National Hispanic Heritage Month – Schools

The National Register of Historic Places and Colorado State Register of Historic Properties is one tool that recognizes National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from mid-September to mid-October. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

Garcia School (Costilla County)

Garcia School (Costilla County)
Garcia School (Costilla County)

Listed in the Colorado State Register in 2015, the Garcia School is one of only a few adobe buildings remaining in what was once Plaza de los Manzanares, an unincorporated settlement in the San Luis Valley dating to 1849. An exact construction date for the school is not known, but it is believed to date to ca. 1913, when the property was sold to Costilla County School District Number Two under the express condition that it be used for a public school.  The school closed its doors in 1963, but later served as a community library and Head Start program.  The school is a rare example of a Territorial Adobe rural school which maintains its architectural integrity. The school falls under the historic context of the Rural School Buildings in Colorado Multiple Property Documentation Form. Continue reading “National Hispanic Heritage Month – Schools”

Privately Funded Preservation: Saving the Trujillo Homestead

Trujillo House in October 1998
Trujillo House in October 1998. Photo: Rozinski-Shattil.

The Pedro Trujillo Homestead

The first time my wife and I traveled to the San Luis Valley, we fell in love with it. We got to know the valley well, and in March 2005 we were invited to see the Medano Ranch, a 50,000-acre spread just west of the Great Sand Dunes. The Pedro Trujillo Homestead is located on the property, and we were taken there to experience the remoteness and beauty of its setting.  An hour at the site, with its free-flowing artesian well and breathtaking views of the dunes, left us changed forever. As a boy I tagged along with my parents on 4-wheel visits to many Colorado mountain ghost towns. Everything I had learned on those trips told me that the Pedro Trujillo structure was a treasure.  My wife and I decided it needed to be preserved—and soon. In a few more years, there’d be nothing left to save. Continue reading “Privately Funded Preservation: Saving the Trujillo Homestead”

This Week in Colorado History – Colorado’s oldest town, San Luis, is Established

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San Luis, situated at long the Sangre de Cristo Range

On April 9, 1851, Hispano farmers established San Luis, Colorado,and today, at 164 years old, it is the state’s oldest continuously occupied town. Located in south central Colorado near the New Mexico border, the San Luis Valley has been home to several different groups, one of the many reasons it holds historic significance for Colorado and the nation. The town was established by Hispano farmers, but the area was originally inhabited by prehistoric cultures dating back thousands of years. Continue reading “This Week in Colorado History – Colorado’s oldest town, San Luis, is Established”