Buena Vista vicinity
National Register 3/27/2012, 5CF.2820
The Behrman Ranch is a complex of historic resources significant under Criterion A, at the local level of significance in the area of Agriculture from 1919 to 1962, for its association with the Behrman family and the part the played in developing a productive farming property in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. The Behrman family are a part of a long agricultural tradition that is indicative of the agricultural heritage of the region. The importance of water, irrigation systems, machinery, livestock, and cooperation with neighbors is apparent when studying the Behrman Ranch.
J.M. Bonney House
408 Princeton Ave.
National Register 12/19/1994, 5CF.177
As a well-preserved example of the Carpenter Gothic style, this 1883 house includes such distinctive features as a steeply pitched roof with cross gables, lacy vergeboard decorations and finials on the gable ends, and wood cutouts above the rectangular windows of the dormers. Josiah Morris Bonney founded the First National Bank of Buena Vista and lived in the house with his wife, Eugenia, and their family.
Buena Vista Depot
(Denver, Leadville & Gunnison Railroad Buena Vista Depot)
116 US Hwy. 24 North
State Register 3/10/2004, 5CF.1616
One of the few extant Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad (formerly Denver, Leadville & Gunnison) depots in the state, the 1891 Buena Vista Depot is also the last remaining intact depot in Chaffee County. The wood-frame combination depot contains the station agent’s living quarters in addition to the passenger waiting room and freight area. The building is typical of first generation depot construction.
For information about the State Historical Fund’s participation in the preservation of this property see the Project Snapshot.
Chaffee County Courthouse & Jail (Buena Vista Heritage Museum)
501 E. Main St.
National Register 9/10/1979, 5CF.140
Constructed in 1882, the buildings reflect the Italianate style. Both have walls of red brick, and the roofs are hipped. The two-story courthouse is accented with stone quoins and a tall sexagonal cupola. A one-story addition extends from the rear. The less elaborately detailed two-story jail also has a one-story extension. Salida replaced Buena Vista as the county seat in 1928. Subsequently, the facility was used until 1967 to relieve overcrowding in the local public schools. It was sold to the town in 1975 and reopened as a museum and community meeting place.
First National Bank of Buena Vista Building
210 E. Main St.
State Register 8/9/2000, 5CF.315
Constructed in 1883, the two-story Italianate style building is a well-preserved local example of late 19th century commercial architecture. The First National Bank of Buena Vista occupied the first floor, and a variety of businesses leased offices on the second floor. The bank managed to survive the early years of the Depression, before liquidating its assets in 1935. The Town of Buena Vista purchased the building in July of 1935. Since then, it has primarily housed a variety of governmental services and continues to serve as the town hall.
Grace Episcopal Church
Main & Park Ave.
National Register 1/20/1978, 5CF.141
This 1883 wood frame church is a good example of the Gothic Revival style. On its façade, the board and batten walls are accented with wood trim, resulting in the appearance of half-timbering. The steeply pitched, front gabled roof is topped with an open bell tower. Lancet window and door openings and wood buttresses extending from the side walls further reflect the verticality associated with the style. (2005 photograph.)
For information about the State Historical Fund’s participation in the preservation of this property see the Project Snapshot.
414 Main St.
National Register 12/22/2011, 5CF.2635
The Jacobs Building is significant at the local level in the area of Commerce from 1888 to 1916 and 1923 to 1954, for its long association with the late 19th century through the mid-twentieth century commercial development of the town of Buena Vista. The building was constructed in 1888, when the city was flourishing. It operated as a saloon, and later as a warehouse during the first period of significance: 1888-1916. It then served as undertaker’s parlor, hotel, and antique store during its second period of significance: 1923-1954. The Jacobs Building exemplifies a commercial property located in many developing western towns such as Buena Vista during the 1880s. In more recent years, the property has remained active as an office, restaurant, art gallery, and boarding facility. During both periods of significance, the property was a venue for many of the town’s social events. More information (PDF, 3.85 MB)
409-415 E. Main St.
State Register 9/13/1995, 5CF.830
The 1910 Orpheum Theater served as the home of cultural functions in Buena Vista, including operas, plays and musicals, and was the center for the town’s important public gatherings and social events.
St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church
343 Colo. Hwy. 24 South
State Register 3/10/1999, 5CF.176
Constructed in 1880, the simple wood frame building is a good example of the Carpenter Gothic style. In 1969, it was moved to its present location in order to save it from demolition. Now known as Park Chapel, the building serves as the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Information Center.
829 W. Main St.
State Register 3/13/1996, 5CF.847
Turner Place is associated with the settlement and agricultural and industrial development of the Buena Vista area. The complex contains an architecturally significant log barn built in 1924.
Vicksburg Mining Camp
Pike & San Isabel National Forest
National Register 3/8/1977, 5CF.136
Located eight miles from the Arkansas River, the camp is associated with early mining history in the Clear Creek Canyon area. By 1882, the camp consisted of nearly forty buildings. Population apparently peaked in 1885, with the total estimated to have been between 150 and 600. Seven of the original log cabins remain intact on the site. The silver market crash of 1893 temporarily halted mining in the canyon. Mining activity resumed in the early 1900s, and the last ore was hauled out of the canyon in 1918. The property is associated with the Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
Winfield Mining Camp
County Rd. 390, 15 miles north of Buena Vista
National Register 3/10/1980, 5CF.137
Located four miles further into Clear Creek Canyon than the Vicksburg Mining Camp, the property is important for its association with early mining history in the area. Winfield’s formal history began in 1881 when the 120 acre townsite was laid out. Population peaked at an estimated 1,500 in 1890. Four of the original log buildings remain. One, with a false front of horizontal weatherboard, served as a school. Five circa 1930s cabins are also on the site. The silver market crash of 1893 temporarily halted mining in the canyon. Mining activity resumed in the early 1900s, and the last ore was hauled out of the canyon in 1918. The property is associated with the Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submission. (1973 photograph.)
400 W. Main St.
State Register 8/8/2001, 5CF.407
The circa 1882-84 brick residence is an excellent local example of the Second Empire style. Defining elements of the style are evident in its paired windows, concave mansard roof, and two-story bay window. Unusual inverted tear-drop windows flank the dormers.
Littlejohn Mine Complex
North bank of Pine Creek, vicinity of Granite
National Register 12/27/1978, 5CF.138
Located in the Pine Creek mining district, structures in the complex include a cabin, a burro shed/bunk house, a forge, and several related outbuildings. All date from the 1880s and are constructed of hand hewn logs with A and V joints. Low pitch gabled roofs were made of logs, mud, dirt, and grass. Such intact examples of early log mining camps are rare as many were quickly abandoned or replaced with wood frame or masonry structures. Harry Littlejohn, who acquired the property in 1920 and lived and worked there until his death in 1952, is credited with maintaining the integrity of the complex. The property is associated with the Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submission. (1977 photograph.)
Bridge over Arkansas River
US Hwy. 24
National Register 2/4/1985, 5CF.416
Designed by the Colorado Department of Highways, this rigid-connected, six-panel steel Pratt deck truss was constructed by M.E. Carlson in 1937. Considered an excellent representative of later highway truss design, the bridge features a heavily skewed, riveted Pratt design. The property is associated with the Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
South of US Hwy. 50
National Register 4/29/1999, 5CF.333
A cross gabled bell tower tops the roof of this wood frame rural schoolhouse. The building’s current one-story configuration dates from 1912. A single classroom was located at the east end of the building, and the teacher’s living quarters occupied the west end. The school continued in operation until 1939, and the property has been owned by the Salida Museum Association since 1977. The property is associated with the Rural School Buildings in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
16190 County Rd. 322, Nathrop vicinity
State Register 3/12/1997, 5CF.851
The property is an intact example of a vacation home associated with early tourism development in the Chalk Creek Gulch area west of Buena Vista. The original 1924 log cabin was expanded in 1932 and exhibits Rustic style log construction as designed and built by local master craftsman, Charlie Thiele.
9104 US Hwy. 50, 3 miles west of Salida
National Register 5/11/1973, additional documentation and boundary expansion 8/9/2005, 5CF.142
Running more cattle than anyone else in the southern Arkansas River Valley, Joseph S. Hutchinson was one of the fabled cattle kings in early Colorado. He made major contributions to the livestock industry as a successful cattle rancher. The ranch is an excellent representation of the full range of buildings and structures of an operating Colorado cattle ranch during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Main House, dating to 1873-1874, is possibly the oldest frame dwelling in the area. Important log buildings include the 1867 granary, Uncle Art’s 1895 cabin and the 1915 saddle house. In 2005, the original listing was amended to provide additional historical information and to expand the boundaries to incorporate associated pastureland.
Poncha Springs Schoolhouse
330 Burnett St.
National Register 1/25/1990, 5CF.130
Completed in 1883, the T-plan building is a good local example of the Italianate style. The two-story red brick building has stone quoins and a cross gabled roof that is topped with an open bell tower with a mansard roof. Two classrooms were on the first floor, and an auditorium occupied the second. The building remained in use as a school until 1957. In 1962, it was deeded to the town of Poncha Springs for use as a museum and community meeting place.
Pike–San Isabel National Forest
National Register 8/14/2003, 5CF.413
Constructed by the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad in 1881, the Morley Bridge is Colorado’s oldest dateable vehicular truss. One of the few remaining truss bridges with both wrought and cast iron components, it is also the only known pin-connected deck truss in the state. Serving first as a railroad bridge, then a vehicular bridge, and now as a pedestrian walkway, the Morley Bridge is one of Colorado’s most important spans, having functioned in its original location for over 120 years. The property is associated with the Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
846 F St.
National Register 11/7/2007, 5CF.2048
The 1901 Alexander House contains several elements representative of late Queen Anne style residences, including elaborate ornamentation and an asymmetrical composition with multiple gables, angles, projections and heights. The entry porches with columns atop brick balustrades emphasize the asymmetry of the plan. The variety of materials used, including wood shingles, brick and stone, the changes in brick color and configuration of the wall courses and arched lintels, and the multi-colored shingle decoration in the gables, and the first and second story bay windows combine to create a highly textured façade. (2007 photograph.) More information (PDF, 1.08 MB)
803 F St.
National Register 4/29/2008, 5CF.2343
The 1908 house is an excellent representation of the Edwardian style. Similar to the Queen Anne style in massing, but with scaled down ornamentation, the house exemplifies the style with its asymmetrical composition, multiple gables, variety of construction materials, and wrap-around porch, all typical of Queen Anne. However, the house reflects a transitional period of architecture through its incorporation of the more restrained ornamentation of classical influences favored in the early 20th century. Theodore C. Bode, who had the house built, was a well-respected local druggist and town alderman. Joseph E. Stewart was associated with the Stewart Funeral Home for more than 60 years, served for years as the Chaffee County Coroner, and belonged to many local civic/fraternal organizations. (2007 photograph.) More information (PDF, 1.35 MB)
Brown’s Canyon Bridge
Cty. Rd. 191
National Register 7/30/2013, 5CF.414
The 1908 Brown’s Canyon Bridge is significant for its engineering as an intact early example of a reinforced concrete slab and girder bridge. With a design provided by the State Engineer’s Office, the completion of the bridge preceded the formal development of the highway commission in Colorado in 1909. Brown’s Canyon Bridge meets the registration requirements of the “concrete slab and girder bridges” property type as discussed in the Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Documentation Form. More information (PDF, 893 kb)
Chaffee County Courthouse
104 Crestone Ave.
State Register 9/11/1996, 5CF.850
Constructed in 1932, the courthouse is architecturally significant for its use of the Art Deco style. It is one of a few Art Deco-styled buildings designed by prominent architect Walter DeMordaunt and is one of only three Art Deco courthouses in Colorado. Adding to its significance is the well-preserved interior. A compatible addition was constructed in 1968.
Chaffee County Poor Farm (River Run Inn)
8495 County Rd. 160
National Register 5/16/1985, 5CF.190
The two-story, hipped roof red brick building, a vernacular interpretation of the Colonial Revival style, was constructed in 1892. A wood frame barn from the same period is also located on the site. The Chaffee County Poor Farm is representative of the facilities established by Colorado counties in the late 19th century to care for the indigent. The original 120 acre parcel sustained the residents through the planting and harvesting of crops. The property was purchased by the city in 1945 and was utilized as a grange hall, with county fairs and 4H activities held on the grounds. During the early 1980s, it was converted to a bed and breakfast.
Church of the Ascension
349 E St.
State Register 6/14/2000, 5CF.344
Constructed in 1885, the simple wood frame, gabled roof church is Salida’s only surviving example of the type of religious building typically constructed during the early stages of a community’s development. While other church related facilities have been constructed on the property, this original building remains in use as a chapel. The stained glass window on the west façade was installed in 1952. The window’s association with the community dates from 1900 when it was originally installed in the Denver and Rio Grande Hospital.
E.W. Corbin House
303 E. 5th St.
National Register 11/1/1996, 5CF.849
The 1884 E.W. Corbin House is associated with the early settlement of Salida. Corbin was one of the first to establish a residence and business in what was first known as South Arkansas. The house is architecturally significant as the best and earliest example of the Second Empire style in Salida.
Edison Electric Light Plant / Salida Steam Plant
312 W. Sackett
State Register 3/10/1993, 5CF.291
With its various wood frame and brick components constructed between 1887 and 1926, the plant is associated with the evolution in the distribution of electricity in Salida. The plant remains as a testimonial to the foresight of local entrepreneurs who established the Edison Electric Light Company of Salida, Colorado just five years after Thomas Edison established his first electrical station in New York City. The plant remained in operation until 1958. During the 1990s, the Colorado State Historical Fund helped with the restoration of the property for use as a community cultural arts center.
F Street Bridge
F St., over Arkansas River
National Register 2/4/1985, 5CF.406.75
Completed in 1907, this segmental, reinforced concrete Luten arch over the Arkansas River was constructed by the Pueblo Bridge Company, one of the state’s most prolific builders of concrete bridges. Although rarely used today, it is one of the best preserved early Luten arches and one of the oldest built by the company. The property is associated with the Highway Bridges in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
Garret & Julia Gray Cottage
125 E. 5th St.
National Register 9/12/1980, 5CF.144
The 1½ story wood frame residence is a good local example of the Queen Anne style. Its asymmetrical massing is accented with a large bay window and a considerable amount of ornate wood trim. The house was built for Garret and Julia Gray in 1882, during the early development of Salida as a thriving commercial center. The Grays, early settlers in the area, owned and operated Salida’s first hotel, the New York House.
102 Poncha Blvd.
National Register, 10/8/2008, 5CF.2366
Constructed over the years from 1943 to 1954, the Heister House is an excellent example of the Moderne style. Elements typical of the style seen on the house include a flat roof, smooth stucco veneer, rounded corners, porthole openings, glass block, and a curved metal canopy. Designed by owners Elwood and Frances Heister, the foundation for the entire house was poured and the west portion completed in 1943. The family lived in the west half as work continued on the east side. The eastern portion saw completion in 1954. It was at this time the two sections were coated with stucco and the house took on the appearance of moderne style. The house retains all of the original elements to this day. (2007 photograph.) More information (PDF, 1.01 MB).
F.A. Jackson House
401 E. 1st St.
National Register 4/15/1999, 5CF.939
Constructed in 1890, the one-and-one half-story residence compares favorably with other local examples of the Second Empire style. A vernacular interpretation of the style, in addition to its well-preserved exterior ornamentation, most of its interior features remain intact. Frederick A. Jackson built the house while serving as a surgeon in the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Hospital. The property now functions as a bed and breakfast.
Kesner Memorial Building
9th and D Sts.
State Register 9/10/2003, 5CF.1507
The Kesner Memorial Building, designed by architects Leo A. Desjardins and Francis W. Cooper, is the most intact historic educational building in the city of Salida. Constructed in 1922-1923, this building has served as an academic facility for generations of Salida residents and serves as a reminder of the community’s longstanding commitment to public education.
225 F St.
National Register 4/21/1983, 5CF.213
Dating from the late 19th century, the two-story brick and stone building includes decorative brick work in a lattice pattern just below its highly detailed parapet. In the first floor restaurant area, large windows, set in semi-circular arches, face the nearby Arkansas River. The hotel remained in operation into the 1930s.
Methodist Episcopal Church
4th & D St.,
State Register 3/10/1999, 5CF.505
In continuous service since 1889, the Gothic Revival style church is a good example of the type of ecclesiastical buildings that were constructed in Colorado’s mountain communities during the late 19th century. The solid red brick building includes numerous stained glass windows, and the extensive interior woodwork remains intact. A low-profile 1995 addition is clearly distinguishable from the original building.
Ohio-Colorado Smelting & Refining Co. Smokestack / Smeltertown
1401 J St.
National Register 1/11/1976, 5CF.143
Completed in 1917, the brick and tile smokestack reaches a height of 365 feet. Its concrete foundation extends 30 feet into the ground. The structure was built to replace two shorter smokestacks at the Ohio-Colorado Smelting and Refining Company’s smelter facility located one mile west of Salida. Although the facility closed in 1920, the smokestack remains as a highly visible monument to the mining industry and its workers. The property is associated with the Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
Salida Downtown Historic District
Bounded by Arkansas River, former narrow gauge railroad right-of-way, 3rd & D Sts.,
National Register 6/14/1984, 5CF.406
Between 1880 and 1930, downtown Salida became the center of a burgeoning railroad community. Consisting of 111 buildings, the district’s size bears witness to the importance of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad as a local economic force during the period. Although Salida’s fortunes declined after 1930, due to changes in the Denver & Rio Grande system, it has managed to survive with a tourism based economy.
Salida Public Library
405 E St.
State Register 12/13/1995, 5CF.346
The 1907 library was built as part of Andrew Carnegie’s nationwide, philanthropic, public library movement. It represents the community’s efforts, most notably those of the Tuesday Evening Club, to provide a suitable structure in which to house a public library. It is architecturally significant as an example of the work of two prominent Colorado architects, Charles Thomas and Thomas MacLaren.
Valley View School
County Rd. 140, Salida vicinity
State Register 9/10/2003, National Register 10/12/2003, 5CF.1598
Constructed in 1903, the Valley View School is a good representation of the common rural schoolhouses that once dotted the state. The simple school building served as the educational and community center for the local ranching families just west of Salida. The Valley View School is an intact example of a one-room schoolhouse complex, complete with a 1936 Works Progress Administration concrete block addition, the original boys & girls privies, and the original swing frame and flagpole. The property is associated with the Rural School Buildings in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
Alpine Tunnel Historic District
Southwest of St. Elmo
State Register 9/13/1995, National Register 4/1/1996, 5CF.838 / 5GN.2598
The Alpine Tunnel Historic District includes approximately 13 miles of the former Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad railbed across the Continental Divide from Hancock to Quartz, as well as the Alpine Tunnel itself. Constructed in 1880-1881, the district illustrates the engineering and operational challenges faced by the Colorado mountain railroads in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The property is associated with the Railroads in Colorado, 1858-1948 Multiple Property Submission.
St. Elmo vicinity
State Register 3/12/1997, 5CF.170
The building, with Queen Anne detailing, is a well-preserved and interesting combination of log and frame construction. It is the only remaining mining era building located in the vicinity of the short-lived smelter town of Iron City. The 1890 wood frame second story was constructed over a pre-1890 one-story log cabin.
St. Elmo Historic District / Forest City
Pitkin, Gunnison, 1st, Main & Poplar Sts.
National Register 9/17/1979, 5CF.139
St. Elmo owes its existence to the development of silver mining, which began in the Chalk Creek area in the 1870s. Originally platted as Forest City, its brief era of prosperity occurred during the 1880s with the coming of the Denver South Park & Pacific and the Denver & Rio Grande railroads. The district consists of a group of primarily wood frame commercial buildings and several clusters of residences dating from the 1880s and 1890s. The small vernacular buildings are representative of the type of construction found in early mining camps. The district is flanked by groves of pine and aspen growing on the mountain slopes that rise sharply above the townsite. The property is associated with the Mining Industry in Colorado Multiple Property Submission.
St. Elmo Siding & Crew Quarters
State Register 5/16/2001, 5CF.167.3
The Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad, along with its successors the Denver, Leadville & Gunnison and the Colorado & Southern, faced heavy operating costs, particularly on the Alpine Tunnel District portion of its route. The reuse of railroad cars as stationery structures provided quick and inexpensive shelter for equipment storage, crew bunkhouses, and even the occasional depot. The Colorado & Southern used the two former box cars on the site for crew quarters and storage from 1908 until 1922.