Manassas most famous figure was heavyweight
boxing champion Jack Dempsey, who left the community to make a life
outside the San Luis Valley. He won the heavyweight championship in
1919, after knocking out Jesse Willard, but he lost it to Gene
Tunney in 1926.
A museum in his honor, dedicated in Manassa in
1966, is housed in the cabin in which Dempsey was born. It
contains several artifacts of Dempseys career, including the gloves
he wore in the New York fight and numerous black-and-white
photographs, which line the walls.
The people in Manassa
still celebrate his greatness, which stimulates them to succeed on
their own in many professions, especially the
This article was published in
the Summer in the South tourism guide on Wednesday, June 14, 2000,
and was written by Frederick Sanchez.
The Town of Manassa,
This historic town was founded in 1878, after
Mormon settlers arrived from the South, through Pueblo, fleeing
persecution because of their faith. They also came from Utah and New
Mexico, and they arrived near Los Cerritos, a settlement of Hispanics, who
helped their Mormon neighbors survive a cold winter.
was established, the Mormon faith helped the settlers survive throughout
the years, and many expanded families lived in the town that is now the
biggest community in Conejos County.
Manassa residents celebrate
their foundation and their heritage every year on July 24, when they
celebrate Pioneer Days.
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Tough and Rugged
|Dempsey Strikes A
|| DEMPSEY vs TUNNEY
Stands Over The Downed Tunney, Refusing To Return To A Neutral Corner
The Jack Dempsey Museum
OF THE CABIN
The Old Well