Alferd is the correct spelling.

Before any one corrects me, let’s get one thing straight. The correct spelling is Alferd.

Alferd Packer Masacre Site Lake City, CO

At the foot of Slumgullion Pass just south of Lake City, Colorado is a small patch of dirt with a few white crosses. This final resting place for five hearty souls is often missed by tourists burning up brakes coming down one of Colorado’s steepest mountain passes.

Slumgullion Pass 9% Grade Lake City ColoradoFirst a little history about Colorado’s favorite Cannibal. You can read all about the life of Alferd Packer elsewhere, so I’ll just provide a synopsis…

In January of 1874 he met Chief Ouray of the Uncompahgre band (Ute tribe) who recommended he and his party postpone their gold prospecting expedition from Gunnison to Breckenridge until the following spring.

He should have heeded Ouray’s advice, or better yet, those in his party should have. After encountering dangerous weather as they had been warned, the party became lost and ran out of provisions.

Packer? Party of five…

Alferd G. Cannibal Grill Lake City, COTo make a long story short, Packer survived by helping himself to the others. And unlike the Donners, this was no party. After a number of trials following the gruesome discovery, Packer claimed he returned from scouting one day to find Shannon Bell roasting and feasting on human flesh. Alledging that Bell rushed him with a hatchet, Packer shot and killed him in self defense, insisting the man had gone mad and murdered all the others.

Neither the Judge nor his jury believed him.

“You man eating son of a … There was seven democrats in Hinsdale County and you ate five of them.”

— Saloon keeper Larry Dolan following Alferd Packer’s first trial.

Now, about that spelling.

You will find Alfred Griner Packer’s given name on both the man’s birth certificate and gravestone. But that’s it. Everywhere else he is referred to as Alferd, including the tattoo on his arm where the artist misspelled his name. Legend has it that is when he adopted the name Aferd, so I’m sticking to it. Get it? Sticking? Tattoo… :-P

Where is the latest roadside attraction you visited where you learned a little history lesson? Or, what places have you been that you insist are just spelt wrong?

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5 Responses to “Alferd is the correct spelling.”

  1. Nice story!
    The one that got me was Quartzite. The first time I went there I never even noticed the extra “s”. The second time I got it and discovered the town is called this because of a spelling error. Go figure!
    Nina

  2. Eric Auckerman December 7, 2011 at 10:54 am Reply

    “Abra Cadaver” is all one can say when starved and trapped in the hinterlands with lean travel buddies!

    Cannibalism is a mixed bag of conditions for us mammals and I’m including the animal kingdom when I state this. Under most circumstances we humans won’t eat each other no matter how much mint sauce is in the house. The animal kingdom lives by a different set of rules and typically won’t do so either unless special conditions occur, case in point: victorious lions! They have been known to eat the cubs of ousted and defeated lions within a pride. So be it, who are we to judge and wag a finger that would do well to soak in beer batter, deep fry, and serve in that sweet cocktail sauce they serve in Key West? Who are we I ask again?

    Nay Jim & Rene, we are but a civilized peoples with culinary boundaries and the notion of consuming our fellow brethren is not in the cards any more, fava beans or otherwise. But how is it that our species has such a deep affinity for the flesh of other creatures and yet without revulsion? Is it natural selection? Artificial selection? Or is it butcher shop selection?

    Visit Texas and experience the carnivore carnival of delights cause no state in our fair union can deliver on it’s promise of succulent red meat like Texas. Sure, we’ve got grinders in our jowels for everything else, but a savory bite of rib eye can take us to places that not even the greatest of poets can muster in feeling and thought.

    But good food is good food irrespective of source cause even vegetarians can muster some fine grub (and not just the worms), however, they will never know that full salivatory moment when cuspid and tongue meet gristle, and what a moment I tell you, what a moment for sure….

    Big love to you both, now eat healthy and get plenty of exercise.

    Enrico!

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