by Mary Pope Cornum with the Colorado Central Magazine
"Sitting in the middle of the main street of Sanford, Colorado is a white-washed, Spanish-style adobe building. A hand-painted sign above the door declares this the Sanford Museum. The sign was arranged for by one of the museum’s originators, Gary Bailey, and painted by a missionary who was in the area at the time. The museum was initiated by Sanford native Mary June Peterson Miller, who wrote a historical book about Sanford titled We Call it Home. She passed away in 2015...." Colorado Central Magazine
October 2017 - Volume 7, #4
What follows is a sample of the latest newsletter of the LVdN chapter of the OST....
The Old Spanish Trail Association includes two chapters in Colorado located in south-central and south-west Colorado, with some of the most diverse and picturesque terrain of our historic trail. Our Chapter named - La Vereda del Norte - honors two women who assiduously studied the routes, the people, and the places along the two North Forks of New Mexico and southern Colorado. Their research efforts are in the book they named La Vereda del Norte.
The La Vereda del Norte Chapter and Colorado's other chapter, were instrumental in encouraging the U.S. Congress to declare the Old Spanish Trail a National Historic Trail, which occurred in 2002. About a dozen chapter members have served as officers or committee chairs of the national association level for 2 to 10 years each.
Projects in Progress
We are working on two projects that could use your suggestions! Please!!
1 - A foldout brochure for tourists (and citizens of our area) that describes the West Prong of the North Fork of the OST. We have waited and debated too long; tourists have no guides to this part of the trail.
The Ute people allowed Spanish citizens to pasture animals there. Others could seek routes to gold and silver. We know that Comanches raided here, Zebulon Pike spent more time here than in any other part of Colorado. The Governor of New Mexico used it as a getaway with stolen food from the Taos Pueblo. We know that Kit Carson, and other trappers and scouts, used it for various purposes. Travelers to southern California were also reported to have traveled on this route.
Our OSTA chapter seems to agree that the west side of the Valley is part of the Old Spanish Trail history. So, why not do what many other trails groups have done? Use our own resources and knowledge to give visitors special, rich experiences to what our chapter leaders are persuaded is part of our history. outsiders can fiddle in discord while we tell visitors the stories of the history of this area with greater flexibility and strong leadership. We can even include ancient rock art, prehistoric animals, geology, and more current tales.
We will need signs (with Conejos, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties). We will need about 10 or more rest stops (most are already there). We'll need collaboration from highway departments and BLM/Forest Services trail managers. We can seek collaboration from schools, universities, scouts, history societies, photographers, town and county officials plus citizen involvement.
This is not rebellion. Many Chapters on other parts of the trail have shown their understanding of their "side trails" without the official NPS involvement and done so effectively. This may enrich the communities and give visitors a different slant on the NPS story of the Old Spanish Trail's history.
Would you please make a response to these ideas and let us know that you may help advise us or lead us. Send a simple note to firstname.lastname@example.org or 89 Fir Drive, South Fork, CO, or 719-873-5239.
#2 - We had at least 4 field trips and several other events scheduled from this past year. Those who attended were quite generous in their expressions of pleasure. We would appreciate your wishes for 2018 activities, topics, places to go, people to meet, skills to learn, historic places to see, and other activities, please scribble a note to us @:
Ken Frye, president - email@example.com
TJ Mendez, VP - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynnea K Cook, secretary - email@example.com
Suzanne Office, treasurer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug Knudson, editor - email@example.com
Want to become a member of our chapter that's just $25.
Make your check out to: La Vereda del Norte-OST
Send your check to:
PO Box 213
Del Norte, CO 81132-0213
What: A History and Field Trip of the Old Spanish Trail (1829-1848)
When: August 19 2017 New Mexico/Colorado Border
by Dr. Doug Knudson
In 2002 a Congressional act designated the Old Spanish Trail (OST) as a National Historic Trail. Woolen textiles, woven in Northern New Mexico were traded for strong California mules and horses. The route is very close to our morning tour.
Assumption 1: The East Fork of the North Branch of the OST followed this path headed to Cochetopa Pass west of Saguache.
The Spanish/Mexican culture extended to this area and continues it as well or better than most segments of the trail: A "somewhat modern" area that is more traditional than most communities and landscapes on the OST routes. Mexican tradition continues strong here, despite a new school and wealthy landowners. There is strong interest among low-income residents who treasure their heritage.
Assumption 2: This area can offer traditional animals, plants, religion, sincerity, and resistance to what some call progress. History is evident here in commerce, farming and ranching methods, evidence of religious traditions, sense of New Mexican methods in agriculture, and museum, churches, and other traditions. Local skills, practices, and interpretation offer clear senses of the past in the late 1840s to 1850s. A number of books and reports can be made available at book stands. And traditional activities, personal encounters with local residents and programs can likewise enrich the sense of the past.
The Old Spanish Trail field trip seeks your intelligent comments and wisdom. How can the Old Spanish Trail Association (OSTA) present some of its stories here, while emphasizing the history and sense of the past as related to the OST? It is thought by many of us that this special and beautiful place will be one of the favorites and most genuine of the entire trail (approximately 2400 miles round trip).
The tour starts in Costilla New Mexico Plaza. (On the CO/NM State line). This is a place with a big annual art festival--amateurs and professionals every early fall. Its creek is one of the several that come down from the Sangre de Cristos. We'll go a few miles East and then northward (the route indicated by Congress for the OST.) As we go we'll encounter various crops and other photo opportunities. (2 locations). Several of the ranches are working with Churro sheep, but they may be grazing high up. I hope to do a little exploring into the Sangre de Cristo low slopes, where you can get a glimpse of the remaining rural communities and irrigation techniques. Then we'll see the last functioning commons in the USA (probably), shared by local farmers on a strict schedule.
We'll go into town (San Luis), passing diverse churches on the way. One farmer invites us to go 1.5 miles out of town to see his techniques. In town, we'll look at a thing or two, then choose our lunch from the three restaurants (or sack lunch). I hope we may see the still-renovating museum, which has a treasure trove of good information and exhibits.
Next, we'll hike up the Stations of the Cross, sculpted by Huberto Maestas, on a beautiful uphill walk and much more. At the top is a spectacular view of the Sangre de Cristos and much of the San Luis Valley. In case you're sore footed, there is a way by car, but you'll miss much of the art - a small version of this is in the Vatican collection. (You'll probably be passed by young mothers carrying an almost born and pushing an older child.) From here, we'll see what the clock says and offer alternatives for your return home.
If you go back South (on asphalt), you may see wild horses along the way. I've noticed that they are quite positive that they have the right-of-way. If time is not of the essence, we suggest that you can go north to the base of Mount Blanca, where you may be moved by its splendor—four tribes consider it sacred. Kit Carson was top soldier at Fort Garland here. North of there are some splendid hot springs. In Alamosa are some very nice motels and restaurants. You can also go to New Mexico by cutting west across the lower San Luis Valley, say hello to a famous boxer, then aim for Española and Santa Fe.
No charge except your gas and meal. If you prefer an overnight stay in San Luis, you have two choices: a convent near the church or a nice looking tucked-away big motel (many tours come to the community). Several other motels and a great steak house are in Fort Garland--16 miles North with a State Museum.
ARRIVAL by 9:55 a.m. on August 19
If you are from New Mexico, take highway 522 to Costilla, turn right and hitch up to the Plaza's parking arrangements. If you are from Colorado, take highway 159 then a left turn off 522 into town and find the same Plaza
Questions: Doug Knudson 89 Fir Drive South Fork, CO 81154
A good read: Chapter 14 of Tom Wolf's - Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
OST takes you Near to 21 of Colorado's Top Wonders
On 3 Old Spanish Trail branches
These features were selected as outstanding by Colorado's tourism promoters. The Old Spanish Trail has been a series of scenic wonders for many years.
Old Spanish Trail Association - La Vereda del Norte Chapter appreciates your interest.
Protecting Cultural Collections:
Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response & Recovery
Part 1: ON-LINE WEBINARS - Prevention & Preparedness (archived 2½ hours total)
Part 2: IN-PERSON WORKSHOP - Response & Recovery
Alamosa, CO: Thursday, August 17, 2017 – 9:00 – 4:00pm – Adams State University, Nielsen Library 3rd floor conference room.
The workshop is FREE. Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the archived Part 1 webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments. Any exception requires the permission of the instructor. Link to the webinars will be provided upon registration.
Sponsored by Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS)
Co-sponsored by the San Luis Valley Museum Association and the Colorado State Library
Instructor: Julie A. Page, Co-Coordinator, WESTPAS
The “Protecting Cultural Collections” training is presented in a sequence of two archived webinars plus one in-person workshop to produce the following outcomes:
Who should attend: Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness, response and decision-making, in all types of cultural institutions. By registering for the workshop, the institution commits to supporting the attendee(s) to achieve the workshop's disaster preparedness goals. When possible, please commit two attendees so they can work together on the disaster preparedness activities.
Cost: No charge to the institution. Funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Registration: Pre-registration required. Register online for the IN-PERSON session at: WESTPAS workshop http://tinyurl.com/ot4kve2
For registration assistance contact: Wendy Cao, firstname.lastname@example.org
For general & content information contact Julie Page email@example.com
Wade Collins and Byron Williams, artists from Saguache, will both be part of the art shows and displays with Rio Grande County Museum. Collins will show his western art through the middle of August and is the featured artist in the Museum for Covered Wagon Days. He will be present on August 5th to talk to people and discuss his work. He has a wide variety being shown, everything from large saw blades, paintings, bronze sculptures to delicately painted Christmas ornaments.
Last year, Byron Williams was a featured artist in the museum. His show was a great success and the museum will be bringing him back into the Museum to have some of his work for sale in the bookstore.
Williams works with natural materials making baskets, sculptures, rattles and masks.
Williams will show his work again at the Museum starting in August. His Saguache Gallery location is 301 5th Street and the name is Smith Market Gallery.
Both of these artists will be showing their work at the Hollyhock Festival in Saguache on July 29th.
For more information, please contact the Rio Grande County Museum, 580 Oak Street, Del Norte, Colorado. The phone number is (719)657-2847 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like us on Facebook.
"Ahead for the valiant “Baby Road,” as it was popularly called, lay receiverships and bankruptcies during the half century after its arrival at Alamosa in 1878. Reflecting its troubles as well as its opportunities to expand, the line’s name also changed from Denver & Rio Grande Railway to Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and to the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad a few years after acquiring other tracks." Valley Courier
Read complete article at:
"Summitville has a long Rio Grande County history. It was one of Colorado’s largest and richest gold mining sites. Gold was discovered in 1870 in small amounts. The miners did not stay in the area as it was still considered Ute territory, and the winters were extreme at 11,500-12,000-feet elevation adding to difficulties. As the development of mining started in surrounding mountains, the Brunot Treaty of 1872-73 removed the Utes from the mountain area." Lyndsie Ferrell, Del Norte Prospector
Read complete article at...
Nice article by OutThereColorado that features some of our museums - Fort Garland Museum, Jack Dempsey Museum and the Luther Bean Museum.
"Sitting right in the middle of the San Luis Valley, with the San Juan Mountains on one side, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the other, and the Rio Grande River snaking through town, Alamosa is a recreational wonderland. Read on for outdoor activities, historic sightseeing, and places to eat for a beautiful weekend in Alamosa, Colorado." OutThereColorado
Read complete article at...
Rio Grande County Museum will host Angie Krall, Forest Archaeologist for the Rio Grande National Forest, with a presentation about the on-going research at the Bunker Site (5SH614) a high potential paraje (camp) associated with the Old Spanish National Historic Trail (OSNHT) in Saguache County. The presentation will emphasize the unique assemblage recovered at the site.
The Bunker site is a 16 acre area that was discovered several years ago by ranchers, Bob and Shirley Bunker. It is located at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos on the East Fork of the Old Spanish Trail. Excavation and research have revealed that the site may have been used for over a thousand years.
The traveling display currently showing in the Rio Grande County Museum was developed by Lorrie Crawford and Anita McDaniel, Director of Ft Garland Museum.
Wade Collins will also be at the Museum during Covered Wagon Days as the featured artist. His paintings and sculptures will be on display through the middle of August.
His paintings are actual life experiences and his art work is a way of keeping the memories. He celebrates his life with his art and enjoys a life style that the rest of us may only dream. He loves the mountains and his studio is nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
Collins will be at the museum on Saturday, August 5th after the Covered Wagon Days Parade. The Bunker Site program will be at 2:00 p.m. on August 5th.
For more information, please contact the Rio Grande County Museum at (719) 657-2847; email at email@example.com and visit the Rio Grande County website and the museum's Facebook page.