Trail History and Importance Today by Doug Knudsen
Traders, their mules, and their woolen goods are the "stars" of the trail—stars that were introduced to modern people to enrich their perspectives of the world in the 1820s-40s.
But, as usual, there is more to it. The trail's importance for today's visitors includes many other components and related attractions. The history involves more than a few groups of individuals riding to California and back.
The story of the trail (and our interpretation):
It goes back in history to long before the 1598 arrival of the Spanish....
Download the entirety of the February 2020 Newsletter below.
The staff of Rio Grande County museum wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for your support and
interest throughout 2019. We are looking forward to an exciting year in 2020.
We are working on a calendar of events filled with new exhibits and programs. Last year was filled with art shows, new exhibits and programs.....
Read the complete newsletter on the attached PDF
The San Luis Valley Museum Association has partnered with the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area in the development of a driving tour app for the Los Caminos Scenic and Historic Byway!
See our original November 2019 post for more information
Article published on kvnf.org
The International Dark Sky Association was founded in 1988 with the intention to protect the night skies for present and future generations.
KVNF's Kori Stanton speaks with the Bob Grossman and Creighton Wood from Norwood, Val Szwarc from Ridgway and Aaron Watson from Dark Skies Paonia about their experiences applying for Dark Sky designation. KVNF also speaks with Virgina Harman, Chief Operating Officer of DMEA, Bryan Cashion, President of the Black Canyon Astronomical Society, Nancy McGuire, President of the Western Colorado Astronomy Club, Terry Hancock, Director of the Grand Mesa Observatory and Grand Junction resident Sonja Kendle.
"IDA is the recognized authority on light pollution and is the leading organization of combating light pollution worldwide." - darksky.org.
Listen to interview (33min) at: https://www.kvnf.org/post/local-motion-dark-skies#stream/0
Stay tuned --for more info on the local efforts for Dark Sky preservation with Crestone, Creede, Cuchara, Lake City, La Veta, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Westcliffe, and Silver Cliff.
Colorado Stargazing - "A Dark Sky Experience"
By Associated Press Dec 29, 2019, 1:58pm MST
Mark Shenefelt, Standard-Examiner
article copied from the Deseret News
A 138-year-old historic locomotive sits in pieces at Union Station, consigned to limbo after a local restoration effort was frozen out.
Volunteers with the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society‘s Golden Spike chapter have toiled since 1992 in the Union Station train shop to painstakingly refurbish Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad locomotive No. 223, until Ogden officials locked them out earlier this year.
The components are sealed in the shop — except the rust-caked boiler, which is perched open to the elements on a platform nearby in the rear of the historic depot.
Everyone involved has an opinion about what should be done with the 1881 locomotive, which is owned by the state via its Utah Division of State History.
The city asked the Golden Spike group to suspend its work while officials reviewed the ownership situation and looked into safety and liability concerns related to volunteers working on the locomotive.
City officials at that point said they wanted the state to transfer title to Ogden, where the train has been for more than 25 years. But that did not happen, and now the state is considering eventually moving the locomotive to a new state history museum being planned in Salt Lake City.
The state proposal is in its early stages, Kevin Fayles, the state division’s assistant director, said earlier this month.
“The division is reserving ownership until the building’s new plans are finalized,” Fayles said of 223. “We are waiting to see if this new building will happen or not and how it will be designed.”
With the museum project, much remains to be decided by “the powers that be,” Fayles said, referring to the governor’s office, the Legislature and various interested institutions.
“I don’t really think we’ll have an answer for a year or two,” Fayles said.
While that plays out, no one is working on the locomotive, which chagrins the volunteers who were making slow but steady progress on it.
Steve Jones, president of the Golden Spike chapter, said his group has not given up its overall goal of seeing that the locomotive is restored, even if someone else ultimately does it.
The group is planning to donate its tools and equipment to any other historical preservation association that could use them.
“We’ll probably become more of a ‘Friends of 223’ organization as opposed to the people with the actual wrenches,” Jones said.
“One of the things we are trying to accomplish is to raise the awareness of the historical importance of 223,” he said. “Restoring it to operation is much more than an Ogden city, or even Utah state, issue.”
The 223 is the last remaining Denver and Rio Grande C-16 locomotive built by the Grant Locomotive Works that has the potential to run again, Jones said.
“It is on the National Historic Register and deserves to be taken care of in a way that reflects its historic significance,” he added.
To that end, the chapter discussed 223 with the Colorado-based Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, which sent a letter of intent to Utah state officials outlining a plan to restore the locomotive to full operation.
Under that plan, the locomotive could be restored within two years and then would be operated on 64 miles of original Denver and Rio Grande track, much more of a role than ending up a static display in a museum.
“That is the historical location where 223 actually worked,” Jones said.
Fayles acknowledged the state received the Cumbres and Toltec proposal, but said any consideration of it would follow decisions made about the Utah museum plan.
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said the city appreciates the contributions of Jones’s group and still hopes 223 can be restored.
“We would love to have it stay in Ogden, or at least in Utah, so that the people here can enjoy it,” Caldwell said.
The mayor acknowledged the local volunteers were “frustrated” by being locked out of the project.
But, Caldwell said, “the last thing anyone wants would be something like solvents not being handled properly and we burn down the building.”
Native-born Honorable Carlos F. Lucero was honored by Adams State University as the recipient of the Billy Adams Award during this year's Homecoming!
The Hon. Carlos F. Lucero, circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, was the 49th recipient of the Billy Adams Award, which recognizes those who exhibit dedication to education shown by the University’s founder and namesake.
“I’ve been privileged to have a good life. It all started with education for me,” said Lucero, who grew up in Antonito with his parents, Margaret and Antonio Lucero, and five siblings.
Read the complete article on the Valley Courier website.
#carloslucero #antonitocolorado #billyadams #adamsstateuniversity
The San Luis Valley Museum Association was awarded a $10,000 Tourism Development grant by the Colorado Tourism Office. The grant will allow us to develop a driving tour app for the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic and Historic Byway using the TravelStorys app.
The project also won't have been possible without the financial and funding assistance of the Alamosa Marketing District, Rio Grande County Tourism, the SLV Tourism Association and our museum members.
Located in the Mystic San Luis Valley, the San Luis Valley Museum Assoc. will highlight the Los Caminos Antiguos Scenic & Historic Byway utilizing a driving tour app to feature its rich legacy through its museums, historic sites and oral histories.
Keep posted on updates!!
Update as of January 2020! We are now under contract and listed as Coming Soon on the TravelStorys website:
Rio Grande County Museum will be hosting “HOLIDAY AT THE MUSEUM” with an opening reception on November 16, 2019 from 10am - 4pm. Several artists will be featured for this holiday event. The art show will run through December 21 with special Friday and Saturday refreshments and opportunities to spend some time in the Museum, do some shopping in the gift shop, with the artists and have a chance to see the Museum. It will make a great time to visit to Del Norte to check out the restaurants and gift shops in town as well as spending some time in Monte Vista with their “Christmas Vacation” events and seeing what they have available. South Fork also has some great holiday events coming up as well. Remember Del Norte’s Parade of Lights and Merchants’ Open House on the first Friday of December. Also, on November 16th, stop by the Monte Vista Fire Department for their appreciation chili dinner from 4pm - 7pm.
The artists who will be showing during the Holiday at the Museum are well known San Luis Valley artists. The following are brief biographies of our artists.
Cathy Morin is an award winning glass artist. She has worked in both stained glass and fused glass for over 15 years. Fused or hot glass has evolved over the years from slumping glass into molds to a variety of diverse and innovative methods to create glass art.
Craig Lehmann worked in metal in various forms. He does abstract sculptures by welding metal and bronze castings. He studied biology, archaeology and sculpture and art at Adams State College, now University. He manages Lehman studios and Craig Lehmann Sculpture Studios. He shows in various local art galleries.
Laura Lunsford has always dabbled in the arts, from painting to pottery. By the age of 12, she was designing and sewing her own clothes. In 1994 an article in “Soft Dolls and Animal” featured a doll covered with silk ribbon embroidery with no instructions. At that time, Lunsford was teaching at Michaels and after a few attempts, she figured it out. As skills improved she began submitting ideas to the magazine and she was enlisted to be on the Editorial Advisory Board. Her career in the magazine world was launched and a new magazine called “Just Steampunk was established. She makes dolls, writes for magazines and conducts classes and workshop. Her favorite shirt states “I Still Play With Dolls”. Two of her dolls Pirate Jack and Rosalee were featured on November 2016 cover of SD &A and have been re-created to take part in this particular show.
John Patterson is known for his sculptures made from farm equipment pieces. Imagination is the key to finding what will work to make his creations. He does sculptures ranging from flowers, insects to tractors and more. He can find beauty in the items many throw away. He works as a farmer and draws from his experiences with equipment and a working knowledge of these items.
Albert Kahan is another one of the artists who will be showing. In the past he has done work with his photography with glass cutting boards. He has now ventured into new and different media. Albert’s work is always a pleasure to see and to own.
This will be the final event for the year 2019. However, the calendar of events for 2020 will be just as exciting. Rita and I are working on an exhibit for the celebration of the passage of the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote.
We are also working with Chuck Harbert and Morgan Williams on a post card exhibit that will show the work by photographer, William H. Martin on “boosterism” in the San Luis Valley in the early 1900s. This will be one of the postcards in the exhibit.
The Old Spanish Trail will also be featured in an exhibit and the quilt show again for Covered Wagon Days.
Thank you for your continued interest and support of the Rio Grande County Museum.
Louise Colville and Rita Trujillo
"Lost Trail Ranch was established in 1877 as a way station and resupply spot along Stony Pass Road from the San Luis Valley to the mining camps of the San Juan Mountains. Located at an elevation of 9,800 feet along the Rio Grande, the way station served travelers until the early 1880s, when traffic declined after the first railroad reached Silverton. The area became a popular summer cattle pasture site before being developed in the early 1920s as a dude ranch. Since then the property has offered guest lodging and outdoor recreation while continuing to be used for summer livestock grazing.
First built in 1872, Stony Pass Road connected Del Norte to Silverton. It started as a pack trail and was gradually improved into a wagon road. It was the main route from the Front Range to the San Juan Mountains until 1882, when the Denver & Rio Grande Railway reached Silverton."
The Getz family—Wetherill descendants—owned and operated the ranch into the early twenty-first century. They built several new rental cabins close to the Forest Service road, and in 2011 they got the historic section of the property—including the barn and two older cabins—listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today the barn at Lost Trail Ranch is the oldest log barn in Hinsdale County. The Getzes still live at the ranch, but in the mid-2010s they sold the rental cabin business to a new owner.
Read more about history of the Lost Trail, Lost Trail Station, Stony Pass and the Lost Trail Ranch at Colorado Encyclopedia