher, was a very popular hostess. It is believed that they owned the first automobile in the county.
The conflicts between the white settles and Ute Indians came to a climax in 1878 when the Ute leader Tabernash was killed by a posse and the very next day, Abraham Elliott a homesteader on the Blue, was killed in retaliation. The remains of his ranch can be seen on Highway 9 at mile marker 135.
Across the river was the ranch of Henry Yust, who settled there in 1885. Another early ranching family was that of Thomas Pharo, An Englishman from Franham in Surry, near London. Settling there in 1880, he developed a major cattle and horse ranch.
The Blue River area was connected with a route west in 1913, when the co-called Trough Road was constructed, beside the Gore Canyon to State Bridge.