Nestled in the trees between Little Spruce Creek and the upper Rio Grande River, Little Squaw Resort has provided summer cabin rentals for over 80 years.
While specifics on the establishment of the original Little Squaw Camp are not entirely clear, a small amount of information is known about the original owners, AJ and Margaret Galloway.
Albert James Galloway (AJ) was born in Dallas, Texas in 1890 and spent a few years his childhood there before moving to Denver, Colorado. He lived in Denver for 35 years. At age 28, AJ served in France with the infantry during World War I, fighting in the battles of Meuse-Argonne and Cantigny in 1918. Upon his return, AJ’s health suffered. His lungs incurred damage from the gases used during the war.
Born Oct. 14, 1893 in Janesville, Minnesota, Margaret Woodruff was one of Charles Woodruff’s four children. The family moved and lived near Shiloh, New Jersey for most of her childhood. Her interest in art led her to Paris as a young adult where she studied on her own for 6 months. She arrived and departed Cherbourg, France on the ship Levidhan.
Margaret (age 26) married Albert James Galloway (age 29) in Washington D.C. on January 2, 1919. Margaret and AJ lived in St Louis for a short time where she did illustrations for newspaper department store ads. According to her aunt, “She also painted flowers which were pretty but not spectacular… [and] created some mosaics of flowers using very small pieces of egg shell that she dyed different colors and glued in place.” She also carved stone and painted illustrations on ceramics. Margaret either joined or worked for the US Women’s Army Corps where she designed some of their uniforms. While at Little Squaw Resort, Margaret created the illustrated map of Colorado (shown right). It includes many native animals as well as rivers, Indian paths, mountain ranges, mining areas (silver & gold), and other Colorado features. (Replicas can be purchased from The Studios at Bristol.)
Details are unclear, but Little Squaw Camp, River Hill Campground, and Thirty-Mile Campground may have been built in the 1930’s as part of the Colorado CCC/Civilian Conservation Corps project. The CCC started using tents at first and then started cabin construction. Within the first 5 months of inception in 1933, 25 camps were established in Colorado including 19 in National Forests, 4 in National Parks and 2 State Parks. Records do not list Little Squaw Camp, but several camps are documented in South Fork. CCC Camps were often on the move and their original company number would change.
According to oral history, the government offered AJ the opportunity to build a fishing camp, named Little Squaw Camp (now Little Squaw Resort) in Southwestern Colorado along the headwaters of the Rio Grande River. Mr. Galloway and his wife, Margaret, built beds and furniture and eventually were given the opportunity to manage and purchase the camp as it turned to tourism and fishing.
Upon their retirement from Little Squaw Resort, the Galloways moved to Grand Junction, Colorado where they lived until their deaths. Margaret was an active member of the Western Colorado Center for the Arts in Grand Junction. AJ was a member of the American Legion for 40 years. AJ died at 73 years old in 1964 and Margaret died at 91 years old in 1985.
Little Squaw Resort was eventually bought in 1952 by Frank and Gila Adair and then by Bee and Gene McClure. In the mid 60’s, Carl and Teresa Didde, who had been frequent visitors of the camp since 1950, offered to help Gene McClure keep watch over the resort and representing IBC/Industrial Building Corporation, purchased one half interest in the resort. Several years later after the accidental death of Gene McClure in 1967, Mrs. McClure offered to sell their half interest in the resort to Carl and Teresa Didde who then purchased all of Little Squaw Resort. The resort has remained in the Didde Family since that time. The Didde Family operates Little Squaw Resort through the corporation, IBC. Little Squaw Resort is located 29 miles southwest of Creede, Colorado off of HWY 149.