Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nederland, Colorado and the Frozen Dead Man

How did Nederland, Colorado get its unusual name? Well, it began in 1871 when Abel Breed bought the silver-rich Caribou Mine and shipped the silver ore from Caribou Hill, elevation 10,000 feet down to Middle Boulder at approximately 8,000 feet because it was “warmer.”

In 1873, Breed sold the mine to a Dutch company, and the miners nicknamed the town Nederland. A year later, when the town was incorporated, the locals chose Nederland as the official name.

Nederland is notorious for the Frozen Dead Guy, who is celebrated in a winter festival each year. It seems that Bredo Morstoel, a native of Norway visited his daughter Aud and his grandson, Trygve Bauge in Boulder, Colorado. Unfortunately on his return to Norway, he would not survive a second heart attack and on November 6, 1989 died. Trygve and his mother owned land in Nederland and decided to use it as the base for a new business venture. They planned to build a cryonics storage facility and place grandpa there along with other cryonic bodies believing that one day they could be restored to life using advanced technology not yet developed. Bredo’s body was shipped from Norway to America in dry ice, processed with liquid nitrogen in California and eventually sent to Nederland.

Unfortunately, Aud and Trygve's business plan did not work out. Their visas were revoked, and they had to return to Norway leaving poor Bredo behind.

For almost 15 years, Bredo Morstoel has been in the hands of Bo Shaffer who is known locally as the Ice Man. Shaffer has been driving from Denver to Nederland hauling nearly a ton of dry ice up the mountain every month since 1995. It is an expensive trip that is paid for by the family. Mr. Bredo Morstoel still resides in his original steel coffin, packed in dry ice, surrounded by an insulated wooden box and sits in a Tuff Shed overlooking Nederland, Colorado.

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