New family info, photo of John G. Bock

       New information about John G. Bock - a cowboy and World War 1 veteran who later pieced together the Red Rock Canyon property - has surfaced recently with a contact between a family member and the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).

John G. Bock, then about age 21, is shown behind the wheel of a car with family members in 1910, long before he moved to Colorado. According to Westside historian Dave Hughes, this is the first time a youthful photo has become available of the man who in later years bought up several adjoining parcels of land in putting together what would become the roughly 800-acre Red Rock Canyon property.
Courtesy of George Bock and Dave Hughes

       George Bock of Pennsylvania, a cousin of the Red Rock Bocks, had contacted the OCCHS by e-mail, then visited the OCCHS's History Center at 1 S. 24th St. this week with his wife Kathleen and daughter Chelsea.
       Dave Hughes of the OCCHS, who interviewed the visitors, e-mailed afterward that George provided background information on John G. Bock. These include handwritten letters showing that he “was struck with Colorado when he visited here at 7 years old in 1896, riding his first horse and stunned at the scene, after which he determined to come back, which he did at 34 years of age in 1923, having first been a ranch hand on the Arkansas and then fought in World War I, in which he was wounded, and started accumulating the land that became the 800-acre Red Rock Canyon Land starting in 1923.”
       George Bock also gave the OCCHS a rare photo of John G. Bock. Born in 1889, he is driving a car in the year 1910, Hughes said he was told by George Bock.
       According to Don Ellis, a local historian and co-author of this year's “Geologic Folio” book on Red Rock Canyon, the book's section on the Bock family involvement with the property lacked a photo of any family members because no usable pictures were available.
       George Bock bought a copy of the book during his visit.
       For years, John G. Bock ran the Red Rock Canyon Riding Stables at 3165 W. Colorado Ave. (about where Safeway is now), offering horseback rides through his canyon property. After his death, his sons, John S. and Richard, proposed a major residential/commercial development of the property, but could never come up with plans that local governments would support.
       The city eventually bought the property from the wife of John S. Bock after his death in 2003 and turned it into what is now city open space.

George Bock (second from left) holds the 2010 Red Rock Canyon book co-authored by Don Ellis (beside him). Also on the visit from Pennsylvania were Bock's wife Kathleen and daughter Chelsea (holding a History Center copy of the Red Rock book that John G. Bock wrote).
Westside Pioneer photo

       Hughes himself had previously paid $6,000 at auction for historical items that the elder Bock (and later his sons) once had on display at his Western museum in Old Colorado City. Many of these - including an oxen yoke, Civil War uniform, gambling paraphernalia, photos and branding irons - now are part of the OCCHS museum collection, Hughes said.

Westside Pioneer article